18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
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18.a.1 Mission and Purpose of .SPORT
SportAccord is submitting this application on behalf of a global Sports community to ensure that the .SPORT gTLD shall serve as a trusted and intuitive name space for the global Sports community. The Sport Community is organized primarily through International, Regional and National Sports Federations and their members. All domain names registered within the .SPORT gTLD will be required to comply with the following three policies: Registrant Eligibility (who can register within the .SPORT gTLD); Name Selection Criteria (what domain names can be registered); and Authorized Usage Policy (how the domain names can be used). The umbrella of policies will provide the Sports Federations the confidence that the .SPORT gTLD can be operated on behalf of the global Sports community. The registry will incorporate both active and passive safeguards into its operation to ensure that these registrants continue to abide by the terms and conditions set forth in the registration agreement.
SportAccord is fully committed to operating the .SPORT gTLD in a commercially viable manner, as evidenced by the formal Request for Proposal (RFP) process that it undertook as part of this application process. However, SportAccord is also filing this application for defensive purposes to ensure that a .SPORT gTLD is kept out of the hands of a third party that for commercial reasons may turn a blind eye toward illegal and or inappropriate activity within the gTLD. While SportAccord closely analyzed the objection mechanisms currently incorporated into the Guidebook, it was decided that filing this application was the most prudent course of action in the collective interests of the global Sport community.
18.a.2 SportAccord’s Role and Legacy as a Trustee to the Global Sport Community
SportAccord was originally founded in 1967 when delegates from 26 international sports federations met in Lausanne. The purpose of this meeting was to address the need for permanent liaisons between the IFs, for the defense of their objectives and common goals, the preservation of their autonomy and constant exchange of information. The name “General Assembly of International Sports Federations” was adopted.
In 1976, this name was replaced by “General Association of International Sports Federations” (GAISF). GAISF represented the logical continuation of the past IFs’ meetings, dealing not only with Olympic matters but also with all questions of common interest for the IFs. In 2003, in collaboration with ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations) and AIOWF (Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations), GAISF launched the first SportAccord Convention. The objective was to answer a growing need of the IFs for a “one-stop-shop” where they could all hold their annual meetings, network and share knowledge. In March 2009, GAISF was rebranded SportAccord at the meeting of the 7th SportAccord International Convention in Denver.
Today SportAccord serves as the umbrella organization for all (Olympic and non-Olympic) international sports federations as well as organizers of multi-sports games and sport-related international associations. Currently, SportAccord comprises 90 international sports federations governing specific sports and 15 organizations which conduct activities closely related to the international sports federations. SportAccord has defined conditions for membership which focus on three principles: good governance, universality, and ethics⁄social responsibility.
18.a.3 POTENTIAL BUSINESS MODELS
SportAccord is still analyzing potential use case options on the type of domain names to be permitted to be registered and by whom. This analysis is currently being undertaken by an independent Policy Advisory Board (PAB) supported by SportAccord for the purpose of recommending policy and best practice advice for the .SPORT gTLD and any other sport themed gTLD that may wish to voluntarily adopt its best practices. To date, over fifty International Sport Federations and sport event organizers have formally supported SportAccord’s .SPORT gTLD initiative. Out of these supporters, over twenty have actively engaged in participating in the PAB to help make this initiative beneficial to the global Sport community.
The emerging consensus on potential business models includes the following elements.
First, SportAccord is keenly aware that any new gTLD must have relevant content to achieve recognition and trust. SportAccord has evaluated recent TLD launches and their experience with new paradigms, such as the dotAsia Pioneer program. Recent experience shows that it is critical for relevant content to be available as soon as possible and ideally before any general registration phases. SportAccord would ideally like to launch a series of information portals shortly after delegation. In addition to building awareness and recognition within the community, these portals will also provide appropriate IT staff to test the seamless and secure access of .SPORT domain names.
Second, as noted above, the .SPORT gTLD will incorporate the following minimal safeguards into any business model at the time of launch: Registrant Eligibility; Name Selection Criteria; and Authorized Usage. The current consensus involves the initial reservation of all sport disciplines (basketball, football, ski, cricket, rugby, etc.) and their corresponding acronyms (e.g. FIFA, FIG, FIBA, FIM, etc.) The exact composition of this reserve list will be compiled with the assistance and guidance of the PAB and based on new research to be conducted throughout 2012. There will also be a corresponding policy defining how reserved domain names can be assigned to the appropriate body.
Domain name registration of the .SPORT registry will normally be confined to the second level, though in special cases the .SPORT registry may also handle third-level registrations. Domains at the third level within individual sport specific domain names may be created by the appropriate International Federation who will set their own policies. Registrant Eligibility criteria at the second level within the .SPORT gTLD will be based on recommendations of the PAB acting in consultation with all International Sport Federations. Eligible registrants may include, but are not limited to: clubs, universities, athletes, sponsors, educational bodies, service providers, media, organizers, and fans.
All domain names within the .SPORT name space would be subject to suspension, cancellation or forcible change of administration in case of violation of the terms and conditions set forth in the domain name registration agreement. In addition, the registry will incorporate both active and passive safeguards into its operation to ensure that registrants abide by the terms and conditions and applicable policies.
SportAccord believes that the approach described above can achieve the following goals:
- Provide a trusted and intuitive namespace for the Sport community;
- Facilitate digital communication, from, to and within the Sport community;
- Provide a platform for the development in the digital space of the Sport community;
- Promote the values of sport; and
- Provide a namespace free from illegal gambling, and doping, violence, incitement to hatred and other content incompatible with the values of Sport.
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