18(b) How do you expect that your proposed gTLD will benefit registrants, Internet users, and others?

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Q18b Benefit


SportAccord designs the .SPORT gTLD to offer the following benefits to community members as well as Internet users and consumers:

* A trusted online space for members of the Sport community
seeking to access information, goods and services about
sports online;
* Provide short, predictable and memorable domain names (in
particular for sport governing bodies);
* Facilitate navigation to information, services, public
interest content, products, etc;
* A protected, curated name space for the benefit of
institutions, consumers and the overall community -
all registrations will be subject to the following
policies identified above as Registrant Eligibility,
Name Selection Criteria and Acceptable Use Policy;
* Post registration safeguards, both active and passive, to
ensure that registrants continue to act in compliance with
the terms and conditions of registration;
* An intrinsic link between the string and the Sport community;
* The proactive design and development of the name space from
its inception to ensure that the operation of the TLD is
accountable to the Sport community;
* Reduced contention among registrants - because the TLD is a
curated name space reserved for the sport community, a
sport community member is more likely to be able to register
a name that matches her⁄his⁄its needs;
* Predictability relating to the choice of the name and the
content the user may expect from a name corresponding to a
certain pattern;
* Facilitates clear and easy communications from, to and within
the Sport community;
* Strong intellectual property support, including strong
protections against ambush marketing (the illegitimate use
of advertising opportunities related to a sport event without
paying sponsorship).

18.b.1 What is the goal of your proposed gTLD in terms of areas of specialty, service levels, or reputation?

The primary mission and purpose of the .SPORT gTLD is to provide a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive online marketplace to aggregate information, services, public interest content, and products for the Sport community. As technologies for delivering content and services evolve, SportAccord will continue to pursue and explore opportunities to distribute the above identified information and services to the community. SportAccord believes that a .Sport gTLD has the potential to provide a virtual platform to offer interactive features to deepen and broaden its relationship with existing and new members of the Sport community.

18.b.2 What do you anticipate your proposed gTLD will add to the current space, in terms of competition, differentiation, or innovation?

The sport TLD will create a name space specific to the Sport. Sport has considerable economic and cultural significance in all parts of the world. The .SPORT TLD will therefore fill a large gap in terms of consumer choice. From a competition standpoint, it creates a level playing field with respect to the market power of large unspecific TLDs. It is naturally differentiated both by its scope, by its governance model and by its intrinsic meaning from other TLDs. Innovation is greatly enhanced by the proactive structured development of the name space. The development process involves an open process with calls for proposals for purpose-built community-specific services based on designated portions of the .sport name space. This approach helps use innovative potential worldwide for the benefit of the Sport community and for the advancement of the global Internet.

The primary goal pursued by SportAccord is to provide a safe and secure online space for the Sport community. The success of the TLD will not be measured by the number of domain names registered. Instead it will be measured by the level of consumer recognition and trust that is placed place in .SPORT gTLD. Using this benchmark, SportAccord strives to achieve a level of recognition and trust comparable to that of the .EDU and .INT TLDs.

SportAccord is committed to serving the Sport community as it increasingly relies upon emerging technologies to deliver information and other products and services to its members. A .SPORT gTLD has the potential to serve as a cornerstone of this online strategy. Many members of the Sport community face a barrage of spam and phishing activities. The .SPORT TLD will be reserved from day one for trusted sources of information, goods and services relating to the Sport community.

SportAccord plans a comprehensive approach toward mitigating abusive and⁄or non-compliant registrations within the .SPORT name space. The .SPORT governance model reflects, among other things, the tapestry approach first proposed by ICANN’s Implementation Recommendation Team (IRT). This tapestry approach includes, but is not limited to, the following requirements: registrant eligibility; name selection criteria; content and use restrictions; escalated compliance, response and takedown procedures. (See response to Question 30.)

18.b.3 What goals does your proposed gTLD have in terms of user experience

Compared to most existing TLDs, the .SPORT user experience will greatly enhance predictability and memorability of domain names. The community-based focus, the orderly development process and strong intellectual property support ensure that users will generally find the services they are looking for under the names they intuitively tend to use for them. The user will also be ensured that the .SPORT namespace is free from resources that enable illegal gambling or advocate⁄promote doping and⁄or prohibited substances, or other content incompatible with the values of Sport.

In particular, the names and acronyms of international and national sport federations, the names of sport disciplines, key terms related to various sport disciplines, the names of sport clubs, as well as important slogans or keywords for sport will be assigned in an organized and controlled framework. This affords users a high degree of certainty that they will find, or have found, the intended sport-related resource if the domains end in .SPORT.

Users will have greater comfort on the context of naming variants: in key portions of the .SPORT name space, alternative names and variants (redirected to the canonical forms) will systematically be activated. Wherever spelling variants exist, all variants belonging together will be reserved and delegated to the same registrant. The registry will not charge for variants based on spelling differences, such as the use or absence of hyphens or diacritical marks in IDN strings. Thanks to these policies and a general focus on building user confidence, users in the Sport community will be able to get accustomed to the predictability of .SPORT domain names. As a result, they also avoid stumbling upon common nuisances like typo-squatting, robotized traps or domain-for-sale pages in the .SPORT TLD.

