18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.aflAustralian Football LeagueView

18(B)I. WHAT IS THE GOAL OF YOUR PROPOSED gTLD IN TERMS OF AREAS OF SPECIALTY, SERVICE LEVELS OR REPUTATION?

The key goals of the proposed new .afl gTLD are in line with ICANN’s Affirmation of Commitments: to promote consumer trust, competition and consumer choice. The AFL also seeks to foster its online reputation and provide an authoritative internet space through which the AFL is able to communicate with its participants, fans and customers directly and effectively. The new .afl gTLD will strengthen the AFL’s reputation and offer greater interaction to AFL club members by allowing them to potentially have their own personalised domain names, endorse authentic club and player domains and establish partner specific sites. The ability to create domain names on demand related to specific promotions, specialty service and game development supports these goals. Strengthened security measures, service levels and more effective functionality will provide a trusted and positive user experience.


18(B)II. WHAT DO YOU ANTICIPATE YOUR PROPOSED gTLD WILL ADD TO THE CURRENT SPACE, IN TERMS OF COMPETITION, DIFFERENTIATION, OR INNOVATION?

It is anticipated that the proposed .afl gTLD will make positive contributions to the wider internet community by providing:


DIFFERENTIATION (INCREASED TRUST):

The .afl gTLD will simplify how internet users interact with the AFL by providing a distinctive domain space. Internet users will be able to directly navigate to the .afl gTLD site, saving time and resources searching for an official site. The current domain name system has shown that it is vulnerable to malicious abuses due to registration of domain names which seek to exploit consumer confusion. The AFL can address some of these vulnerabilities by maintaining complete control over the domain names registered under the .afl domain space. The new .afl gTLD will allow the AFL to establish authentic player, club and retail domain names, which will create trust and certainty with fans and consumers knowing that they are using an authorised AFL website. Together with consumer trust, internet users will be able to rely on the authoritativeness of the domain names under the .afl domain space, which will differentiate interaction between internet users and the AFL.


COMPETITION:

The differentiation of .afl gTLD as a trusted site for the AFL will drive existing and new TLD registry operators to make improvements in mechanisms to improve consumer trust of their TLDs. Internet users will be encouraged to interact with domain names under the .afl domain space. As a result, .afl will have a flow on effect to enable increased competition. Therefore, the benefits of the proposed .afl will be distributed not only to its direct customers, but to the internet community at large forcing improved services and competitive pricing in the market place.


INNOVATION:

With the expansion of the internet community, the existing TLD structure presents limitations, not only in the availability of domain names for registrants, but also to businesses and organisations establishing a coherent online brand presence to meet their evolving business needs. It is often difficult to register a domain name in existing domain space due to unavailability of the desired name. This has been an issue for the AFL with participating clubs unable to register their preferred domain names and opportunistic individuals creating unauthorised player domain names, resulting in a confusing landscape for users. Even when the desired domain name is available, it may come with a high price tag associated with a purchase of such desired name from a third party. The new .afl gTLD will allow the AFL to take complete control of its online space and create authentic second or third level domain names, including the use of geographic names, on demand which are relevant to its players, clubs, fans, participants, customers, products and services. This will allow the AFL to constantly innovate and develop its online, mobile and digital media content under the .afl domain space. The AFL will be able to combine its use of the domain space with innovative user focused marketing and services to address the currently unmet needs in the existing domain name system providing greater consumer choice.


18(B)III. WHAT GOALS DOES YOUR PROPOSED gTLD HAVE IN TERMS OF USER EXPERIENCE?

The proposed .afl will provide a positive user experience, which meets the changing and growing needs of the global internet community. The AFL will maintain control in the registration and use of domain names and will ensure that the new gTLD will only be used for purposes authorised by the AFL. Therefore, .afl gTLD will:

- strengthen the AFL’s brand reputation and user confidence by eliminating user confusion;

- represent authenticity thus promoting user confidence and certainty;

- create greater interaction with, and connection to, the sport for club members, fans and participants;

- create and endorse authentic player domain names;

- establish official domain names for participating clubs with their desired name, as well as potentially for community football clubs around Australia;

- establish authorised retail and partner websites, creating certainty for consumers;

- provide an easy and intuitive reference and access point with easier navigation for internet users;

- direct internet users to relevant information in a timely manner by creating domain names on demand;

- use geographic names to localise its websites to connect with internet users in the relevant regions and to comply with local laws;

- enhance security and minimise security risks by implementing necessary technical and policy measures; and

- prevent potential abuses in the registration process reducing overall costs to businesses and users.


.afl should address the concerns that the current domain name system is open to potential malicious abuse and user confusion in the registration processes. Although the current system allows an eligible party to lodge a claim through existing Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) or other dispute resolution processes, the .afl gTLD will reduce potential abuses in the registration processes and overall costs to internet users. User confidence in the domain name system will be strengthened, which will ultimately contribute towards promoting ICANN’s core values in benefiting the public interest.


18(B)IV. PROVIDE A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF THE APPLICANTʹS INTENDED REGISTRATION POLICIES IN SUPPORT OF THE GOALS LISTED ABOVE

The proposed registration policy is attached in response to Question 28.

Only affiliate entities of the AFL will be eligible to register domain names in .afl at this stage. The domain name registration processes will address the requirements mandated by ICANN, including rights abuse prevention measures.


