It’s the game they play in heaven. And now rugby union has another home via its own new gTLD – .rugby – through its global governing body World Rugby.
The international federation move to World.Rugby as part of the digital re-brand in 2018 and the .rugby domain name will also be available to unions, regional associations and key stakeholders. The backend registry provider is CentralNic.
The new generic top level domain name has been secured by World Rugby for the benefit of the global rugby community and opens the door to a single global digital identity that will link every member of the rugby family in a united and customised space on the Internet.
World Rugby is among the very few international federations to have sought and successfully secured their own gTLD named after its sport. As a result, World Rugby is now in a position to provide key stakeholders and fans with a trusted domain space that will deliver multiple benefits for the sport.
With competition for a share of digital space, and the youth audience being increasingly competitive, .rugby will play a major role in boosting search engine optimisation for rugby. In emerging markets, .rugby will help in building communities and strengthening tribal affiliation with the sport through a common global digital identity.
World Rugby obtained .rugby with a view to:
- Accelerating the promotion of rugby in emerging markets and stakeholder brands in a controlled environment
- Promoting the sport and unifying the global community online under a common identity
- Making sure the rights of privileged rugby stakeholders are preserved
- Linking all participants via a specific identity and creating a recognisable digital space for all rugby-related activities online.
Making the announcement, World Rugby Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “This is an exciting moment for a growing, global sport. The .rugby domain defines the sport and will build a truly global community with one identity. Ensuring that .rugby was kept within the sport for the benefit of global rugby is in line with our strategic mission to protect and promote the sport, uniting the community and furthering our audience reach.”
The process to obtain the .rugby domain began in 2012, when World Rugby partnered with Roar Domains, a US-based company. World Rugby and Roar Domains were successful in winning the rights following an extensive process backed by all national member unions, national bodies and fans around the world.
Roar Founder and Chairman Ryan Nelson said: “Roar commends World Rugby’s commitment in building a global digital brand for its sport. There is no better brand than the name of the sport itself. Roar looks forward to working with World Rugby to launch the .rugby name for the benefit of unions, clubs, players and fans around the world.”
World Rugby believes the global rugby community will embrace .rugby and is offering priority access to domain names to its six regional associations, 121 national member unions and key stakeholders. The general public will have the chance to use the trusted and secure domain later in 2018.
World Rugby will be moving all its digital platforms to .rugby over time and will work with Roar to offer guidance and support to unions who wish to implement .rugby.