By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE move to make the global basketball community connected digital has been gaining grounds, this according to world basketball governing body International Basketball Federation (FIBA).
Since launching the .basketball Top Level Domain (TLD) name in June this year, FIBA said some “significant milestones” have been achieved in relation to the basketball body’s objective of establishing a new digital identity for the sport.
As among the very few international sports federations to have applied and secured the TLD named after its sport, FIBA has been able to put itself in a position to provide all of the sport’s stakeholders and fans with a trusted and secure domain space that is consistent with industry standard service levels.
FIBA said adoption and use of .basketball names has been rapidly being picked up in all segments of the basketball family.
It got the ball rolling by changing its digital identity to fiba.basketball and also establishing .basketball domain names for its premier events like FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China (WorldCup.basketball); Continental Cups such as AfroBasket.basketball, AmeriCup.basketball, AsiaCup.basketball and EuroBasket.basketball; Basketball Champions League (ChampionsLeague.basketball); and 3×3 Basketball (FIBA3x3.basketball).
Other federations and groups within the basketball community have followed suit and are now using .basketball.
These include national federations like that of Canada (Canada.basketball), Lithuania (LTU.basketball), Tunisia (Tunisia.basketball), New Zealand (NZ.basketball), Puerto Rico (Puertorico.basketball); and Switzerland (Swiss.basketball).
The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) has adopted it as well with Wheelchair.basketball and so did clubs Australian NBL club New Zealand Breakers (NZBreakers.basketball); Slovenian national champion Olimpija Ljubljana (Olimpija.basketball); and German club MHP RIESEN Ludwigsburg (MHP-Riesen.basketball); United States’ famed Five-Star Basketball Camp program Fivestar.basketball; andFIBA 3×3 star and number one 3×3 player in the world Dusan Bulut (Bulut3x3.basketball).
“The .basketball domain is ideal because it is clear, specific, has a global scale and reach and defines the sport. Ensuring that .basketball is kept within the sport for the benefit of the global basketball community is fully in line with one of FIBA’s missions — that of bringing people together and uniting the community,” said FIBA Secretary-General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann during the domain name launch.
“Canada Basketball is thrilled to be included among the early adopters of the .basketball domain name as we continue to look for ways to strengthen our brand both on and off the court. Utilizing new and innovative ways to help tell the stories of our athletes and teams, we envision Canada.basketball as a future home for all things hoops in our country,” said Michele O’Keefe, Canada Basketball President & CEO, for his part, of their decision to enhance their digital identity in accordance with the goals of FIBA.
The process to obtain the .basketball domain began in 2012, when FIBA partnered with Roar Domains, a US-based company focused on the commercialization of sports-related Top Level Domains, to submit its application.
Aware of the fact that domain names including .com, .net and .org were reaching saturation point, FIBA and Roar Domains jumped at the chance of securing .basketball when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) was expanding the portfolio by making certain words available to the private sector as a generic top-level domain (gTLD).
Having getting the nod, FIBA is now making a priority access available to all 213 of its national federations, their respective members (leagues, clubs, players, etc.) as well as other key stakeholders of the basketball community.