TicketReserve.com offers a unique service, allowing fans to purchase ticket options for future sporting events. For example, a fan could have purchased an option to buy a New England Patriots Super Bowl ticket at face value for around $300 at the beginning of the season, which is less than 10% of the current market price on StubHub. If the Patriots didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, the option would be worthless, and the person would have lost the cost of the option. TicketReserve.com counts CBS as an investor, and they have relationships with many professional sports teams in the NFL, NBA, NHL as well as college sports teams.
Recently, TicketReserve.com announced that they will be rebranding, and the company will be known as FirstDibz.com as of February 1st, 2008. From the January 7th press release,
“We needed a new identity, a fresh approach,” said Daniel Lotzof, TicketReserve.com president. “This ideally will allow fans to understand better what we’re offering. I think there was some confusion in the market, some areas where we weren’t received with a fully open mind. This also allows us to expand our focus a bit and also get into things like hotel accommodations for these events.“
I believe TicketReserve.com is making a critical domain branding mistake. While the spelling of “First Dibz” may seem unique, it is probable that customers and potential customers will think of “First Dibs,” and may consequently type-in FirstDibs.com, a domain name owned by another company since at least 2001 (according to the Whois history). I believe this will cause much more confusion to customers than the market confusion the company believes currently exists.
If the company is content with FirstDibz.com as a new brand, it is essential that they do what they can to purchase FirstDibs.com as well. Unfortunately, FirstDibs.com currently has privacy guard in place preventing easy access to contact the owner, however, with a few minutes of detective work, they should be able to get in touch with the owner relatively easily. Making an offer worthy of accepting, after they already began promoting their brand, will presumably be much more difficult than had they attempted to purchase the name prior to rebranding.