World Rugby has made history by launching the .rugby internet domain name, kicking-off a digital revolution that will deliver multiple promotional benefits to the global rugby community.
World Rugby’s website has become www.world.rugby and all of the international federation’s digital properties, including email addresses, are being seamlessly transitioned as part of a phased major digital re-brand.
With competition for a share of the youth audience in the digital space, .rugby is a major digital pillar of World Rugby’s fan-engagement strategy, supporting the visibility, accessibility and engagement of a sport that has 9.1 million players and 338 million fans worldwide.
From today, unions and regions are invited to join the revolution within an exclusive first-chance period.
World Rugby obtained the .rugby domain with a view to:
• Accelerate the promotion of rugby and stakeholder brands in a safe, secure and controlled environment • Promote the sport and unify the global community online under a common identity • Make sure the rights of privileged rugby stakeholders are preserved • Link all participants via a specific identity and create a recognisable digital space for all rugby-related activities online
World Rugby’s strategy partners in this ground-breaking project are Roar.Rugby, a field-leader in domain technology and marketing, who share World Rugby’s vision for the domain’s potential to grow the globality of the sport for the benefit of the sport.
World Rugby Vice-chair Agustin Pichot said: “Building a deeper connection with the youth audience is critical to the relevance and sustainability of sport and rugby is no different. The .rugby domain is an important fan-engagement enabler for rugby, a community promoter and protector and a potential new revenue stream for unions.”
World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper added: “The .rugby domain reflects that mission and will provide the digital environment for a truly global community with one identity and we are already seeing significant excitement and interest across the game.
“Ensuring that .rugby was kept within the sport for the benefit of global rugby is in line with our strategic mission to protect and promote the sport, uniting the community and furthering our audience reach and therefore we are underwriting the provision of a package of .rugby domains for our unions, should they wish to embrace this exciting opportunity.”
ROAR Founder and Chairman and former professional football player, Ryan Nelsen congratulated World Rugby on securing the domain. “Since World Rugby announced this program in March we have seen tremendous excitement from Unions, clubs, players and fans wanting to get into the new digital era of .rugby for their internet identity. A number of Unions are ready to launch alongside World Rugby, keen to get the benefits of consistent branding, a safer internet space, and revenue opportunities.”
World Rugby believes the global rugby community will embrace .rugby and is offering priority access to domain names to its 6 regional associations, 121 national member unions and key stakeholders. The general public will have the chance to use the trusted and secure domain later in 2018.