Dallas Cowboys Give up Play for Cowboys.com - Didn't See the Zeroes
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The signature event of the weekend is the domain name auction. The live auction was held on Friday, October 12, between 2 and 6 PM. The rules and instructions for the live and silent auctions were given out at the conference's opening session on Wednesday, October 10, sometime between 9:30 and 10:30 AM. The conference's web site describes this event in thoroughly breathless terms:
"The World's largest live domain auction and the premiere event of the entire domain industry takes center stage with some of the greatest domains ever at auction. In the last auction, more than $10 million in domains changed hands in just a few short hours. We expect a record breaking amount of high profile domains to be sold in Florida with a record take that could double the record set in New York just 4 months ago.. 100,000 domain submissions trimmed down to the top 200. The auction alone is worth the price of admission for any serious domainer or investor. Join the who's who of the industry for a Battle Royale as the world's top domain investors compete for some of the best domains ever released for re-sale...Those with heart conditions should consult a doctor before attending this event. :-)"
Given the cost of the conference itself, and the description of this particular event, one would expect to pay a lot of money for any domain names coming up on the auction block, right? I certainly wouldn't expect anything to go for less than four figures. Well, apparently the Dallas Cowboys did.
At this point, things get a little complicated. One of the names up for sale was Cowboys.com. If you check certain archives, you'll see that the owner claims that Cowboys.com was granted a trademark by the state of Oklahoma back in 1995. Currently, it's being used to link to Western-related sites, and supposedly receives 2,000+ visitors per day. According to Bill Hartzer, a blogger who attended the conference, Cowboy.com's "pre-published initial minimum bidding range was $250,000 to $500,000..."
There is some disagreement as to whether there were a lot of bidders for this domain, or the Dallas Cowboys were the only bidder. What is certain is that a phone-in bidder representing the NFL team won the bid. But apparently, when the bidder said "275," he thought it meant $275 - not $275,000. Yes, you read that right - he thought he could get a stellar domain like Cowboys.com for a mere $275!
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