Like any businessman, I sometimes search GoDaddy.com for potentially lucrative web domains. During a recent search, I discovered that zionwilliamson.com was available to purchase for $99,999.
For those who don’t follow sports, Zion Williamson is a freshman on Duke University’s basketball team. If he stays healthy, Williamson has the skillset to become a basketball megastar.
On the surface, the price of the domain seems high. GoDaddy assumes that 1.) Williamson will make hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few years and 2.) he’ll want a website with his exact name as the URL and won’t mind paying $100,000 to get it.
But as I researched other NBA megastars I learned that few have websites with their exact names as the URLs. Several have opted against websites altogether in favor of Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube channels. Millennials!
For proof, let’s examine the 10 starters in the upcoming NBA All-Star game. This proof alone holds the answer to the question posed in the title of this article.
As the oldest player on this list, LeBron James is the traditionalist. His website domain is lebronjames.com. It’s a pretty standard website complete with a personalized logo and a variety of on- and off-court accomplishments. But the footer definitely violates the logo usage rules of both Twitter and Facebook.
Like James, Kevin Durant nabbed his exact name for his website URL. But kevindurant.com redirects to thirtyfiveventures.com, Featuring a personalized logo, Durant’s website is almost exclusively dedicated to his investments, media company, and foundation.
James Harden is the last All-Star of the bunch who has his exact name as his website URL: jamesharden.com. Aside from a few news stories about charity work, the website is essentially a collection of Harden’s magazine covers and commercials.
We’re now entering the thrifty section of our list. I’m assuming that the owners of stephcurry.com (a fan’s WordPress blog) and stephencurry.com (a creative director at a marketing firm in Birmingham) are both holding out for large sums of money from the real Steph Curry (or his shoe company). Instead, Curry chose to incorporate his jersey number into his website URL, stephencurry30.com. The site is currently under construction.
If you want to read about the motorcycles, guitars, running, and very detailed work bio of a guy named Paul George, visit paulgeorge.com. If you want the website of NBA superstar Paul George, you need to visit paulgeorge.net. We’ll never know if these two Pauls have negotiated, we can only assume the negotiations fell through. Although I personally think the .net is a bad look, I respect PG3 for refusing to overpay for a .com domain.
Like Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo opted to include his jersey number in his URL, giannis34.com. The reason? No one is typing giannisantetokounmpo.com and giannis.com is reserved for the pizza-making kits of Gianni’s Fundraising®.
The only website associated with Kemba Walker is WinWithWalker.com, a faux political campaign website for his ‘Most Improved Player Award’ bid in 2016. Walker didn’t win the award but the website and accompanying campaign video are well done.
We’re now at the opt-out portion of the list. None of these three All-Star starters have a website. These are the millennials I was referring to earlier.
So, Back to Zion Williamson
For some perspective, just think about this timeline: Zion Williamson was born in 2000, LeBron James entered the NBA in 2003, and Facebook was founded in 2004. Is it really surprising that younger players are choosing social media over websites?
When LeBron James entered the league, I can imagine some marketing firm pitching him a website with the question, “What could be more personalized than a website with your name?” A decade later, we now equate personalization with a selfie on Instagram, a tweet about the president, or a “behind-the-scenes” television series on YouTube or Facebook. Would anyone really care if LeBron James’s web domain was lebronjames23.com? Yes, it’s available to buy for $800.
Taking everything into consideration, I’m guessing that Zion Williamson won’t spend $99,999 on zionwilliamson.com. In fact, Williamson may have already made his decision because zionwilliamson1.com is taken.