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Domain Names Go Hollywood: The launch of .LA.

Online, thedomainstreet.com, 1 February 2001 -- In what may prove to be the biggest ccTLD land rush to date, the .LA registry opened a few weeks ago. For the first time in cyber-history, a ccTLD suffix actually corresponds to a major metropolitan area. The LAO government, original owners of the .LA suffix, made a deal with Sterling Holdings, a Hong Kong company, which has selected dot.la to act as the exclusive management and marketing arm of .LA.

"Los Angeles as a group represents the second largest number of TLD registrations of any city, behind only New York," says Guy Rosbrook, President and COO of dot.la. "We believe this represents a marketing opportunity for LA of unprecedented proportions. Consider MalibuBeach.LA, celebrities.LA, moviestars.LA and so forth. There are so many possibilities."

Indeed. With 12 million people in the metropolitan area, hundreds of thousands of businesses and the general Hollywood hype, .LA could prove to be the most successful ccTLD to date.

"And that’s not all," adds Rosbrook. ".LA also stands for Lousiana. What about MardisGras.LA, Mississippi.LA or FrenchQuarter.LA? Add to that Latin America as another user of the .LA suffix and you open up a whole continent of domain name users. Consider Mexico.LA or Brazil.LA. 54% of Los Angelenos are of Hispanic descent. We feel that .LA has the potential to dwarf all other ccTLD registrations to date."

And he may well be right. Certainly the ccTLD models until now have focused on marketing their offerings through major media deals with large media companies. This is the first ccTLD that may have some legs of its own—once the word gets out. As of the time of this newsletter, we had seen very little promotion of the .LA offering, which is both good and bad. Good for those who may want to register and/or speculate on .LA domain names, bad for the registry which needs to recoup its initial costs. Marketing drives everything in the domain name game and .LA is no different. An unaware marketplace can’t register names, even those as juicy as bikini.LA or VeniceBeach.LA. Still, of all the ccTLDs so far, none offers as much inherent potential as this one. Between Los Angeles, Louisiana and Latin America, .LA should deliver big returns to the registry as well as to savvy marketeers who develop web sites for these markets. Time will tell.

To register .LA TLDs, go to www.lanames.la

-- i-DNS.net shall not be held liable for the views and opinions of the authors expressed herein.
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