World Rugby has launched its .rugby internet domain name, sparking what it hopes will be a digital revolution to deliver a range of benefits to the sport’s global community.
The organisation’s website has now become www.world.rugby, with all digital properties, including email addresses, to be transitioned as part of a phased digital rebrand.
World Rugby has invited national unions and regions to join the project within an exclusive first-chance period. The general public will be given the chance to use the domain later in the year.
World Rugby has obtained the domain name in a move designed to accelerate the promotion of the sport and stakeholder brands in a “safe, secure and controlled environment”.
The rebrand will also strive to promote the sport and unify its global community online under a common identity, as well as preserve the rights of privileged stakeholders. All participants will be linked via a specific identity, with a recognisable digital space for all rugby-related activities to be created.
World Rugby has partnered with Roar.Rugby, a specialist in domain technology and marketing, on the initiative, which saw the .rugby domain name acquired back in March. The rollout of the new domain name has begun this week.
World Rugby vice-chairman 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.”
Chief executive 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.”
The launch of the new domain name comes after the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) last week became the first international federation to join the .sport initiative, which is been steered by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (Gaisf).
Gaisf has delivered the FIG’s new website domain – Gymnastics.sport – which will provide the body with a variety of domains that can be used by national federations, disciplines, events and athletes.