Tony Kirsch

Tony Kirsch

Head of Professional Services at Neustar
Joined on September 8, 2008 – Australia
Total Post Views: 209,171

About

Tony leads the global Top-Level Domain advisory practice at Neustar, Inc. (NYSE:NSR), where he acts as advisor to some of the world's most-recognised brands, entrepreneurs and governments. Delivering strategic direction and support, Tony is widely recognised as an industry expert within the new TLD program. His in-depth understanding of the program's intricacies is extensively sought-after in developing companywide implementation and transitional processes and strategies.

Leveraging his extensive business experience, Tony's work includes a range of innovative new TLD projects such as .luxury, .cancerresearch and .dubai amongst many others in the generic TLD arena.

He is however, best known for his passionate advocacy of the .brand TLD opportunity, leading him to assist some of the world's largest brands with their strategies and implementation planning — such as Barclays Bank and IBM.
A strong advocate for the domain name industry and renowned leader in the new TLD community, Tony was named as the inaugural 'Dean' of the Domain Name Association (DNA) University in mid-2015. In this capacity he has undertaken a number of initiatives to support new TLD applicants around the world and build mainstream awareness of the new TLD program and its benefits for the digital marketers of today and tomorrow.

Featured Blogs

Why This Domain Expert Has Stopped Talking About Domain Names

I'm lucky enough to spend my working life helping some of the world's largest brands drive their .brand TLD projects. The excitement and the challenges of this space stem largely from the fact that this is a new innovation; and when you're working with something truly groundbreaking, naturally there's an element of "learning as you go." And I'm not afraid to admit, sometimes we get things wrong. more»

How Should I Present .Brand Domains in Advertising? (Part 2)

Part 2: How do I choose the right option for my brand? In my previous article, I discussed the question of how to represent .brand domains in advertising. As you can imagine, it's a balancing act -- stimulating awareness of the domain, creating the desired customer behavior of the future using .brands, whilst ensuring that we are considerate to the fact that .brands are yet to hit mainstream awareness. Sounds simple right? more»

How Should I Present .Brand Domains in Advertising? (Part 1)

Do consumers still get confused when they see a URL without a .com (or other traditional extension)? Probably -- but I don't think anyone really knows the answer to that from a global perspective. What I do know, however, is that it's important for those of us in the new TLD industry to help our brand customers ensure that we're providing audiences with the best possible chance to identify new domains as legitimate web addresses. more»

Could a Vanity URL Strategy with Your .Brand Be the Key to Supercharging Your SEO?

I feel incredibly lucky to work every day with some of the biggest, most recognised and most innovative organisations from around the world on developing strategies for their .brand TLDs. In this capacity, I also have the privilege to meet some of the most knowledgeable and forward-thinking experts in branding, digital marketing, web development and technology, to name a few. One such person is the brilliantly talented Matt Dorville. more»

2016: The Year That Was in .brands TLDs

Back in June, I wrote about the progress of .brands at the half-way point of the year. At the time, the total number of domains registered in .brand TLDs had grown by 238% in just six months, including a number of significant, high-profile .brands that had publicly launched. I also shared several broad patterns of usage that had started to emerge. As we approach the end of 2016, let's take a look at the year that was. more»

Aussie Football Code Makes Habit of Brand Innovation with Its Branded TLD

The world's first sporting code to launch its own branded Top-Level Domain (TLD) has continued to flex its innovation muscle with a creative new endeavor. The Australian Football League (AFL) has added www.coffee.afl to its existing line-up of .afl sites. The dedicated website offers fans the chance to buy team branded coffee pods, with proceeds going to support their clubs. more»

Google Launches Corporate Blog 'The Keyword' on .Google Domain

As momentum builds in the world of .brands, there are some major players we as an industry have been watching closely for an indication of how their branded TLDs will become part of their digital strategies. .brand websites like these from high-profile tech leaders and influencers can be the best publicity for brand TLDs as a whole; as their involvement and buy-in acts as a significant endorsement of the .brand movement. more»

