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Status: Proposed
Registry Provider: Verisign
Type: Brand TLD
Priority #: 603 - AmFam, Inc.

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.americanfamily is a Brand TLD being proposed in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant is AmFam, Inc.[1]

Application Details

The following are excerpted from the applicant's response to question #18:

"AmFam, Inc.’s (“AmFam”) parent company, American Family Mutual Insurance Company (“American Family”), is a mutual company offering its insurance and other products for individuals and businesses in nineteen states throughout the United States.

As a leading insurance provider, American Family offers products for individuals and businesses, along with other products to serve its customers’ unique needs. American Family has $17.3 billion in assets under management and $5.7 billion in policyholder equity, with approximately 3,500 agents serving their local communities.

The intended future mission and purpose of the .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD is to serve as a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace provided by American Family for American Family customers and Internet users in general.

Although ICANN has not specifically recognized a .BRAND gTLD specification in the current version of the Applicant Guidebook, it is widely anticipated within the brand-owner community that this will become a specialty subset of new gTLDs. The .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD is intended to be one of those .BRAND gTLDs, with the goal of protecting American Family’s online presence and identity; expanding its marketing and promotion efforts; providing a secure channel for online products and services; and offering a platform through which to consolidate many of the intellectual property activities of American Family.

AmFam intends to initially limit registration and use of domain names within the .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD to American Family and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. This initial limited use will allow AmFam to establish its operations and achieve full sustainability. This limited distribution, coupled with the other requirements set forth in Specification 9 of the template Registry Agreement, is intended to exempt American Family from its annual Code of Conduct Compliance requirements.

After the initial stages of operation, American Family will evaluate whether opportunities exist to carry out the business strategy for the .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD through expansion that continues the sustainable operations of the registry by offering possible fee-based registrations to third parties.

Recognizing the potential dynamic evolution of a .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD as a trusted, branded namespace, American Family has decided to use a wholly owned subsidiary, AmFam, as the entity to file this application and bring the .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD to market.

AmFam currently plans a four-stage rollout for the .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD:

1. Stage 1

The initial stage of implementation of the gTLD will involve AmFam registering a limited number of .AMERICANFAMILY second-level domain names.

This initial use will provide American Family’s IT and security personnel the time to run a number of tests to ensure seamless and secure access using the .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD domain names, interoperability with various software and Web-based applications, and unbroken and secure use of all names. This initial allocation will also allow the appropriate American Family staff to coordinate with the internal and external staff responsible for the delegation and setup phases of the .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD to ensure a proper transition from delegation to full operation.

2. Stage 2

Once all testing has been successfully completed, AmFam will begin allocating domain names in .AMERICANFAMILY to American Family for more widespread corporate use. During this same period of time, American Family will begin evaluating strategies to potentially migrate traffic away from its current patchwork network of second-level domain names, which are registered in .COM and other gTLDs, to .AMERICANFAMILY.

It is in Stage 2 that American Family will evaluate expanding the operations of the .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD to permit registration by American Family licensees and other strategic parties, including independent agents. Should an assessment of its expansion strategy lead to a decision to extend registration rights to other parties, this expansion is currently planned to take place during Stage 3. However, any expansion would be conditioned upon a review of Specification 9 (Registry Code of Conduct) set forth in the template Registry Agreement to ensure compliance with American Family’s business model.

3. Stage 3

Depending upon the analysis of the evaluations undertaken in Stage 2, American Family may begin to implement the permanent migration of Internet traffic away from the gTLDs in which American Family’s domain names are currently registered, and toward the new .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD. It is in this stage that AmFam also may implement its decision to extend registration rights to licensees and strategic parties, including independent agents, depending upon compliance with Specification 9 as noted above. The dates of such expansion are subject to change depending upon business, strategic, and industry factors at the time.

After consideration of the following factors: analysis of American Family’s existing domain name portfolio; internal analysis of marketing initiatives; and the fact that AmFam will have full control over the number of registrations in the .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD namespace, AmFam is confident that the number of domain name registrations will be less than 10,000 in the first five years of operation.

4. Stage 4

Based on its experience with any expansion implemented in Stage 3, American Family and AmFam will assess whether its business plan and expansion strategy should be augmented by extending registration rights to a broader class of licensees, including, potentially, to customers of American Family. It is anticipated by American Family that changes to the domain name industry, and particularly the impact of .BRAND gTLDs, will take at least five years to be realized and assessed.

Any decision to expand the gTLD beyond corporate, qualified subsidiary, affiliate, strategic party, and licensee use will take into account this experience, as well as the technical analysis of potential expansion.

The potential use of the .AMERICANFAMILY gTLD by these or other business segments will primarily be driven by American Family’s future business strategies as identified in its annual report, see: http:⁄⁄www.amfam.com⁄2011-report.

Utilizing current projections based on American Familyʹs existing businesses, future business plans, current domain name portfolio, and other strategic factors, AmFam estimates that second-level domain name registrations will be in line with the projections set forth in the financial template provided in the answer to Question 46 of this application."[2]