On Your Marks, .SPORT Kicks Off!

The new gTLD .SPORT targets federations, sports organizations, clubs, teams, their athletes, their sponsors, but also sports brands and the media. SPORTt has its rules, so the .SPORT. Eligibility rules apply. The choice of domain names is not free and, for now, the time of registration either.

First Rule: Eligibility

Sport is for everyone, not the .SPORT. The first rule is as following: “the Registrant must be an individual or a legal entity with a nexus to the .SPORT community at the time of registration and thereafter” (Section 5 of the .SPORT registration policy). At first, registrations are reserved for athletes, clubs, coaches, support staff, events, sponsors or the media. For eligibility purposes, ,SPORT applicants are “required to state the intended use for the registered domain name” (Section 5). The rule of belonging to the .SPORT community is exclusive. In this respect, Section 5 provides that “A false statement of intended use is an indication of bad faith and may be the basis for the suspension of the domain name“. Finally, Section 12.b indicates that the domain name must “be conducive to welfare of the .SPORT community.” Moreover, its use must respect the integrity and values of sport (Section 12.c).

Second Rule: the Choice of the Domain Name

Who can register what? The institutional tree of sport is a very complex one. To avoid errors and conflicts, Section 6 provides: “Name selected by the Registrant must be connected to the Registrant’s name or activities“. And the registry draws the following consequences: names breaking this rule may be suspended or canceled. Some examples :
  • a club can not register a domain name that matches the name of one of its members and vice versa.
  • the names and acronyms of international sports federations (for examples, fifa.sport or fff.sport) can only be allocated to the relevant international federation (Section 6). The same will apply to the names of disciplines (tennis.sport or decathlon.sport), which should be registered in as many languages as necessary and as far as possible (with regard to the technical provisions relating to non-ascii characters).
  • geographical names (paris.sport or tokyo.sport) are reserved for public authorities (municipalities, provincial and governmental bodies). They can delegate the operation to specialized agencies or public-private partnerships.
  • in addition to their civil status names (zinedinezidane.sport, christianoronaldo.sport, usainbolt.sport), athletes can also choose to register a domain name that reflects a commonly used name, or in other words, their nickname (zizou.sport, cr7.sport, lightningbolt.sport). Athletes’ agents and lawyers acting as agents are allowed to proceed with the application for registration, provided that they are duly appointed.
As for generic names other than names of sports, these domain names will be allocated only after the sunrise period, in 2019.

The Sunrise Period

The sunrise period dedicated to ambassadors and pioneers, which began on June 11, 2018, continues until November 6, 2018. Are regarded as “ambassadors” owners of brands wishing to be strongly associated with the .SPORT ecosystem. In particular, the governing bodies of sport, clubs, athletes, cities and broadcasters with a role in the organization, practice or promotion of sport are considered as “pioneers”. Ambassadors and pioneers are icons: at the end of the sunrise period, only 100 domain names might be selected. For example, the Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF), the .SPORT registry, already has a new institutional domain name, gaisf.sport.
From 4 September 2018 (17h00 UTC) to 6 November 2018 (17h00 UTC), the following are eligible for the .SPORT domain names in relation to sports recognized by the GAISF: the federations, their governing bodies, clubs, teams, athletes, sponsors, manufacturers of sports products or facilities, organizers of sports events and the sport media industry. Among the members of GAISF are representatives of the Olympic and non-Olympic sports.

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