18(B)V. WILL YOUR PROPOSED gTLD IMPOSE ANY MEASURES FOR PROTECTING THE PRIVACY OR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION OF REGISTRANTS OR USERS? IF SO, PLEASE DESCRIBE ANY SUCH MEASURES.

The AFL is committed to protection of privacy and confidential information in accordance with its objective of increasing consumer trust and providing a safe and legitimate internet space for internet users. Privacy and confidential information will be protected in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations relating to internet security, privacy and user’s confidential information, including the Privacy Act 1998 (Australia) and the National Privacy Principles (Australia).

The AFL also has implemented its own privacy policy to demonstrate its commitment to the protection of user privacy and confidential information. The AFL understands individuals’ concerns regarding confidentiality and takes its obligations seriously to protect the privacy of all personal information it gathers. As part of its operations and game development activities, the AFL from time to time gathers information from customers, suppliers and other parties. The AFL’s Privacy Policy provides that the AFL will only collect and store personal information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1998 (Australia) and National Privacy Principles (Australia) and will only disclose personal information to third parties if:

- that disclosure is required to give effect to the purposes for which the AFL collected the information, for example to provide a customer with the requested product or service;

- the customer has consented to that disclosure for direct marketing or other purposes;

- the AFL believes that the disclosure may lessen a risk of harm to the health or safety of any person;

- the AFL believes an unlawful activity is being undertaken and the personal information is disclosed as part of the AFL’s investigation into this activity;

- the AFL is required by law to disclose the personal information; or

- the disclosure is required for the enforcement of a criminal law or a law imposing a pecuniary penalty.


As the .afl gTLD will only be available to affiliate entities of the AFL, initially, the amount of personal data that will be collected for the purposes of operating the gTLD and made publicly available in the WHOIS database will be very limited. AFL will provide a publicly available and searchable WHOIS look up facility, where information about the domain name status, registrant information including administrative and technical contact details can be found in accordance with Specification 4 of the Registry Agreement. In order to prevent misuse of the WHOIS look up facility, AFL will utilise measures including a requirement where any person submitting a WHOIS database query is required to read and agree to the terms and conditions in accordance with the registration policy. This will include the terms of use that the WHOIS database is provided for information purposes only and that the user agrees not to use the information for any other purposes such as allowing or enabling the transmission of unsolicited commercial advertising or other communication.

The AFL will deploy Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) which is intended to benefit both the AFL and its users interacting with the AFL online. DNSSEC provides additional security by validating information in the transmission, therefore it is intended to benefit those who publish information in the domain name system (DNS) and the users who retrieve information from the new .afl gTLD. The AFL already implements measures to protect privacy or confidential information of its users against misuse, loss, alteration and unauthorised access. Such measures include the use of data encryption, password protection and secure servers.

The AFL will continue to apply all security measures currently implemented and will comply with all other policies and practices required by ICANN in the Registry Agreement and any relevant Consensus Policy for protecting the privacy and confidential information of registrants and users in the new .afl domain space.


18(B)VI. DESCRIBE WHETHER AND IN WHAT WAYS OUTREACH AND COMMUNICATIONS WILL HELP TO ACHIEVE YOUR PROJECTED BENEFITS.

The proposed new .afl gTLD will be publicised by a media plan to promote recognition of the gTLD within the internet community to be a trusted site and as a sign of authenticity.
The AFL has at its disposal a wide range of mediums in which to promote the new .afl gTLD. It is anticipated that awareness of and confidence in the new .afl gTLD will be created over time, however the resources used will include a social media campaign via the:

- existing AFL website;

- websites of all 18 AFL clubs;

- AFL’s and AFL club’s Facebook pages; and

- official twitter accounts operated by the AFL and its clubs.


The campaign to promote the .afl domain space to AFL fans, members and participants will also take place outside of electronic⁄digital media. The AFL has a weekly periodical published from February to September each year in which it will draw attention to the new .afl gTLD. This publication is sold at all AFL matches, enabling the AFL to directly reach its target market.

The AFL will also use its partnerships with radio and television broadcasters. Under the broadcast agreement with its free to air and pay television partners, the AFL has an allocation of contra advertising that it can use to promote initiatives such as the new gTLD. As part of the AFL’s use of this contra advertising, the AFL URL is consistently part of messages. The AFL will also use its allocation on contra advertising with its nine radio broadcast partners to promote and draw attention to the new gTLD, advertising and promotion that will span Australia.

Outside of traditional adverting and promotion, the AFL has approximately 1,500 accredited media and has News Ltd as one of its corporate partners, the owner and operator of many of the newspapers around Australia. The AFL would use its links to such media to further spread the message to its customers.

As a result of having so many accredited media, the focus on the AFL organisation is intense, presenting an opportunity to establish awareness of the new .afl gTLD by involving media from diverse range of outlets and displaying the new gTLD on media backdrops at every opportunity.

With access to a vast range of media outlets, both traditional and new media, the opportunities for the AFL to reach its consumers and develop awareness of the gTLD will greatly assist in developing consumer awareness, trust and confidence in the new .afl gTLD, allowing the AFL to achieve its expected benefits.

During the initial stage of the operation of the proposed new gTLD, it is anticipated that internet users will be re-directed to current websites. However, over time, it is foreseen that communication to the internet community of the existence of the proposed new gTLD and encouragement to utilise the trusted site will contribute towards minimising malicious abuses and protecting internet users.

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