Last week I spoke about SEO, Search, and Domain Names at the TRAFFIC domain name conference, held in Hollywood, Florida. The highlight of the conference was the live internet domain name auction on Friday, October 12th, at 2pm, hosted by Moniker. One of the domain names that was up for sale was Cowboys.com, a great domain name. The Dallas Cowboys apparently was amongst the many bidders for this name and ultimately won the auction for $275,000. Now, about a week later, they want to give it back.
According to a post in this thread by Monte Cahn, the head of Moniker, when contacted, the Dallas Cowboys said that they want to return it:
when I spoke to their attorney…he was dead serious, had no idea that it was $275K and was shocked when he received the purchase agreement ( he thought he bought it for $275.00 – thats right two hundred and seventy five dollars!). I almost asked him what he was smoking.
after falling out of my chair….not ever experiencing anything like this one, we are going to let this dog stay sleeping for a while. someone should pick this name up and it will ultimately cost the cowboys millions when they finish that $800M stadium they are building. I told the attorney that my guess was that they probably sell $275K in popcorn and beer in one game and that they were foolish not to look at their brand in a different way.
We find a way to turn dirt into diamonds anyway and this will be well past us.
In my opinion, it’s just not possible or feasible that the representative from the Dallas Cowboys’ organization thought that they had paid $275 dollars for the domain name.
When asked recently, Monte Cahn of Moniker said:
yes – they paid more in admission than sale price….
remember they say that they were going to bid up to $10K when I spoke to him.
The pre-published initial minimum bidding range was $250,000 to $500,000, and I personally do not remember if there was a reserve price. But, if the minimum bidding range was $250,000, then the Dallas Cowboys are doing everything they can to “get out of” paying for the domain name Cowboys.com.
Apparently there may be more to this story than what’s being reported. By looking at this link, there appears to be a trademark on the name Cowboys.com, and there may be other issues involved with the acquisition of this domain name. Currently, trademark owners are allowed to essentially “take over” any domain names that include their trademark.
By the way, I should point out that I’m from Dallas, Texas.
Apparently I’m not the only one talking about this goof by the Dallas Cowboys’ organization. Here’s more people talking about it:
Dallas Cowboys Back Off On Deal To Buy Cowboys.com Domain
Dallas Cowboys Fumble Cowboys.com Deal
Dallas Cowboys try to buy Cowboys.com for $275
Dallas Cowboys.. Too Cheap For their Own Good
Dallas Cowboys buys ‘Cowboys.com’ for $275?
And more domain foolishness – Cowboys.com
What’s in a Domain Name? About $275000, Discover Your Dallas Cowboys.
Did the Cowboys fumble online?
Dallas Cowboys fumble Cowboys.com
Dallas Cowboys fumble Cowboys.com
Proposal: Moron of The Year Award To The Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys.com sold at auction for $275000 – oops they meant to bid $275
Dallas Cowboys Lose Option On Cowboys.com In OT: Domain Finds New Buyers at $370,000
I personally just logged into the silent auction going on over at Moniker.com (only live auction attendees have access to the silent auction), and as of 3:17pm CST the domain name Cowboys.com is currently at 3 bids…for $332,750.
An audio archive of the actual bidding that went on for the Cowboys.com domain name is currently available here on WebmasterRadio.fm.
A group of investors has secured the cowboys.com domain. Rick was also there when the Dallas Cowboys won the bidding and also has an update about the team of investors that bought the name. Congratulations to Eric for being so insightful and pulling the team together. And congratulations to the investors who all made it possible.
After I talked with Calvin Watkins, a reporter from the Dallas Morning News, this article makes it official. The Dallas Cowboys backed out of the deal.
AOL Sports has something to say about the Cowboys.com auction:
The Cowboys tried to buy the domain name “Cowboys.com” in a recent auction, but backed out when they realized their bid was not for 275 dollars, but for $275,000. It’s a pretty tightly run ship over there in Dallas. I can’t argue with their bookkeeping skills.
Update: September 24. 2012
Cowboys.com has re-launched the site, and the site is now an online dating site.