Frank Schilling

Frank Schilling Auction: $10,050,362

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Christie’s auction house in New York City held a special auction today related to a well-known domain investor: “Important Watches Featuring The Leo Collection: 31 Sophisticated Wristwatches Curated by Frank Schilling.” The auction featured a number of rare watches from watchmakers such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, Chopard, Panerai, and many others.

Today’s live and Internet auction grossed a total of $10,050,362. The highest price realized was a Patek Philippe tourbillion watch, circa 2008, which sold for $602,500. The pre-auction estimate for this watch was $500,000 – $800,000. There were a number of high quality watches that sold for less than $10,000 each.

It’s not entirely clear which watches were actually owned by Schilling, as there were a total of 387 watches included in the auction.

Domain Industry Leaders to Speak on Panel at Ad:Tech New York

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Ad:TechAd:tech is an interactive advertising and technology conference and exhibition held several times during the year, in a variety of locations, including New York, Shanghai, San Francisco, Tokyo, Beijing, and other media centers throughout the world. If you are involved in the interactive space, you should make it a priority to attend Ad:Tech – even if you simply opt for the free exhibition floor pass. Ad:Tech New York will be held from November 4-6 at the Javitz Center in New York City.

I just learned that some of the domain industry’s leaders are scheduled to speak on a panel at Ad:Tech New York in November. The Domain Industry Workshop, “Domain Tips to Drive Your Business Forward and Save Money” is sponsored by leading domain investment companies, Sedo.com, Media.net, Name Administration, Inc., and NameMedia, Inc.

Featured panelists include Jeremiah Johnston, COO and General Counsel of Sedo.com, Div Turakhia, Founder and CEO of Media.net, Frank Schilling, Managing Director of Name Administration, Inc, and Bob Mountain, VP of Business Development at NameMedia. This panel will be held on Wednesday, November 4 from 2:10pm – 3:00pm.

If you want to sign up for a free exhibit hall pass, you must do so by October 2, or the price will increase to $35. You can also see all of the conference pricing options for the New York show on the Ad:Tech website.

Seven Mile: Gift That Keeps on Giving

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I kid around with the title of this post, but in all seriousness, I want to make sure that the people reading my blog know that I wouldn’t be in the position I am in today without Frank Schilling and his Seven Mile domain blog.

Not only was Frank one of the first people to really go “all in” with domain names, but he was also one of the first domain bloggers who shared news, insight, and opinion with all of us – and he was happy to talk domains with anyone who commented. Looking back, it’s pretty cool that Frank was willing to take the time to share with all of us.

Not only that, but Frank was kind enough to link to newer bloggers that he didn’t even know, myself included, and every time he did that, my traffic went through the roof. It was such a trip when Frank linked to my blog, and it was an even cooler experience when Frank added me to his blog roll without my having to ask for the link.

Although Frank hasn’t blogged in quite some time, I urge you to look through his past posts   – even if you’ve read them all before. The passing of time changes perspectives, and you might be in a different place now than you were in when you first read Frank’s blog. I still haven’t met Frank in person, but I appreciate all he has done for our industry, and my blog still receives traffic from his blog (The #6 referring site in August). It really is the gift that keeps on giving!

Pick a Name… Any Name… Administration

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I was looking at Frank Schilling’s NameAdministration.com website and just spent the last couple minutes drooling on my computer. Now that the keyboard is dry and the screen is clean, I am able to pose this question: If you could have one of the names listed on the Name Administration website, which would it be?

I would probably choose eShopping.com and build it out as a virtual shopping center. I would find as many shopping affiliates as possible and sell as much stuff as I could, doing my best to optimize each page for Google search.

What would you choose?

Avi Gets It!

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As Frank Schilling pointed out yesterday afternoon, the Swim.com auction netted $214,500. By clicking on the bidder ID of the winner, everyone could see that the email address was none other than the owner of ClubSwim.com, Avi Benaroya. Some quick research shows that Avi also is the owner of other swimming related domain names such as SwimOutlet.com, Swimmer.com, SwimLessons.com, SwimmingInstructor(s).com, and many more. With his purchase of Swim.com, it shows that Avi and his company get it! They know the most valuable domain name in their category is Swim.com. They fought off other bidders, and they won the crown jewel domain name. Very impressive.

Branding vs. Generic Domain Names

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With few exceptions, company brands and generic domain names are opposites. The objective of a brand manager is to distinguish his brand from the competition. The objective of a generic domain name owner is to provide content or advertising links that are general enough to interest the visitors. A brand manager ultimately wants to build loyalty to his brand so the visitor becomes a customer and returns. A typical generic domain owner wants a visitor to click through and possibly provide enough interesting content that the visitor returns so he can click again.

An exception to this is Hotels.com. They have built their brand around a generic domain name. When a person wants to find a hotel at a good price or when they want to read reviews about various hotels, they specifically navigate to the brand, Hotels.com. When a person who doesn’t know about Hotels.com (the company) navigates to Hotels.com, they are looking to find a hotel. This is a prime example of a brand being built around a generic domain name, giving the loyal Hotels.com customer and the random visitor the same valuable information, while building brand recognition and loyalty for both.

In the case of Calvin Ayre’s Bodog brand, the company wants its clients and potential clients to gamble at BodogLife.com and partake in the “Bodog lifestyle.” When the brand was threatened recently, Bodog changed their domain name from Bodog.com to NewBodog.com and then finally to BodogLife.com. Although the domain name changed, the brand and messaging remained constant.

In his blog, Frank Schilling argues that “Calvin should have used this opportunity to buy InternetCasino.com from Xedoc.” As much as I respect Frank, I disagree with him. First, InternetCasino.com would have been a very expensive acquisition for Bodog – probably much more than the value they would receive in return. Not only would this have changed the domain name, but it would have completely altered the brand and the lifestyle portrayed. Visitors to InternetCasino.com are looking for a place to place their bets. Bodog customers are looking for Calvin.

Integrating a brand with a generic domain name doesn’t usually make sense. Yes, a brand can be built around a generic domain name, as demonstrated by the Hotels.com example. However, I don’t think a generic domain name should be used to rebuild a brand.

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