I am in Las Vegas this week for a multitude of business reasons, that makes twice this month and I have managed to not become a plot line for The Hangover 4 but more importantly I am happy to say that, although it was a lot of work, the goals for the week will be met. Being in sales and hunting your way into multi-billion dollar corporations is not something that is always easy, but when the hunt comes together it feels great.
All that said, one of the great pleasures I had this week was sitting down for lunch with Dusty Trevino (CFO) and Tyson MacKay (Director of Marketing) from the Dot Vegas team. It was really eye opening to sit down with them and get their insight into launching .Vegas in what I consider the city/region with potentially the most brand recognizable name there is. There are plenty of great cities in the world, I love traveling to many of them, but Vegas, well, it is different when it comes to the brand and what it stands for.
I had reached out to them late last week based on the fact I would be in town and I had been making some investment in .Vegas domain names in the most recent auctions. Really with no agenda other than just to hear more about their plans and how things were going we decided to meet for lunch at the MGM Grand.
I am happy I made that effort. Love or hate new gTLDs, it is hard to argue that names that make sense ending in .Vegas will not be recognizable or memorable for both the locals and visitors. Although any new gTLD will have plenty of marketing to do, understanding where to market is the first step and they understand to have major success they need to focus on the businesses in region, and more importantly cater to those that will grow the brand by developing and creating great things with it. Does that mean missing out on bulk purchases by the domain investment crowd? Sure. But in the long run that means people purchasing these names, for the most part, will be helping to drive value to the new gTLD as their intent will be to build it, which in turns mean show up in search rankings, billboards, business cards, etc. So you may balk at the ~68ish dollar renewal fee, but to me this shows long term plans for the gTLD and not just grabbing easy money. I believe even though the cost may be higher, with less random purchases the renewal rates could be higher.
One interesting thing they talked about was featuring their customers on billboards they have around town, to me that shows that the Dot Vegas team recognizes giving “free” marketing to their customers is a win/win for everyone as at the end of the day promoting sites that use .Vegas actually does more to gain the support from the general consumer than pushing them to nic.Vegas.
Judging .Vegas by the number of registrations they have would be shortsighted, you cannot really compare .Vegas to .Com when it comes to registration numbers. But is that not really the point? The purposeful use of .Vegas has inherent value to it that is obvious in the extension. With the right planning and securing customers that have purpose they will succeed.
There is still a list of 1000 premium names if you are interested, had on over to nic.Vegas to check them out (this is not a paid post or an ad BTW).
Sorry for any typos or ramblings, I have been in Vegas for several days, give me a slight break…