.brand Progress - The Mid-Year Analysis

Google. BMW. Dell. Canon. Deloitte. Chanel. Microsoft. Audi. Cisco. Leaders in their industries, household names, game changers in business and technology. And just some of the brands that have launched their .brand TLDs so far in 2016. As we reach the mid-way point of this year, it provides a fitting checkpoint at which to reflect on the progress we've seen over the last six months. more»

Canon Takes Its .brand to the World, Moves Its Global Site to .CANON

As the .brand movement continues to gain momentum across the globe, this week's announcement of yet another high-profile .brand launch was fantastic news for the industry. Japanese powerhouse Canon publicly announced the transition of its global homepage from www.canon.com to www.global.canon and even created a simple, yet powerful image to highlight the innovative move. more»

One We've Been Waiting For: Google Switches TLD Registrar to .Google Domain Name

If you've read my posts before you'll be well aware that as a strong advocate for .brands and the power they have to revolutionise digital marketing effectiveness, I am always eager to share some love with organisations that have taken the leap and launched their .brand TLDs. In recent months we've seen diverse and exciting examples from BMW, the Australian Football League and CERN - just to name a notable few. I have the privilege of advising some of the world's largest companies on their .brand strategy, but one recurring question I hear is "When will we see .google and how will they use it?" more»

New BMW Site Aligns .bmw TLD With the Company's Future

With every .brand that is launched onto the web, the industry watches closely to examine their strategy, analyse their success and evaluate whether the approach can be replicated and learned from. We've seen a wide range of launch strategies in recent months, from the full transition of www.barclays.com to www.home.barclays, to the BNP Paribas online banking sites, to the promotional site www.play.afl for the Australian Football League (AFL). more»

Australian Football League Kicks Off Sporting Code .Brands

I can't lie -- I absolutely LOVE Aussie football and have kicked a ball around since I was three years old. In fact, I always will. My ongoing love for the game is as certain as death, taxes and the fact that my beloved Melbourne Demons club will give me both incredible highs and heartbreaking lows each and every year. For most Aussies, a sporting life is very much the way of life... Today is one of those wonderful times when you get to blend your professional and personal passions. more»

Birthplace of the World Wide Web CERN Launches home.cern

As many internet industry participants would be aware, the development of the World Wide Web is attributed to a project team at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, commonly known as CERN. CERN, one of the world's largest and most respected centres for scientific research, is a leader in technological development and the furthering of our collective understanding of science and technology. more»

2016 Predictions: What to Expect for the Next Year in New TLDs

Last week I published a blog looking back on the year that was 2015 and reflecting on some of the challenges and achievements for new TLDs. Turning our gaze forward, I think 2016 is shaping up to be the biggest and best year that we've enjoyed to date and will surpass many expectations as we continue the push towards mainstream adoption of these wonderful, innovative digital assets. more»

2015 in Review: The Year That Was in New TLDs

In looking back at what has occurred in the new TLD world in 2015, it is hard to believe that it's all taken place in just a short 12 month period. As an industry, we set off into this year realising that we had a hard game ahead -- as with all innovation, we knew that each step forward would require significant effort, knowhow and collaboration. We'd made big steps in 2014 to get started, but would 2015 move us forward or fizzle out? more»

More Than Just Forwarding: How .brands Like Apple Can Use Defensive Registrations

The domain industry media was abuzz last week with speculation that tech giant Apple may be gearing up to launch its .apple brand TLD. Rumours began when it was discovered that Apple registered 29 .com domain names that to the untrained eye, appear to be strangely worded. These include the likes of imovieapple.com, macbookproapple.com and ipadapple.com, providing hope to many industry pundits that they could potentially be defensive registrations designed to protect Apple from losing traffic when it begins to utilise its .apple TLD. more»

The TLD Operator Webinar Transitions to the DNA University

Readers of my posts will have noticed that we've been working over the last two months to launch the TLD Operator Webinar which was held recently. Its purpose was to unite all new TLD applicants and collectively share our experiences in order to build momentum in the industry and support each other in our pursuits. With more than 300 registrations and 40 percent of all new TLDs attending, we were humbled and overjoyed with the success -- validating our 'educated guess' that there was a global appetite for information to assist new TLD applicants. more»

