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Houston, we have a problem: The Dallas Cowboys "buy" Cowboys.com for $275.00?

Are marketing departments still not tuned into generic domain names as assets?

     
4:01 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm surprised no one has posted about this yet.

Cowboys.com was sold for $275,000 at the recent TRAFFIC auction to a phone-in bidder - an attorney representing the Dallas Cowboys.

Except he thought he was bidding $275.00.

More info here: [dallasnews.com...]

[keep in mind that the Bobcats paid $50k for bobcats.com]

[side note: Compete.com didn't even notice compete.net expired and was picked up at snapnames]

[edited by: Webwork at 1:41 pm (utc) on Oct. 19, 2007]
[edit reason] Updated news story link [/edit]

9:27 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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So funny.
9:39 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Doh! I guess he should have paid attention?
9:47 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



They should still take the name, heck, they're the Dallas Cowboys, first, what's $275k, second, they'll make more than that back from the type in traffic.
10:46 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It is in the silent auction (which confirms the 275k deal fell through) - currently at $407,000.

Oops? :)

11:15 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I guess that attorney is in the unemployment line?

Ouch. In fact, that deserves another OUCH!

1:35 am on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, my # was off.

Still - it was sold:

[dallasnews.com...]

and for more than $275k.

[edited by: Webwork at 1:34 pm (utc) on Oct. 19, 2007]

5:31 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Turns out that after the Cowboys.com domain was returned by the Dallas Cowboys, the domain went to the silent auction at Moniker...and has been bought by a group of investors for $370,000.
6:09 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Every time I read this story I'm just amazed at the stupidity involved. I've re-told it to several coworkers who have never owned a domain in their life and they all respond with "What are they, nuts?!"

Well done, Dallas. I hope the investors who bought it at least hold out for 7 figures. I'd rather see them hold the name indefinitely just to punish whatever (now hopefully unemployed) suit at the Cowboys let this one go.

6:17 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Why would it be worth a million buck for them to own "cowboys.com" anyway? They already have "dallascowboys.com", which is their actual name and the domain they'd probably keep their web presence on.

Yeah, I know. I just don't "get it".

6:38 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



What if the "Dallas" Cowboys decided to push on the cowboys side of the brand?

Sure, DallasCowboys is a heckuva brand, but then there's those highs and lows in the competitive market of football.

Is cowboys - as in DallasCowboys - loosing something along the way - something the Marlboro Man manages to hold onto despite years of bad news?

Are "the cowboys" just too hip and brand myopic to be big enough to also be just plain old, good old boy cowboys?

Are "the Cowboys" giving up something up along the way that, in retrospect, they may wish they held onto - for a day when they're just another major media market football team?

Tough one to call but my call is "fumble".

The DC could have had the best of both worlds. Use DallasCowboys to push the franchise brand and use Cowboys.com to draw in a wider audience, hold onto a bit of folklore roots, and cross-market between both DallasCowboys.com and Cowboys.com.

There's still a place for a certain real world and folkloric cowboy. The Dallas Cowboys just showed him the door.

[edited by: Webwork at 6:42 pm (utc) on Oct. 19, 2007]

6:39 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Because many go to Cowboys.com.

That is what I thought was their domain (before hearing all this). All of the sports teams I know own their NAME.com - remember how the Bobcats paid $50k just a few months ago for Bobcats.com?

Branding is about mindshare - and if I go to cowboys.com and don't get the Dallas Cowboys, their brand is being diluted that way.

6:54 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



their brand is being diluted that way

I've been a bit of a fan of the Dallas Cowboys for years and I can't say that to my mind the existence of Cowboys.com dilutes their brand in any way. In fact, I think it's the other way around. I think that at one point in time "cowboy" was the builder of brand in their brand image. However, as Dallas built its glass towers and grew gentrified it was the J.R. Ewing version of "country" - and not dust, well worn leather and a man alone on the range - that supplanted the "cowboy" in DallasCowboys.

The Dallas Cowboys are about as cowboy as the Greenbay Packers are meat packers.

Rather than dilute their brand I say the Dallas Cowboys could have benefited from an injection of "cowboy aura" back into their brand.

But, then again, I own and drive a beat up 1987 Ford pickup truck so maybe I'm not with the times. My guess is that Lexus is the new Cowboy's brand. ;-P

9:39 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think the Dallas Cowboys will have the last laugh when they get it from ICANN for free.

The only reason I could see someone justifying paying 325K for it is if they plan on the type in traffic to sell football related stuff, and the Dallas Cowboys would then have a valid complaint.

William.

