EuroDNS chats with DotClub, definitely not in competition with .COM

Way back in 2011 the DotClub registry discussed the four principles of a successful TLD: short, memorable, meaningful, and perhaps most important – not in competition with .COM. Here I'm chatting with Colin Campbell, DotClub CEO, about something big, hairy and audacious! You'll have to read to find out what...

by Meg - 06.05.2014

Colin Campbell, CEO of DotClub, explains why everyone should join the .CLUB

Thanks for coming Colin, I'd like to talk about how it all started and where you see the DotClub registry going in the future...


First up, why .CLUB? Why should our readers register a .CLUB domain name?

In addition to the 4 points you raised above, we think it is a great name because it really offers a different alternative or meaning to .COM and it is a word that is recognizable in every country in the world.

With a great name also comes a focused team of marketers and technology folks who have a lot of experience. Every day we wake up thinking about how we can make .CLUB a globally recognized gTLD brand. All of our funding which amounted to 8.2 million has been directed to launching this name in over 50 countries around the world.


You and your team didn’t know whether .CLUB was yours or not until the middle of last year, pretty tense in the office I guess. What were all of you doing in preparation besides biting your finger nails?

It was a tense time. Focus is good when you have the name, but when you only have one prize, it means the difference between launching a name and retirement. We managed to win the private auction for a considerable investment but from our perspective it was money well spent. We managed to get one of the most popular names to market well before our peers like .SHOP and .WEB. Had we waited for an ICANN auction I don’t think we would have gone to market until early 2016.


Your domain is a good example of what ICANN was trying to achieve with the new gTLDs – to increase competition and choice in the domain name space. Intentional or a lucky coincidence?

I have seen what Akram, the President of the global domain division at ICANN, refers to as “unleashing innovation”. In just the last couple of weeks I heard from so many entrepreneurs who are launching businesses around the word club including shaving.club, print.club and gtld.club. I know that when I have an idea, I first start by getting the domain name. It’s a great time in history to be an entrepreneur with so many great names coming to market.


I understand that you have a pretty aggressive five year plan and that, to quote your newsletter, “you like big, hairy, audacious goals”. Would you let us in on your five year plan?

My plan is to achieve 5,000,000 domain names in 5 years. It is aggressive but we have yet to uncap the uses for .CLUB. For instance, there are hundreds of millions of Facebook groups. Have you seen  some of these URLs: www.facebook.com/group/etc.? There is no reason an online group or club cannot brand themselves with their own name. Even some brands are excited about using .CLUB to point to their Facebook page. We have seen one company AshleyBridget, a jewellery designer, who setup AshleyBridget.club to point to their Facebook page. I think we will see more companies using club to complement their social strategies.


To quote your newsletter again, in January it stated, “It will be the year of .CLUB out-selling any other new generic extension in 2014.” I admire your confidence and our readers would love to know how you are going to achieve this goal.  Do you think this is realistic?

Absolutely, I am hoping we take that crown as top new generic in the first week of General Admission (GA). The fact is, we have more pre-registration interest than any other launched top level domain.  In addition, the other top contenders remain in contention and will not be going live until 2015.


When the .CLUB Sunrise period ended you received registrations from some big names. I heard ManUnited.club was one such registrant. Very impressive, although I’m a West Ham fan. Now’s your chance to do some serious name dropping, go for it!

Our Sunrise was really exciting as it demonstrated the diversity of interests amongst the brands. Names like LEGO.club, Channel.club, AAA.club, Gucci.club, StarTrek.club, Jeep.club, Mets.club, Harvard.club, and many more. What really excites us is that we sold a number of category killers to brands including Havana.club, Total.club, and Makeup.club. .CLUB resonates well with brands because most companies have a loyalty or affinity program and we see .CLUB as a way of featuring or highlighting that program.


Thanks Colin for a really enlightening chat. Good luck with your big, hairy, audacious goals. Meet you laterz down the club!

See you in da .CLUB. 
Colin

The DotClub registry is a Florida based company founded by serial entrepreneur Colin Campbell. The company was formed in 2012 specifically for the purpose of applying for and operating the new domain extension .CLUB.

The .CLUB extension has consistently ranked amongst the most popular of the new domains, receiving 500 brand applications during its trademark Sunrise period and huge interest with pre-orders. This globally appealing new domain extension will enter General Availability on May 7th, meaning every body can apply to join the .CLUB.

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