An Open Letter to All New TLD Operators

As many of you will know from my previous posts, I'm pretty passionate about our new TLD industry and genuinely believe we are all working towards a goal that will provide something truly special for future generations to embrace. However, speaking candidly (as is the Australian way), I think we'd all agree that there is much to do to get new TLDs into the mainstream in a timely manner. And as new TLD applicants, we all have a responsibility to work together to ensure the success of our industry for years to come. more»

Lessons from .Build One Year After Launch: Q&A with CEO and Founder George Minardos

The .build domain namespace opened in General Availability in April 2014, as a domain name designed specifically for the online needs of the building industry and beyond. As the appointed technical provider for .build, ARI Registry Services powered the launch and continued technical operations for this global domain name. A year into the life of the namespace, ARI Registry Services' Head of Global Consulting Tony Kirsch caught up with George Minardos, CEO of .build to talk about his insights to date, what he's learnt about the domain name industry, and a look at where he thinks it is heading. more»

com.google April Fools' Is No Laughing Matter: What .google Could Mean for Other .brands

When April Fools' Day rolls around each year, Google is generally one of the front runners for jokes -- often making headlines for its quirky gimmicks. This year was no exception. On April 1st, Google launched its first domain name under the recently delegated .google Top-Level Domain (TLD), a massive milestone for all .brand TLD owners. Google is encouraging millions of people around the world to visit: www.com.google. more»

.cancerresearch - Can a New TLD Beat a Global Disease?

I wish cancer research didn't exist. Imagine a world without cancer, where a cure existed to eradicate this disease. Today, the best way for us to achieve this is through cancer research, and extremely bold goals like this require game-changing innovation. Fittingly, the .cancerresearch Top Level Domain will launch on World Cancer Day (February 4) and use this fantastic new digital platform to show that cancer, its treatments and its cures, are not beyond us. more»

.brands - Nobody Said It Was Easy

I've got enormous respect and admiration for the passionate individuals who are still championing .brands for their organisations in the new Top-Level Domain (TLD) program. I have the pleasure of assisting quite a few of these on a daily basis and I'm sure their experiences aren't isolated with other applicants across the globe. Put yourself in their shoes. Delays, some stupid process called Digital Archery, GAC Advice, names collisions and negative media... more»

Insights from ARI's New TLD Workshop

Never let it be said that group therapy isn't effective. Prior to hosting a new Top-Level Domain (TLD) workshop for a group of Australian applicants last week, the only therapy I would have advised for new TLD applicants was electroshock therapy - given the confidence-sapping delays and the catastrophic impact of constant changes to the program such as Digital Archery, Name Collisions and GAC Advice. more»

Looking Internally for the Success of Your TLD Strategy

Last week, I had the privilege of presenting at the Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress in London on how to create a TLD strategy and activate your path to market for launch. Some of the best and brightest minds in the industry attended and it was encouraging to hear from major brands such as Phillips, Microsoft, Google and KPMG, as well as a variety of other applicants. While in my previous blog I discussed why a .brand TLD strategy is important, let's now delve deeper into engagement strategies and why this is the key to a successful .brand. more»

Bring Your .Brand to Life

A preview of my upcoming presentation for the Digital Marketing and gTLD Strategy Congress on why your Top-Level Domain (TLD) strategy is paramount to making or breaking your .brand... Your strategy will be the most significant weapon in your Top-Level Domain arsenal to drive the launch of your .brand, and you'll only get there with preparation and engagement. For the vast majority of .brand applicants, ICANN has recently informed you that you have passed your application. You've come this far. more»

ICANN TAS Window Closes - What's Next for Applicants?

