.polo

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Status: Withdrawn
Registry Provider: Verisign
Type: Brand TLD
Priority #: 502 - Ralph Lauren Corporation

.polo was a Brand TLD proposed in ICANN's New gTLD Program. The applicant was Ralph Lauren Corporation.[1]

The United States Polo Association, Inc. filed a community objection against this application.[2] The Association prevailed in their objection and the applicant withdrew their application for the string.

Application Details

The following is an excerpt from the applicant's response to question #18:

"The new .polo gTLD will operate as a restricted registry, in which Ralph Lauren Corporation (RLC) can create and control domain spaces that promote its brand identity and authenticity. In this regard, the .polo gTLD will be used by RLC to provide information, services and resources of its POLO brand to consumers in a way that promotes trust, convenience and utility. The .polo gTLD will provide an authoritative internet space for RLC, its affiliates and partners that are associated with the brand, with internet users assured of brand authenticity. Domain names under the .polo gTLD can then be utilised to communicate to a global audience as a single digital location for POLO, enhancing RLC’s ability to productively market, promote and sell POLO brand within the constantly evolving digital economy.

The RLC’s POLO brand was founded by Ralph Lauren in 1967 and is a global leader in the design, marketing and distribution of premium lifestyle products. The range of POLO products includes men’s, women’s and children’s apparel, accessories (including footwear), fragrances and home furnishings. The POLO brand is one of the strongest Ralph Lauren brands, with significant global awareness and reach, breadth of product, and multi-channel distribution. POLO branded products are currently distributed in approximately 40 countries worldwide and have a digital brand presence in over 30 countries. Over 7 million users visit the RLC website every month and and additional 20.4 million users search for POLO on Google per month. The proposed .polo gTLD will allow RLC to unify and reinforce a consistent digital brand presence for POLO, and aid in its continued differentiation of the POLO brand. In this regard, continuous innovation and consumer trust are paramount considerations in all of RLC’s business activities."[3]

Community Objection

The US Polo Association submitted a Community Objection against RLC's application for .polo, on the grounds that it would harm the interests of polo players and associations worldwide if the string was delegated as a Brand TLD. The objection was backed by the Federation of International Polo. The ICC was in charge of determining the outcome of the objection, and they decided in October 2013 that the objection will be sustained, meaning the application for .polo will not move forward. Due to the objection, the applicant withdrew their application.[4]

References