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10|18|2007 12:01 am EDT

Dallas Cowboys Fumble Cowboys.com Deal

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Sales, Miscellaneous, News

handoffRumors are circulating that the sale for the domain name Cowboys.com will not be moving forward. The domain name brought in a $275,000 bid from a phone-in bidder at the recent TRAFFIC domain live auction in Hollywood, Florida. The bidder had been earlier identified to be a representative from the Dallas Cowboys NFL team. An inside source confirmed with DomainNameNews that the deal began to fall apart over a misunderstanding with the bidder on what the bid of “275″ actually meant. It appears the bidder thought they were buying the domain for $275.00 rather than $275,000.

The domain was formerly used a site which sold western apparel and other items, as can be seen in the archive.org cache of the site. Although the Dallas Cowboys football team owns a trademark for the use of the word Cowboys, there are also several other companies and businesses operating under the “Cowboys” name. The domain is a generic word and it’s past usage shows that it can be used without infringement on any trademarks.

The Dallas Cowboys NFL football team currently uses the domain name DallasCowboys.com, but is likely losing a great deal of traffic to the shorter and more iconic Cowboys.com domain. The football team owners have also been working on building a new multi-million dollar stadium and the purchase was referred to by domainers as a very logical decision for the team. The shorter domain would be much easier to emblazon on uniforms, tickets, apparel, stadium graphics, tv ads, etc. The loss of this sale seems to be a major fumble by a potential “end-user” buyer to secure a “no brainer” asset for their business.

In this writers opinion, this buy seems to be a simple “hand-off” play that got botched big time. How much “yardage” will it cost the Dallas Cowboys in misdirected traffic when someone else buys it ?

UPDATE : Another buyer has made the winning bid on this name at the silent auction.


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  • http://i.m.fm/ Frank Michlick

    Guess who owns the IP block that “Innocent Bystander” is posting from? The “DALLAS COWBOYS FOOTBALL CLUB” :)

    /Frank

  • http://www.semportland.com Todd Mintz

    Oops!

    Troll rule #1: Never post from your personal workplace.

  • Innocent Bystander

    …your point???

  • Innocent Bystander

    I am not posting as an agent of the team. I can only state my thoughts on the issue.

    Fact is, those of you who keep promoting the idea that the Cowboys should have purchased the domain have yet to give me a compelling reason for the Cowboys to pay $275k for this domain.

    The idea that someone could sell email accounts with the cowboys.com domain is trademark infringment.

    I don’t think the Cowboys would care one bit if someone opens a website selling lasso rope and boots. As long as it is not related to Dallas Cowboys football, a user that happens upon the site looking for the Cowboys will quickly see that they are in the wrong place. If they can’t figure out that the url is DallasCowboys.com (highly unlikely for someone with basic common sense), then a quick search on Yahoo! or Google for Dallas Cowboys will show DallasCowboys.com as the first result.

    The idea that it is just a good investment is all a function of what the market dictates the value to be. If domainers stopped to think this through, they would realize that this domain has diminishing value because of the trademark implications. The only site that could make significant revenue using the Cowboys.com domain would be a site related to Dallas Cowboys football. However, anyone purchasing the domain for these outrageous rates cannot publish a site that is related to Cowboys football.

    Again, please explain why the Cowboys should pay that much money for this domain.

  • http://www.techsoapbox.com AhmedF

    You must be kidding me.

    You are directly affiliated with the Dallas Cowboys organization.

    You are from from an ‘Innocent Bystander’

  • http://i.m.fm/ Frank Michlick

    I am not posting as an agent of the team. I can only state my thoughts on the issue.

    And I didn’t say you were voicing the opinion of the team, but obviously you are affiliated with them Mr. “Innocent Bystander”.

    The idea that someone could sell email accounts with the cowboys.com domain is trademark infringment.

    How so? Is that the Dallas Cowboys’ core product? Would this be competing with them in any way?

