Domains such as essendon.afl, operahouse.sydney and mcg.melbourne could exist next year after revelations that both the Victorian and New South Wales governments, and the AFL have made bids to have their own top-level domain.
The move has been made possible after ICANN – the body that manages domains – loosen restrictions on creating top-level domains. Previously, it had to be industry-backed or within the generic .com, .net, .org or .info; but now, anyone can actually create their own. The more famous one is the porn industry’s .xxx domain, even though many people in that industry cried in outrage as it could make it easier to block their content.
Currently, new TLD applications end on April 12 – so there has been a rush to get their bids in now.
According to The Australian, the AFL’s bid is being managed by Melbourne IT. Both Victoria and New South Wales will announce their contractors soon, but The Australian hints that they already have made their choices. In addition, the governments are also looking to get .vic and .nsw.
.melbourne and .sydney joins the other long list of major cities to get their own TLD – such as Paris, Berlin, London and New York. However, the AFL is looking to push their brand and abandon .com or possibly even .au.
“We can see clear opportunities in the marketing and commercial space but we don’t know which of these will work,” Andrew Catteral, AFL’s GM of strategy and marketing, told the paper.
We’ll know by the end of the year if any of these three have been successful.