Chicago Olympics committee wants to get Chicago2016.com.
The Olympic focus right now may be in Beijing for the summer Olympics, but there’s already an Olympic battle in Chicago.
Chicago is in the running for the 2016 Olympics and the Chicago 2016’s
United States Olympic Committee (USOC) uses Chicago2016.org as its web site. It wants to get Chicago2016.com and has filed for arbitration with World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to get the domain name.
This will be an interesting case. On the surface, Chicago2016.com is a generic domain name. But it was registered on August 8, 2004, just four days before Chicago2016.org was registered. Presumably the date shows that the registrant had knowledge that Chicago was gunning for the 2016 Olympics (perhaps it has already been announced).
But the current owner hasn’t done anything with the domain name to make money from it. The registrar Register.com is showing ads on it that include “olympics”, but the domain owner has no control over these ads and isn’t profiting from them.
Regardless of the outcome, there’s a lesson here for all organizations, non-profit or for-profit, large or small. Domain names are important and need to be at the top of to-do list. Before making any sort of announcement about a product, ad campaign, etc., organizations must be proactive and register related domain names.
I’ve often said that a domain name is a company’s most important asset. Take a look at a company with lots of assets — say communications provider AT&T. If it lost its domain name its customers would find it difficult to pay their bills, log outages, and order services. The company would ground to a halt as its own employees couldn’t e-mail each other.
Stay tuned to find out what happens in this case.