We started 2013 in a heated competition for the name, up against the well-funded Donuts, and the legally adept Merchant Law Group. Frankly, it was depressing, and for the first half of the year it seemed there was nothing we could do to move our position forward. There was so little we could do for .CLUB that some of us started another company to keep busy.
Then, in June, our luck turned and we agreed to participate in the first gTLD private auction. This was it. One way or another we were now going to resolve our purgatory and either become the .CLUB Registry or move on to a life without .CLUB.
Of course, as documented in the video below, we won the auction for .CLUB on June 6, 2013.
From the moment we won the auction we have never looked back. Within hours of winning the auction we were on the phone making arrangements to be a sponsor and have a booth at the ICANN 47 meeting in Durban, only weeks away.
Talk about going from 0-60 in a few seconds, we immediately pulled the trigger on a number of things that had been indefinitely “on hold” – from giving our PR Agency the go-ahead to hiring employees we had waiting in the wings. Game on!
In Durban it was exciting and refreshing to talk with registrars as the only applicant for .CLUB. We were on our way.
Next we launched a new web site and immediately began receiving expressions of interest for .CLUB names. With the .CLUB PR Machine now chugging along full steam ahead .CLUB started to show up everywhere in the “new gTLD” conversation, mentioned in The New Yorker and NPR’s All Things Considered among many other news outlets and blogs.
In addition to breaking through the media, in the second half of 2013 it became clear that .CLUB was also having an influence on fashion, with the coveted .CLUB polo shirts making a fashion statement all over the world…
Next stop for the .CLUB booth was the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference in Ft. Lauderdale, where .CLUB was one of the few new gTLD’s to be represented at one of the premiere domain investor events. At the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. conference .CLUB was at the center of the gTLD discussion, represented on one of the highlights of the event, a lively panel discussion dubbed “The Great Debate.”
Then the .CLUB team took the show on the road to Europe for registrar meetings in London and Paris, followed by the NewDomains.org conference in Munich, where Colin appeared on a panel. While in Munich, we announced our partnership with SEDO, and soon after our partners Right of the Dot.
With more partners coming on board, we continued to recruit .CLUB members all over the world, and made our way to the ICANN 48 meeting in Buenos Aires, where we met with great registrar partners and introduced the official .CLUB jingle (Click below to listen to the jingle).
As 2013 started to wind down, we also began advertising .CLUB, appearing in a 1&1.com stadium campaign during the Swansea City vs. Valencia match.
In all seriousness, 2013 was an exciting year for everyone involved with .CLUB and we are extremely grateful for the support of our amazing team, our fantastic investors, our outstanding partners, and everyone who has continued to express interest in and enthusiasm for the .CLUB name.
We predict great things for 2014, and wish everyone a very happy and healthy holiday, and a prosperous New Year!
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2014 Blocks Photo Credit: © tiero – Fotolia.com