Astros.com. Rockets.com. Spurs.com.
Type in any of those URLs, and you'll get to the official league-run websites for the Houston Astros, Houston Rockets, and the San Antonio Spurs. But that's not the case for every Texas pro team ... which just became a hilarious problem for Jerry Jones' Dallas Cowboys.
As Erik Malinowski of Deadspin highlighted, "Cowboys.com" has just launched as a dating site, catering primarily to men who prefer the company of cowboys and vice-versa.
As the site itself, which is part of the "Millionaire Matchmaker" network, says:
Cowboys.com is an online dating community for men who enjoy the same country living lifestyle. Are you a country western cowboy looking for a man to ride into the sunset with? Come and create relationship with singles share your appreciation for the country way of life. You'll be able to find your perfect match here.
The URL had once been geared towards Western wear, but came up for grabs five years ago.
As the domain name investing blogger Elliot J. Silver reported, the Cowboys placed a winning bid then, but team representatives apparently didn't realize that the auction price of "275" was not $275, but $275,000.
"That just does not pass the laugh test," wrote blogger and domain name investor Rick Schwartz at the time. "I could not take my family to the Dallas Cowboys football game for $275. The cost to BID was more than $275."
Nevertheless, instead of saying "I just can't seem to quit you," the Cowboys pulled out of the auction.
The URL was then re-sold for an even higher price, $370,000, to Schwartz and other co-investors, at least some whom are now part of the current Maryland company behind Cowboys.com.
Cowboys.com's press release says the site is meant to:
[T]ake advantage of the fastest growing segment in online dating. The website www.Cowboys.com will be the new home for gay & straight dating people looking to find themselves a cowboy...As many states continue to pass gay marriage laws with the support of President Barack Obama, Cowboys.com will be well positioned to take advantage of the continued growth in the gay dating sector.
“Gay dating is a primary target for this website however, we will also serve the needs of straight daters as well,” one of the site's owners (and a member of the '07 auction-winning group), Darren Cleveland , said.
One commenter on Silver's blog suggested that the whole thing is for show.
At the time, a lot of people thought they were really smart for getting this name. Today, not so much.
Instead, they are praying this becomes a big PR mess for the Dallas Cowboys and that they end up buying the name after all…
A comment in reply to that, as well as the site's press release, says that the site was conceived in response to the kind of searches and visits the placeholder domain was already getting.
For the record, the sites for other Texas teams who couldn't grab their one-name URLs are not quite so hilarious:
- Rangers.com is owned by neither Arlington's baseball team nor New York's hockey team, but rather, redirects to FMA, an "Internet development" company that owns and operates a variety of sites (ranging from jogging.com to jackass.com), and says they do not sell domain names.
- Stars.com is under construction. It is registered to the STARS Foundation , a British children's charity with connections to Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan.
- Mavericks.com is a site that "celebrates independent thinkers" (Hello! Mark Cuban?).
- Texans.com redirects to a longer URL belonging to the Global Ventures Network, "the worlds [sic] largest virtual Domain Development Incubator on the planet [redundancy sic]. We create and match great domain platforms with applications and talent to build successful, value driven, web-based businesses."
Okay, then. Who wants to start a dating site for "gay and straight people looking to find themselves a Texan"?