Australian Football League to apply for 'Dot AFL' Internet Domain

.brand web addresses set to help improve AFL fans' online experience

17th February 2012

Melbourne, Australia – 17 February 2012 – In a move that reflects the growing importance of digital media, Australia's premier sporting code, the Australian Football League (AFL), today confirmed it will apply for a new 'dot AFL' internet top level domain (TLD).

The new 'dot AFL' top-level domain will provide the AFL with its own branded domain name platform to deliver its broad range of online content to relevant audiences in an intuitive and authoritative manner.

The AFL has selected digital brand services provider, Melbourne IT, to help the AFL develop its business case and application for a top level domain. Also involved in the 'dot AFL' project will be Melbourne based technology provider, ARI Registry Services, who will operate the technology that will support 'dot AFL' on the internet.

The new TLD program is coordinated by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the global governing body for internet addresses. In what will be one of the biggest changes to the internet in its history, the shake-up will see domain names move beyond the increasingly saturated .com space to a large number of brand and generic domains.

A dot AFL domain has the potential to:

  • Make it easier for fans to find relevant online content
  • Improve the protection of AFL, club and player environments online
  • Support the growth of club and AFL media channels
  • Better support the promotion and education for grass roots and community football
  • Simplify marketing call to actions
  • Provide opportunities for sponsors to promote their association with the AFL and clubs

"We are making major investments in the digital media and fan development space and the decision to apply for 'dot AFL' supports this initiative," AFL General Manager of Strategy and Marketing, Andrew Catterall said.

"We have selected Melbourne IT and ARI Registry Services for this project as we think 'dot AFL' could be a key asset to support our major strategies around national expansion, fan development, strengthening the AFL clubs, supporting community participation and growing our presence in digital media. Ultimately, 'dot AFL' will make it easier for our audience to access trusted online content that is endorsed by the AFL brand."

Theo Hnarakis, CEO & Managing Director of Melbourne IT - the company chosen by the AFL to provide domain strategy and application consulting services – said a 'dot AFL' would provide the AFL with greater online brand control and flexibility.

"The AFL is one of Australia's most recognised and respected brands, and a new 'dot AFL' top level domain name would provide the code with greater agility to take advantage of business opportunities online as well as delivering fans the best possible online experience," Mr Hnarakis said.

"When a brand leader like the AFL announces a strategic commercial initiative, the rest of corporate Australia tends to take note – but those companies that haven't already decided to apply will have to move fast if they want to follow in the AFL's footsteps, as new TLD applications close on April 12 and may not open again for several years."

Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services – the technology provider for 'dot AFL' – said the AFL will now have the opportunity to own an authoritative slice of the Internet forever.

"The decision to apply for 'dot AFL' will create a branded corner of the Internet completely dedicated to the AFL, and with the help of ARI Registry Services, they will inherit a core piece of Internet infrastructure that is theirs to do as they choose," Mr Kinderis said.

"ICANN has understandably developed strict technology requirements for this process and ARI Registry Services has the experience and expertise to ensure the success of 'dot AFL' for both the brand and the greater football community. We look forward to supporting the AFL as we have many other household names in this Internet evolution."

The AFL 's decision comes after the three month application window for the new TLDs opened in January, with hundreds of the world's largest brands expected to be among an estimated 1,000 applications submitted by April 12th 2012.

The earliest date that the AFL could discover whether its application has been successful will be late 2012. The first new TLDs are expected to go live on the Internet in 2013, which would be the earliest possible date that web users would see a 'dot AFL' address.

-ENDS-

Media Contact

AFL
James Tonkin
Ph: +61-3-9643-1819
Email: james.tonkin@afl.com.au
www.afl.com.au

ARI Registry Services
Michael Korjen
Ph: +61-3-9866-3710
Email: michael.korjen@ariservices.com
www.ariservices.com

Melbourne IT
Tony Smith / Sarah Tsiros
Ph: +61-7-3230-7525
Email: pr@melbourneit.com.au
www.melbourneit.com.au

About ARI Registry Services

ARI Registry Services (formerly AusRegistry International) is one of the top companies globally with the technology and expertise to activate, implement and manage new Top-Level Domains. Leveraging ten years of experience as a TLD registry operator, ARI Registry Services will provide new Top-Level Domain applicants with the same software and consulting services that currently drive the .au (Australia), the .ae (United Arab Emirates), the .qa (Qatar) and .om (Oman) country codes. Additionally, ARI Registry Services is the first TLD registry to operate non-Latin, country code Top-Level Domains and a global leader in the continued innovation and expansion of the Domain Name System.

Visit www.ariservices.com or find out more about the new Top-Level Domain program here: www.beyonddotcom.info

About Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services

Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services (Melbourne IT DBS) helps organizations manage, protect and optimize their brands online to maximize the value of their online assets. Our expertise helps clients minimize risk and make smarter decisions in managing their online presence. Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Melbourne IT DBS maintains 15 offices in 10 countries. Melbourne IT DBS's 3,500+ clients include some of the world's most recognizable brands. Melbourne IT DBS is a division of the listed Melbourne IT Group (ASX: MLB).

For more information, visit www.melbourneitdbs.com