It's official. After more than six grueling years of work for ICANN and the wider community, the new Top-Level Domain (TLD) application process finally closed a few hours ago. ICANN's Chief Operating Officer later advised the community in a release that just over 1900 applications had been submitted in the TAS with one hour remaining before the system closed (final numbers will be released on reveal day). This number of applicants falls within most industry estimates and shows significant demand as expected from across the globe. more»

Important Changes in the Proposed Final New gTLD Applicant Guidebook

The new guidebook represents an enormous step forward for the new Top-Level Domain program for a number of key reasons. As we have commented previously, the naming convention as the 'Final' guidebook is of significant importance and reinforces the ICANN Board's intention to get to the finish line with the program. Of equal importance however, is that the number of changes from the previous version of the guidebook is relatively small and focus on a few key issues which shows that the end is indeed near. more»

Is the New gTLD Program Approval Even a Chance for This Year?

As I noted in my recent comments on CircleID, the recent resolutions from the Special Meeting of the ICANN Board held in Norway in late September left a few important new gTLD issues up in the air and created a little uncertainty in the marketplace. ... However, whilst sign-off on the program is still not guaranteed to occur in December, a recent interesting post on the GNSO mailing list from ICANN's Senior Vice President... more»

ICANN's New gTLD Program Makes Some Progress (… Sort of)

True to form, the outcomes of the ICANN Board's new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Retreat in Norway late last week haven't exactly provided the community with huge amounts of confidence in the fact that the new gTLD program will be finalised this year. But when you read between the lines, we may be able to provide supporters of the program with a little hope... more»

ICANN's Tokyo Meeting Provides a Little More Clarity on the New gTLD Program

New gTLDs continue to be a major topic of discussion within ICANN circles, and the regional meeting currently underway in Tokyo has revealed some interesting updates for potential applicants. ICANN's Chief gTLD Registry Liaison, Craig Schwartz, delivered a great presentation on the progress being made behind closed doors at ICANN and provided the attendees with an insight into a couple of key changes that are likely to be seen in the Final Applicant Guidebook. more»

A DeLorean, 88 Miles an Hour and a Fully-Charged Flux Capacitor…

For a brief moment earlier this week, I thought my days spent dreaming of hover-boards, flying cars and Biff's elusive Sports Almanac were finally over. From reports circulating online, we had finally reached "Back to the Future Day". Those movie buffs out there will know exactly what I'm referring to... But it got me thinking. What would the Domain Name world look like if that crazy cat Doc Brown swung past in his DeLorean, with a fully-charged flux capacitor and a return ticket to October 21st 2015? more»

Corporate TLDs - Why Keeping Mum Seems to Be the Order of the Day

Global brand protection powerhouse MarkMonitor recently released survey results revealing the intentions of their corporate clients with respects to new gTLDs. After reading the report, it's fair to say that I'm not surprised by the results, but continue to be frustrated by them. Where are all of these forward thinking and revolutionary online marketers and brand managers? Are they so unaware of the opportunity that has been placed before them or are they just being very savvy? more»

The Future Looks Bright for New gTLDs!

The ICANN Board meeting undertaken recently in Nairobi was indeed eventful and there were many vital topics on the agenda, in particular for the new gTLD program that kept many interested parties on the edges of their seats as the meeting unfolded. ... One of the more controversial decisions was in regard to the Expression of Interest (EOI), a program intended to allow potential new gTLD applicants to pre-register for their desired TLD and provide ICANN and the community with invaluable information regarding likely volumes of applications. more»

Expression of Interest for New TLDs: Time to Shine!

Like many of those present at the ICANN Seoul meeting last October, and indeed along with those around the globe who were eagerly awaiting new TLDs, I too was angered and frustrated at ICANN's deadlines that were slipping like a cartoon character running on an oil slick, caused by an incessant search by certain industry factions for perfection in an imperfect science. (We do work with the internet remember?). more»

Registry/Registrar Separation: Clarifying the Mess!

Do you keep hearing about this Registry/Registrar Separation (or Vertical Integration) issue but really aren't sure what it's all about? This post should help you to get a better understanding of the details of this saga which is one of the most controversial, yet still unresolved issues within the new gTLD program. more»