    /Frank

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  • Innocent Bystander

    As is typical for those who are debating a bad point…divert attention from the true subject of the debate…whatever may be said of my affiliation to the club is irrelevant unless you can address the points that I’ve made and show them to be invalid.

    AmhadF, if a company markets an affinity email address joeblow@cowboys.com and promotes it in any way related to the Dallas Cowboys, they are infringing upon the Cowboys trademark rights. If they don’t promote it related to the Cowboys, they likely won’t sell many. So, you tell me: where is the compelling business case that uses this domain without relating it to the Dallas Cowboys?

  • http://carolinasucks.com Leroy Corso

    Personally, if I wanted to visit a team’s official site I would go to NFL.com
    There’s a menu right at the top of the home page with graphic links to each team.

    I think the value is much greater to a western themed business than it is to the Dallas football team

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  • MrSpartan

    Not to beat a dead horse (HA) but here are a few of my thoughts on the issue in regards to value for the Dallas Cowboys.

    1) What if the Cowboys leave Dallas? The Dallas component would be worthless. The point most forward thinking sports franchises are asserting now is that there teams are more valuble as an entitiy NOT associated with a location. The Dallas Cowboys WANT to be known as the “Cowboys”…that is their brand. It is more valuable. Someone from Austin, or Huston, or Toronto for that matter might like them better and feel closer to the team if they didn’t have to type “Dallas” at the beginning. Dallas(the city’s brand) might also have negative baggage that tarnishes the name! They are a global brand and the assocation with the location just shrinks the value.
    2) Many of the Cowboys defenders are using abbreviations rather that the actual name. NFL, DC, Cowboys (Rather than Dallas Cowboys) because a shorter name is easier, more convienient, and more flexible. Those are the 3 principles that drive innovation and success for ANY business or product. If the Cowboys want to be a better business online, they should have taken the name. How much of their revenue/press/tickets/publicity is driven through the web? My guess is millions now, and only more as moving forward.
    3) It is bad press for an organization based on winning and excellence to back publically back out of a winning auction bid because they did not understand the rules of the business they were conducting AND lose out to another bidder who bids more than they could have paid a day earlier. They look foolish and stupid. Would have ben worth the $275K to to avoid.

  • Innocent Bystander

    Good arguments, MrSpartan, however:

    1) You may not know much about the Dallas Cowboys, but there is absolutely no way the Cowboys ever leave the Dallas Metroplex (ironically, they haven’t played in the city of Dallas since 1971 — Texas Stadium is in Irving and the new Cowboys stadium is being built in Arlington — but they remain in the metroplex). The fans would literally hurt the owner that would make such a decision…but it is a good point.

    2) See my previous replies regarding the value of DallasCowboys.com. Also, see my comments regarding finding the Dallas Cowboys online even when a user enters cowboys.com. The numbers don’t lie…the Cowboys are not suffering from visitors not being able to find them online.

    3) The best point of all….I can tell you that this whole thing has been a big mess. At this point, everyone is happy…the seller made $95k more and the Cowboys are ok with not having the domain at that price.

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  • http://www.techsoapbox.com AhmedF

    I never mentioned @cowboys.com, so I fail to see why you bring me about that.

    The point is you claim to be an Innocent Bystander when you aren’t – I have no vested interest in Cowboys.com (nor in domains – I don’t sell domains). But you have a very interested in the Cowboys brand.

    Again – gutless move.

    As for the emails – as long as they don’t do anything associated with football, that is as far as it goes. If it wants to offer @cowboys.com, that is their prerogative. They want to put gay porn on it – again, their prerogative.

    The entire point is that this dilutes the Cowboys brand. If you are okay with that (and I guess your bosses too) – that is your decision. This isn’t about # of visitors.

  • http://iptvdomains.com/ Dan

    Hi,

    FINAL SALES PRICE: $370,000.

    Case Closed.

    Best,
    Dan

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  • Rick Schwartz

    It took 5 years for this puppy to blow up in their face. That is why PATIENCE is the #1 ingredient in the domain game and why a bad decision always comes back to haunt unless you clean it up when you have the chance.

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