Interview with Colin Campbell, CEO and Founder at .CLUB
-* Colin Campbell
-* E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
-* Website: www.dotclub.com
1. Why did you choose to create a .club?
Internet businesses have always been a passion of mine, and I started some of my first Internet companies, including Tucows, Internet Direct, and Hostopia, way back in the early 90’s. I’ve witnessed, firsthand, how the Internet has changed the world—I think that’s what excites me and why I love being involved in this industry. Now, with the opening up of all of these new top-level domains, we are participants in another historic moment, as the Internet shifts away from being limited to the small, tightly regulated .COM world. I believe that the new gTLD expansion is opening up a whole world of new possibilities for business and innovation like never before.
We looked at several prospective top level domains, but ultimately, we decided to go with something social—so we chose .CLUB. For me, the concept of a “club,” which is all about a group of people coming together around a similar interest or passion, was perfect. .CLUB is an extension that is designed to be social, and it can represent all kinds of communities. The word, “club,” is recognized around the world—in fact, it’s one of the few words that actually has the same meaning and is spelled the exact same way in every language!
We only applied for one top level domain because we really wanted a singular focus. We live and breathe .CLUB, and nothing else. I think that laser focus is a big part of what makes us so successful.
2. You were several to apply for the .club, How have you experienced this?
Although there were other applicants for the .CLUB domain, we were determined to get it. As I mentioned, we only applied for .CLUB, and we are incredibly passionate about the .CLUB brand and about building a business around this passion. For us, .CLUB has a lot of meaning behind it, and we believe there is a tremendous opportunity, for millions of clubs and organizations to take advantage of the .CLUB extension.
There was competition for .CLUB, much like many of the other global mainstream top level domains, such as .WEB, .SHOP, and .APP. But, we were serious about getting .CLUB, so right from the start, we took steps to resolve potential contentions immediately, by negotiating with our competitors. We were serious, financially, about getting .CLUB as well—raising a total of $8.2 million from a group of 27 private investors. This commitment helped us navigate through the ICANN application process, approvals and, ultimately, to win the .CLUB name in an auction between the competing applicants. Since winning .CLUB, we’ve hired an international team of marketing experts, and we are currently preparing to launch a huge, global awareness campaign for the .CLUB extension.
3. Why users should register .club?
.CLUB means so many things to so many people. From academic clubs to social clubs. From sports clubs to hobby clubs. It is a commonly used term by companies to help build community, and improve loyalty among their customers. Case in point, I belong to National’s « Emerald Club », American’s « Advantage Club », Mondavi’s « Wine Buying Club », « AAA Club », Starwood’s “Preferred Club », the Original Pancake House’s « Pancake Club » and so many more. In fact, no other top level domain can inspire, excite or bring together customers more than a .CLUB name. It means something completely different than a .COM when you add the term to the right of the dot. This is exactly why this domain name is so critical for companies to own and protect. The last thing a company wants is for rogue groups to define their community. Mailclub.com understands the importance of having the word club embedded in your name. Why? Because club evokes a positive feeling of belonging to something…not just buying from a company.
4. How many .club do you expect after a year?
I believe we will have established global brand recognition with over 1 million names registered. To date hundreds of thousands of companies and individuals and groups have expressed an interest in this name. We have been recognized in almost every top 10 list or most popular list by registrars all over the world. In fact, given our timeline for launch we will be the first global mainstream top level domain to launch.
5. What is the roadmap?
We are happy announce that we have signed our contract with ICANN and have begun the process for pre-delegation testing. Although we will be in the root in December we believe we will likely begin Sunrise in early to mid January.
We have been fortunate in that we chose to participate in an auction and resolved our contention early. All of the other top global mainstream names remain in contention and it may be quite some time before they are able to come to market.
-* Sunrise: Mid January – Mid March
-* Landrush: Mid March – Mid April
-* General Availability: Late April
6. What are the conditions?
We are operating an open, unrestricted domain just like .COM.
7. What are the prices?
We expect retail prices will will range from around 15-20 Euros for General Availability, and Sunrise/Landrush pricing of 150 to 175 Euros.
All renewal pricing will be at the General Availability pricing, including for renewing premium, Sunrise and Landrush names.
8. Can you talk about your founder program?
We are excited to announce that we have begun to interview companies that are interested in participating in our “Founders Club.” We are accepting up to 25 companies that we will feature in our global outreach campaign. We are planning to launch a multi million dollar ad campaign starting in March.
9. What are the conditions and how much will cost the .club founder in the program?
The key condition is that the name is used and promoted. We know that at the beginning some companies will switch their address especially in the case where they don’t have a very good URL. In other cases, companies that have an established .COM, we see a .CLUB name as a compliment to their main strategy. Their .CLUB address is the place where customers and enthusiasts come together. It is the address for a company’s community – a great place to feature loyalty and affinity programs and membership. Over time we are confident that most companies that have a loyal following will adopt or switch to .CLUB. If you want passionate customers, you will want a .CLUB.
The prices of the Founders Club vary based on use, how much it is promoted, and the value of the specific domain name desired.
Mailclub will help you in your approach, feel free to contact them.
10. Where can I register .club domains ?
You can go through Mailclub.
Contact them at email@example.com or by phone : +33.488662218
Article écrit par Sébastien Almiron
Sébastien est responsable commercial du département noms de domaine du Mailclub. Jouissant d’une expérience de plus de 13 ans, il maîtrise l’ensemble des enjeux transversaux liés aux noms de domaine.
Il conseille les responsables des noms de domaine des plus grandes sociétés françaises dans leur stratégie mondiale de nommage et élabore avec eux leur charte de nommage afin de délimiter leur périmètre d’identité sur Internet.
Il maitrise l’ensemble des problématiques B2B et/ou B2C sur un plan administratif, financier, technique, marketing, référencement et juridique.
Il est joignable au +33 1 80 82 82 65 ou par mail à firstname.lastname@example.org pour tout renseignement sur les services proposés par son département.