Do Sports Teams Get Domain Names? | DomainInvesting.com
101 Domain

Do Sports Teams Get Domain Names?

6

NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL

I want to examine whether American professional sports teams seem to value generic domain names for their websites. Surprisingly, there are a whole host of sports teams that do not own the exact keyword .com domain name of their brand, even though they are losing a considerable amount of traffic as a result. I searched NHL, NBA, MLB, and NFL team websites, and I found that National Basketball Association teams own the most team name.com domain names, and National Hockey League teams owns the least.

Since most sports team names are very generic, they are expensive to acquire. However, losing ticket sales and team memorabilia/collectibles revenue (or having to pay a commission for them) should be incentive enough to spend the money to buy these domain names, as evidenced by the purchase of Bobcats.com by the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats last year.

By nature, American Internet users seem to default to the .com domain name when looking for a specific brand, and that holds true for sports teams. This can be witnessed by examining the public stats of generic sports domain names during the season. For example, Dolphins.com seems to spike at the beginning of the football season and then in the middle, even though the Miami Dolphins didn’t own the domain name until a recent UDRP filing that was Suspended.

It’s interesting to note that it doesn’t appear that the league or team values have anything to do with the acquisition of generic .com domain names. The Dallas Cowboys are one of the three most valuable American professional sports franchises. Yet they weren’t willing to pay $275,000 for their generic .com domain name when it was up for auction (which is a story in and of itself).

According to reports in Forbes Magazine, the approximate combined value of teams in each league were: NFL: $30.6 billion, MLB: $14.5 billion, NBA: $11.4 billion,  and NHL: $6.6 billion. This doesn’t parallel the % of teams that own their own .com domain name, although the least valuable league does own the least amount of .com domain names.

Percentage of teams that own their .com team name:
NBA: 76.7%
MLB: 73.3%
NFL: 53.1%
NHL: 26.7%

National Hockey League Teams – Do they own team name .com?
Buffalo Sabres Yes
Carolina Hurricanes No
Colorado Avalanche No
Columbus Blue Jackets No
Dallas Stars No
Detroit Red Wings No
Edmonton Oilers No
Florida Panthers No
Los Angeles Kings No
Minnesota Wild Yes
Montreal Canadiens Yes
Nashville Predators No
New Jersey Devils No
New York Islanders No
New York Rangers No
Ottawa Senators Yes
Philadelphia Flyers No
Phoenix Coyotes No
Pittsburgh Penguins No
San Jose Sharks No
St. Louis Blues No
Tampa Bay Lightning No
Toronto Maple Leafs Yes
Vancouver Canucks Yes
Washington Capitals No

National Basketball League Teams – Do they own team name .com?
Atlanta Hawks Yes
Boston Celtics Yes
Charlotte Bobcats Yes
Chicago Bulls Yes
Cleveland Cavaliers No
Dallas Mavericks No
Denver Nuggets Yes
Detroit Pistons Yes
Golden State Warriors Yes
Houston Rockets Yes
Indians Pacers Yes
LA Clippers Yes
LA Lakers Yes
Memphis Grizzlies Yes
Miami Heat Yes
Milwaukee Bucks Yes
Minnesota Timberwolves Yes
New Jersey Nets No
New Orleans Hornets Yes
New York Knicks Yes
Oklahoma City Thunder No
Orlando Magic No
Philadelphia 76ers Yes
Phoenix Suns Yes
Portland Trail Blazers Yes
Sacramento Kings Yes
San Antonio Spurs Yes
Toronto Raptors Yes
Utah Jazz No
Washington Wizards No

National Football League Teams – Do they own team name .com?
Arizona Cardinals No
Atlanta Falcons No
Baltimore Ravens No
Buffalo Bills No
Carolina Panthers Yes
Chicago Bears No
Cincinnati Bengals Yes
Cleveland Browns No
Dallas Cowboys No
Denver Broncos No
Detroit Lions No
Green Bay Packers Yes
Houston Texans No
Indianapolis Colts Yes
Jacksonville Jaguars Yes
Kansas City Chiefs No
Miami Dolphins Yes
Minnesota Vikings Yes
New England Patriots Yes
New Orleans Saints No
New York Giants Yes
New York Jets No
Oakland Raiders Yes
Philadelphia Eagles No
Pittsburgh Steelers Yes
San Diego Chargers Yes
San Francisco 49ers Yes
Seattle Seahawks Yes
St Louis Rams Yes
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Yes
Tennessee Titans No
Washington Redskins Yes

Major League Baseball Teams – Do they own team name .com?
Arizona Diamondbacks Yes
Atlanta Braves Yes
Baltimore Orioles Yes
Boston Red Sox Yes
Chicago Cubs Yes
Chicago White Sox Yes
Cincinnati Reds Yes
Cleveland Indians Yes
Colorado Rockies No
Detroit Tigers Yes
Florida Marlins Yes
Houston Astros Yes
Kansas City Royals Yes
Los Angeles Angels No
Los Angeles Dodgers Yes
Milwaukee Brewers Yes
Minnesota Twins No
New York Mets Yes
New York Yankees Yes
Oakland Athletics No
Philadelphia Phillies Yes
Pittsburgh Pirates Yes
San Diego Padres Yes
San Francisco Giants No
Seattle Mariners Yes
St. Louis Cardinals No
Tampa Bay Rays No
Texas Rangers No
Toronto Blue Jays Yes
Washington Nationals Yes


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (6)

    M. Menius

    Great research, and very interesting. When you consider the Forbes team values, it seems imperative that teams would go for their name in .com. The long term investment justification is most certainly there. A single player’s one year salary, even on the low end of the pay scale, would probably be enough to acquire the team’s name.

    Remember the Cowboys.com auction from 2 years go when the Dallas Cowboys thought they were acquiring the domain for something like $265? And when they realized the bidding was in the $XXX,XXX range they withdrew.

    Little did they know what an incredible opportunity they were throwing away in that one moment.

    August 7th, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Geoffrey

    Aside from generic team name domain.. they don’t own the category terms like baseball.com

    August 7th, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Inklink

    Interesting stuff. Just wondering why you left out half the teams in the NHL though? You put down only 15 teams (all Eastern conference) and no Western conference teams.

    Also, personally, I think when someone’s typing in a team domain, I think they’d type in the city name as well. So if I wanted to look up the New York Islanders, I would probably enter “newyorkislanders.com” over just “islanders.com”.

    Nice work though.

    August 8th, 2009 at 12:10 am

      Elliot

      @ Inklink
      Must have been cut out when pasting… my bad…

      Now fixed – thanks :)

      August 8th, 2009 at 12:11 am

    jc

    the utah jazz are actually at: http://www.utahjazz.com – if you were inferring that the league owns the domain rather than the team then you are correct.

    August 11th, 2009 at 11:56 am

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