18(a) Describe the mission/purpose of your proposed gTLD
|gTLD||Full Legal Name||Detail|
|.tires||Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC||View|
THE MISSION AND PURPOSE OF THE NEW RESTRICTED .TIRES gTLD IS TO BENEFIT INTERNET USERS BY ENSURING INCREASED TRUST, CONVENIENCE, SPEED OF SERVICE AND UTILITY.
The .tires gTLD will create a new generation gTLD serving the interests of end users by providing an authoritative Internet space where information regarding Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC (BATO), its Bridgestone and Firestone tires brands, maintenance information & services will be closely controlled by BATO. The majority of the anticipated domain name registrations in the .tires gTLD will be used in the promotion and communication of the Bridgestone and Firestone brands & as a resource to consumers looking to purchase tires. A subset of domain names has the potential to be created and used for specific geographically tailored information and extensive educational purposes, with internet users assured of brand authenticity. BATO has its roots in the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company (Firestone), founded in 1900 and a world leader in tires by 1920 and the Bridgestone Tire Company Ltd (later renamed Bridgestone Corporation) (Bridgestone) that was established in Japan in 1931. In 1988, Bridgestone purchased Firestone for USD 2.6 billion, thus becoming the world’s largest tire and rubber company. Bridgestone does business in the Americas via a holding company structure in which Bridgestone Americas Inc. (BSAM) owns several operating units, and subsidiaries, including BATO. The Latin American tire operations, the US and Canadian consumer tire business, the US and Canadian commercial tire business and Bridgestone Retail Operations LLC, which operates the largest network of company-owned automotive service providers in the world, operate under BATO. BSAM has 55 production facilities and over 50,000 employees. Bridgestone is the world’s largest tire company (listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange) & has been a world leader in tires for over 20 years with net sales of over USD 35 million (as at 31 December 2010). Given its market leading position & strong reputation in the tire industry a dedicated .tires gTLD will offer a trusted domain space for consumers looking for information & services regarding Bridgestone and Firestone tires. BATO sells more than 8,000 different types & sizes of tires, conducts extensive research, design, develops, manufactures & markets tires for almost every kind of vehicle. The majority of the BSAM facilities are ISO 14001 certified, which is the international standard for environmental management systems. Bridgestone has also won the “2012 Tire Technology of the Year Award” for its Contact Area Information Sensing Technology & both the Bridgestone brand and the Firestone brand have a long tradition of high-profile sports sponsorships tied to motion racing. In this regard, consumer trust & continuous innovation are paramount considerations in all its activities. Since the inception of the current domain name system, business activities conducted on the internet are constantly changing & evolving with increased complexity. The volume of commercial transactions over the internet is constantly growing and bringing benefits of simplicity and lowered transaction costs to businesses and consumers. However, at the same time, criminal activities over the internet including data breach, hacking and phishing activities have also become more sophisticated resulting in loss of consumer confidence beyond mere monetary harm. The .tires gTLD will facilitate greater trust and assurance from internet users connecting with the Bridgestone and Firestone brands online, whilst still allowing convenient and efficient interaction.
BATO’s mission and purpose of the proposed .tires gTLD share ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest. BATO is committed to contribute towards achieving such initiatives in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments, which includes:
- consumer trust: the .tires gTLD registry will be operated in a centralised manner with a restrictive registration policy. Registration of domain names will only be available to BATO, at this stage, which will provide added consumer trust that .tires domain names are trustworthy. As .tires domain names are subject to registration standards, policies and procedures under BATO’s control, this eliminates the possibility of malicious conduct within the .tires domain space;
- competition: the proposed new gTLD is not intended to instigate competition and consumer choice at the level of registration of domain names among prospective registrants. Instead it is anticipated to contribute to ICANN’s initiatives to promote public interest through its operation focused on promoting consumer trust. Increased trust in the .tires gTLD will drive existing and new top level domain (TLD) registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs; and
- consumer choice: the proposed new gTLD will enable user-driven improvements and innovations assisting BATO’s marketing efforts through its ability to create new second and third level domain names on demand. These names will provide the consumers with more choices for interacting with BATO. As BATO has effective control over the registration and use of domain names under .tires domain space, this will also contribute towards general service innovations on the internet.
Given the restricted nature of the .tires gTLD, the projected number of registration is likely to be limited. It is anticipated that about 150 domain names will be registered in the first year. However, over the next few years, the number of registrations is likely to increase to up to 800 domain names as BATO develops and implements new services and marketing campaigns. As the new .tires gTLD expands and evolves, BATO may consider offering the use of second level domain names to its resellers at a later date. In this endeavour, BATO will continue to comply with all operational, technical and policy requirements, as well as maintaining consumer trust and the stability of the internet. BATO will keep ICANN reasonably informed of any material developments relating to .tires gTLD including compliance with the continued operations instrument obligations as set out in Specification 8 of the Registry Agreement. BATO intends to create relevant domain names for use including tire brands, products, services or geographic names in the second or third level domain names. In accordance with registration policy and the proposed measures for protection of geographic names as outlined in response to Question 22, BATO will use geographic names to localise its websites in the countries relevant to its operations.
The use of geographic names is intended to:
- connect internet users with relevant information as applicable to the territory;
- tailor customer experience to specific geographical areas; and
- comply with required rules and regulations in the national territory.
BATO does not intend to utilise Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs) at the second level initially. However, as the use of the .tires gTLD evolves, BATO may utilise IDNs within the .tires domain space to allow internet users to engage with .tires in their native language, creating a more positive user experience and encouraging diversity. BATO has existing domain names including the word ‘tire’ in the bridgestonetire.com and tiresafety.com gTLDs. BATO believes that the .tires gTLD is unlikely to cause confusion with either a generic term or any existing TLDs. Bridgestone is the world’s largest tire and rubber company, with net sales of over USD 35 million (as at 31 December 2010). In Latin America BATO has the largest number of points of sale of any tire manufacturer in the region with nearly 2,200 locations. The Bridgestone and Firestone brands have a strong reputation in countries worldwide and BATO has been a leading tire manufacturer in the Americas and actively sponsoring several main sporting events in the region for years.
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