9:49 pm on Oct 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The only reason I could see someone justifying paying 325K for it is if they plan on the type in traffic to sell football related stuff

You haven't looked into the western merchandise market, then, which would include horse & tack. Some of those etailers are making hundreds of thousands of dollars a month.

The investors who bought it for $370,000 are getting an incredible deal on that domain name.

12:08 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



>> The only reason I could see someone justifying paying 325K for it is if they plan on the type in traffic to sell football related stuff, and the Dallas Cowboys would then have a valid complaint. <<

Having held and then dropped the domain (and the ball by the look of things) I would think that at that point any complaint they had, would then be a lot less valid than it was before.

1:11 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think the Dallas Cowboys will have the last laugh when they get it from ICANN for free.

Not when, but if. And it'll cost them at least $1,200, not inclusive of attorney
fees, with no guarantess of getting what they want.

It won't be surprising if they eventually opt for that option.

David

1:20 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Excuse me, but the NFL does not make the rules outside of the sport. Using the name Cowboys should be allowable to most anyone. It's a common noun.
1:39 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I was thinking about this today. I wonder what legal repercussions, if any, the second place bidder of the initial auction could have against the Dallas Cowboys or their attorney? It was their mistake that caused him to lose the domain or end up paying close to an extra $100,000 for it.

Hmm...

2:17 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator webwork is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Interesting question.

I wonder if the "losing bidder" was given the option to match the withdrawn bid, before the domain was assigned to the silent auction?

Anyone know if there were written rules for this auction? If so, do they say anything about what follows upon a default by the highest bidder?

2:34 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I think the Dallas Cowboys will have the last laugh when they get it from ICANN for free.

Given the situation I think the Dallas Cowboys organization would probably lose and may even be found guilty of attempting reverse domain hijacking.

2:45 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Given the situation I think the Dallas Cowboys organization would probably lose and may even be found guilty of attempting reverse domain hijacking.

Plus two other factors:

1) They HAD it but then decided that THEY didn't want it. I think that if you have a domain but let it go, either though a drop, sale, or retracted bid, you lose all rights to suing though ICANN to get it by copyright infringement etc..

2) It is a generic keyword and it looks like the winning bidder is going to keep it as the way it was before (very smart move!). Talk about tons of free advertising right now. I may go there just go get some boots. :D

5:25 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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That's the thing about dabbling in high $$ domains - you MUST be ready to pull the trigger. You can't be indecisive or need to go thru 20 layers of approval - you start playing in this space and things can start moving quickly
6:28 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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dropped three zeroes?

i think the guy running the popcorn stand would have had more on the ball. he makes his money a buck at a time.

7:50 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



There's no way he was registered for that auction without looking around and knowing the names sell in the thousands, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands. Someone did some serious backpedaling. Lawyers lie too you know - all the time actually if they have to.

Good for the investment group.
They'll make their money back by the end of the decade I suspect.

11:07 am on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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One more thought, doesn't this now set precedent for backing out of any TRAFFIC auction? If you have remorse afterwards just say you didn't see the extra zeros. If they go to court, show how they let a multi-million dollar franchise off the hook?

I wonder if they offered the domain name to the next lowest bidder before auctioning it again?

1:53 pm on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>> What if the "Dallas" Cowboys decided to push on the cowboys side of the brand?

And what if the "Dallas" Cowboys move to Vegas?

2:38 pm on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

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And what if the "Dallas" Cowboys move to Vegas?

I think the Earth will collide with the Sun before that happens :)

On Sunday the Cowboys/Patriots game drew 29.1 million viewers. That is the highest number of regular season viewers since 1996, when the Cowboys/49'ers drew 29.7 million viewers.

I am sure Jerry Jones is quite happy where he is :)

8:47 pm on Oct 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator rogerd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Considering the total revenues involved in a major NFL team, they should have hung onto the domain for the $275K.

In this case, I don't think the fact that they had it and dropped it due to a price misunderstanding would prejudice any ICANN case. They could argue that they would have bought it for $275 to avoid legal costs and delays, but were unwilling to pay $275,000 for that privilege. The generic nature of the domain name is a much bigger obstacle, IMO, and one that would be hard to overcome.

2:16 am on Oct 22, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Speaking from experience (having sold a very similar domain via someones rep attorney) cowboys is DEFINITELY too generic a term and there is no way ICAAN would even THINK of awarding it as squatting even without a convincing website attached. Throw in the fact that they have owned it since 1995, have it trademarked and have an LLC with the name, D.C. has no more right to it than they do. [right now thinking about buying all the domains: houstoncowboys, lasvegascowboys, sanfranciscocowboys, losangelescowboys.... oops, that last post was over 10 minutes old, someone else already probably beat me to it! :-)]
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