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The Head of Digital Services of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) tells iSportconnect about the significance of domain names and how they can convey authenticity, acceptance and trust.

Because internet content is so incredibly plentiful and the amount keeps growing by the second, there is sometimes a perception that the online universe is infinite. But that’s not quite the case. Looking at website domains, for example, the same old laws of supply and demand apply – and the supply of domain names is not inexhaustible.

Basically, until six years ago, you could only get .com.org and a few other extensions, or a .country designation.

“There was a growing problem – scarcity of websites,” said Pierre Germeau, Head of Digital Services of the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF). “Many domains belonged to squatters seeking to sell the names at a profit.”

“I became especially aware of the problem when I was working for the Alinghi sailing group that won the America’s Cup. I was building the website and was faced with choosing a domain name, and none of the options — .com or .org or .ch— really fitted our identity.”

With the problem becoming more evident, ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) decided to open up new names. Hein Verbruggen, the President of GAISF at that time, was convinced that the organisation should own the .sport domain.

The view was this would be the way to ensure consistency and trust and avoid speculators pouncing on names. It took time but now GAISF is the owner of .sport.

“We are creating an ecosystem,” said Germeau, who will be explaining the importance of this development to the sport’s world during THE SPOT. “The watchwords are authenticity, acceptance and trust.”

The first .sport domain names were launched mid-2018 and to date, more than 60 Olympic and non-Olympic international federations have acquired domain names showcasing their sports, as well as a growing number of other key stakeholders of the sport community.

By Jay Stuart, Editor at iSportconnect

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