18.b.4 Provide a complete description of the applicant’s intended registration policies in support of the goals listed above.

As noted above, SportAccord has proposed a range of registrations that will be interwoven into the operation of the .SPORT gTLD. These proposed registration policies include, but are not limited to, the following requirements: Registrant Eligibility (who can register within the .SPORT gTLD); Name Selection Criteria (what domain names can be registered); Acceptable Use Policy (how the domain names can be used, e.g. no illegal gambling or doping); escalated compliance; response and takedown procedures. Each of these individual elements are elaborated in greater detail in SportAccord’s response to Questions 28, 29 and 30.

In addition, SportAccord will implement registration policies that are differentiated between the following phases: pre-launch phase, launch phase and general availability.

During pre-launch, projects and content provision commitments are actively sought and negotiated, especially for key public-interest portions of the name space. All potential registrants and mandate holders are subject to screening and thorough pre-validation.

During the launch phase, all registrations are thoroughly pre-validated; launch phase pre-validation depends on priority status, and eligibility requirements for each of the the fundamental categories of .sport:

1. Federations and Other Governing Bodies
1.1 International, Continental, Regional, National, Local Federations
1.2 Other International Sports-related Governing Bodies
1.3 Public Authorities for their geographic names in relation to sports
2. Sport Clubs affiliated to Sports Federations
2.1 Sport Clubs taking part in international-level championships
2.2 Other Sports Clubs
3. Corporate Partners
3.1 Recognised Sport Events Organizers
3.2 Sponsors
3.3 Rights-holders, sports-related media, and other sports-related
Corporate Partners.
4. Athletes
4.1 Athletes with participation in World Championships or Olympic Games
4.2 Other eligible athletes.
5. Defensive Trademark Registrations (when not sports-related, as then they
would fit in 3. above)
6. Same Categories as 1-3 above, but with extended Name Selection criteria.

At general availability, community nexus is subject to post-validation by way of an extensive compliance program, though pre-validation may be applied when and where necessary. The ongoing compliance program will regularly be adapted to current needs based on experience and audit findings. Community nexus validation combined with strong protection of trademarks helps stamp out cybersquatting and abusive registrations.

18.b.5 Will your proposed gTLD impose any measures for protecting the privacy or confidential information of registrants or users? If so, please describe any such measures

SportAccord recognizes first hand that this is an evolving area of law in which there is no international standard. The protection of privacy and confidential information of registrants and users will comply with applicable Law, in particular the European Data Protection framework. Within the bounds of applicable regulations, the registry will implement anti-data mining measures by way of rate limitation, authenticated access or white-listing⁄black-listing, as well as tools to prevent unauthorized recourse to repetitive automated access.

SportAccord also intends to incorporate contractual language in its Registry Registrar Agreement (RRA) modeled after language which has been included in the template Registry Agreement and which has been successfully utilized by existing ICANN gTLD registry operators.

Specifically, the following language in the RRA is will be one of the foundations of the .SPORT privacy protection measures: “Registry Operator shall notify Registrar of the purposes for which Personal Data submitted to Registry Operation by Registrar is collected, the intended recipients (or categories of recipients) of such Personal Data, and the mechanism for access to and correction of such Personal Data. Registry Operator shall take reasonable steps to protect Personal Data from loss, misuse, unauthorized disclosure, alteration or destruction. Registry Operator shall not use or authorize the use of Personal Data in a way that is incompatible with the notice provided to registrars. Registry Operator may from time to time use the demographic data collected for statistical analysis, provided that this analysis will not disclose individual Personal Data and provided that such use is compatible with the notice provided to registrars regarding the purpose and procedures for such use.”

18.b.6 Describe whether and in what ways outreach and communications will help to achieve your projected benefits.

SportAccord will implement outreach and communication programs uniquely tailored to each phase of the launch of .SPORT.

The pre-launch negotiations involving calls for projects by innovators and pioneer users. They foster the intuitive usability of the .SPORT TLD with a focus on the needs of the Sport community. Once these domain names are active, they become an outreach mechanism in their own right because they establish the touch-and-feel of the .SPORT TLD in the minds of the users.

The launch phase will involve outreach mechanisms that specifically leverage participation by the local public services, locally relevant trademarks and local actors.

Through these phases and continuing through to general availability, SportAccord will be leveraging the use of its Policy Advisory Board (PAB) engaged in outreach and communication with key leadership within the Sport community. SportAccord plays a leading role in organizing the annual SportAccord Convention and IP Forum. Both are major Sport community gatherings. SportAccord will use these events to actively promote the adoption and use of the .SPORT gTLD. These events are also the natural venues for the proposed bi-annual face-to-face meetings of the .SPORT Policy Advisory Body (PAB).

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