Marketing organizations at many large companies are sitting on extra money and they don’t even know it. Comcast/NBC just provided a great example of how to tap into those funds, and it immediately made me think of an iMediaConnection blog that my colleague posted last year titled, “Online Marketing’s Buried Treasure.”
In a nutshell, Comcast/NBC was smart about actively managing its domain portfolio, and pocketed a reported six-figure sum as a result. The network owned the domain name Versus.com, which it used for the past decade as the online home for the Versus cable TV channel that was run by a division of NBC Sports. After rebranding the channel last year into the NBC Sports Network, the company no longer had use for the Versus.com domain.
Single word domains like this command top dollar on the domain aftermarket and are not only a great marketing tool, but sometimes a good investment. In fact, research has tied the value of domain names to other economic activity, showing that they fluctuate in value just like stocks or other investments would, and have historically appreciated in value over time.
Just after NBC stopped using the domain last year, the tech startup Versus.io closed a $3.7M round of venture funding and was looking to undergo a rebranding exercise of its own. Ultimately Versus.io got its hands on the dot-com domain in a transaction that was a win-win for everyone involved. The startup now has a more memorable address to help drive customers to its website, and the network recouped some of the investment it had put into marketing the Versus TV network, potentially turning a profit in the process.
This is a great example of good domain management in practice, and a reminder for the rest of us – take a look at your domain portfolio occasionally to audit what’s working, what’s being used, and what isn’t. You could be sitting on some buried treasure.