Meet Sidney Crosby, the turtle
Though there are ways to challenge domain name squatting now, what sort of options would you have if someone had grabbed your name before you got famous?The internet's a strange, strange place.
If you're wondering what the heck I'm babbling about, take a quick look at sidneycrosby.com. Instead of finding the centerpiece of what should be a massive branding campaign for one of the world's greatest athletes, what you'll see more or less amounts to an online diary of a turtle.
The real Sid Crosby's website is over at Crosby87.com, but that's not by choice. SidneyCrosby.com, along with a host of similar addresses, are all registered to a Gordon Thomas of St. John's, Newfoundland, and the sites were picked up long before Crosby became a star.
sidneycrosby.com Created on: 01-16-2002
sidney-crosby.com Created on: 16-Aug-03
sidneycrosby.net Created on: 23-Jun-03
sidney-crosby.net Created on: 16-Aug-03
sidneycrosby.org Created on: 17-Aug-2003
sidney-crosby.org Created on: 17-Aug-2003
And there may be more that I haven't tracked down. Thomas's name is also attached to onboardsigns.com and dogpatch.org, however.
The main site, where our turtle friend resides, was registered when Crosby the hockey player was just 14 years old. At that point, however, he was nearly a household name in the Maritimes after scoring 44 goals in 31 games playing with 17-year-olds in Midget AAA, and attempting to play major junior at 15 in 2002-03. (Like Mario Lemieux, he was denied and Crosby played at an American prep school.)
The content on SidneyCrosby.com is truly bizarre, including a recent update on the turtle's new banjo-playing girlfriend. There's a large disclaimer on the site stating the domain is not for sale, indicating the owner's likely had a few offers.
What follows is an email conversation I had with someone purporting to be Sidney Crosby — presumably Thomas (likely), the turtle (not as much so) or the real Crosby (he's a little tied up at the moment):
Mirtle: Hi - would you mind answering a few questions about your turtle website?
Sidney Crosby: That depends; who are you?
Mirtle: I'm a writer in Toronto. I'm curious if you get a lot of offers to purchase your site, and I'm wondering why you haven't sold it?
Sidney Crosby: I receive e-mails from writers with the same questions as you. If you want to write a story, go ahead. But I'm not answering the questions you sent.
Its pretty obvious why it hasn't been sold. Its not for sale. Period.
Mirtle: Interesting. I'm afraid I can't understand why you wouldn't talk about the site, but that's certainly your choice.
Sidney Crosby: The lawyers that represent Sidney Crosby (you know who) have been in touch with the owner of the site via e-mail and phone. Lets just say the conversation wasn't of a friendly nature.
Therefore any questions you may have will remain unanswered.
Please leave it at this.
And so I did.