Partnership with International Rugby Board for .rugby gTLD Application
The Directors of Top Level Domain Holdings Limited (AIM:TLDH.L), the only publicly traded company focused exclusively on acquiring and operating new generic top-level domains (“gTLDs”), are pleased to report that Minds + Machines, the wholly-owned subsidiary of TLDH, has been appointed by the International Rugby Board to provide back-end registry services for its application for the .RUGBY generic top level domain.
The full text of the International Rugby Board’s announcement, issued on 23 April 2012, is set out below:
“International Rugby Board Applies for .rugby Generic Top-Level Domain
The International Rugby Board (IRB) has announced that it is applying to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to acquire the .rugby generic top-level domain (“gTLD”).
The application is being submitted by Rugby’s global governing federation to keep the .rugby domain within Rugby for the benefit of the global Rugby family and uphold and promote Rugby’s values, protecting the sport, its trademarks and the interests of its core stakeholders.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset, said:
With an 18 per cent increase in participation over the last four years we now have more than 5.4 million players participating across 117 countries affiliated to the IRB. Rugby is engaging with more men, women and children than ever before while the profile and commercial reach of the sport continues to go from strength to strength.
This application is for the Rugby family and underscores our continued commitment to protecting and promoting Rugby’s values and ethos. It is our ambition to ensure that the .rugby domain resides within the sport in order that all involved in Rugby can benefit.
The application follows the opening of the application process being conducted by ICANN to expand the availability of domain names to the public sector beyond the current portfolio of 22 domain names (including .com, .net and .org) to include almost any word. This process has been initiated by ICANN as availability reaches capacity within the traditional domains.
The IRB has partnered with ROAR Domains, LLC and Top Level Domain Holdings (AIM:TLDH), the only publicly traded company focused exclusively on acquiring and operating new generic top-level domains. TLDH’s wholly owned registry services company, Minds + Machines, will provide back-end registry services for .rugby.
IRB Acting CEO Robert Brophy added:
If we are successful in our application we propose to work in partnership with our national Unions to make the .rugby domain name available to the global Rugby family at all levels including, players, from amateur to professional, tournament owners, organizers and of course fans.
The IRB in partnership with ROAR Domains, LLC and Top Level Domain Holdings will be able to supply relevant and available domain names for people, entities and organizations with an affinity for Rugby, that do not currently have any particular domain space catering to their specific needs. IRB will provide those users with a trusted and secure domain space that is consistent with industry standard service levels.
Antony Van Couvering, CEO of TLDH, said:
We’re thrilled to be partnering with the IRB on this sporting domain name. This partnership brings the legitimacy and marketing power to a new class of sporting TLDs.
Hamish Miller, Director of ROAR Domains said:
We are excited about the partnership with the IRB and look forward to working closely with them to ensure the proper stewardship of the .RUGBY gTLD.
Rugby is one of the most popular and fastest-growing team sports in the world with more than 5.5 million registered men, women and children actively participating across 117 IRB member countries in six regions affiliated to the IRB.
The international federation for Rugby in all its forms, the IRB is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Driven by the central mission of growing the global Rugby family, the IRB is the global governing and law-making body that runs Rugby World Cup, one of the world’s most successful sporting events, delivers the investment and investment programmes that enable the Game to continue to flourish worldwide. In addition, Rugby Sevens is set to join the Olympic family in 2016 with its inclusion in the Rio Olympic Games.
The success of IRB’s application to ICANN is not guaranteed and it is possible that the IRB may face competition from other entities. However, as a non-profit organisation created for the wellbeing of domain names, ICANN is well placed to assess which applicant would properly represent the domain name and IRB believe that its application is very strong, given it represents the Rugby community worldwide and it is applying for a protective usage of the domain name, versus a purely commercial usage by ensuring that inappropriate users won’t be authorised.
For further information, please contact:
Top Level Domain Holdings Limited
Antony Van Couvering
Tel: +1 917 406 7126
Beaumont Cornish Limited (Nomad)
Tel +44 (0) 20 7628 3396
XCAP Securities plc (Joint Broker)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3216 2661/2667
Daniel Stewart & Company plc (Joint Broker)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7776 6550
gth media relations
Toby Hall/Suzanne Johnson Walsh
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3103 3903/2
About Top Level Domain Holdings Limited
Top Level Domain Holdings is a publicly-traded holding company listed on the London AIM market. The company is focused on the new top-level domain space. Top-level domains, such as .com, run by VeriSign (NASDAQ: VRSN), and .biz, run by NeuStar (NYSE: NSR), are regulated by ICANN. ICANN has announced plans to expand the number of top-level domains. TLDH intends to make targeted investments in this space, focusing on both infrastructure technologies and specific top-level domains.
About Minds + Machines
Minds + Machines is a registry services provider that works internationally with commercial organisations, cities, not-for-profits, and entrepreneurs to secure and operate new web domains, known as top-level domains (TLDs). Minds and Machines Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Top Level Domains Holdings Limited.