The Australian Football League (AFL) is set to apply for a .brand top-level domain (TLD) name in Australia, in a move designed to deliver content to fans in a more innovative fashion, the league said.
The existence of new .brand TLDs means that companies can now register any domain suffix they like for their website. Coca-Cola, for example, could choose http://www.coca.cola as its website. A premium domain name comes with a premium price tag, however, with access to the domains starting at $45,000 for the application process alone.
The AFL said that it wants its own .brand TLD to enhance visibility of its online products. According to the code, the new TLD will allow the AFL to increase ease of access for fans and shore up the code's online identity.
"We think 'dot AFL' could be a key asset to support our major strategies around national expansion, fan development, strengthening the AFL clubs, supporting community participation and growing our presence in digital media. Ultimately, 'dot AFL' will make it easier for our audience to access trusted online content that is endorsed by the AFL brand," AFL general manager of strategy and Marketing, Andrew Catterall, said of the TLD push in a statement.
"We are making major investments in the digital media and fan development space and the decision to apply for 'dot AFL' supports this initiative."
The AFL has tapped Melbourne IT and ARI Registry Services to facilitate the new TLD purchase from an IT perspective.
Theo Hnarakis, CEO and managing director of Melbourne IT, said that it would make the rest of Australia's big brands take note of the potential of TLDs, and put a fire under those who had not yet applied for one.
"When a brand leader like the AFL announces a strategic commercial initiative, the rest of corporate Australia tends to take note — but those companies that haven't already decided to apply will have to move fast if they want to follow in the AFL's footsteps, as new TLD applications close on 12 April and may not open again for several years," Hnarakis said.
The Melbourne IT chief told ZDNet Australia that it would rely heavily on the sales of premium domain name space to drive profitability going forward into 2012.