Select Page
How to choose a domain name for athletes

Written by Chris Clark

What is a domain? It's your personal “dot com”, the web address that people plug into their computer browser or phone to visit your website to learn more you and your brand. If you are an athlete looking to build your brand and make money in the NIL era, it may be a good idea to know how to choose a domain name and to get it locked in as soon as possible.

A website is a hub beyond social media to showcase your accomplishments, skill set, and brand. It's basically a portfolio to show brands or prospective partners who you are and what you’re about. So much of NIL is tied to your personal brand, and this is a place beyond social media for you to tell your own story and showcase that brand. It's also a place you sell apparel, or let prospective businesses know how to contact you for name, image, and likeness inquiries.

Disclaimer: AthletesForProfit.com has partnered with some great companies which feature products that help our readers achieve their goals of monetizing their brands and taking advantage of NIL. Our website features affiliate links for these companies, and we may receive commissions at no additional cost to you if you choose to purchase. This helps support our free resources for athletes. Before taking actions related to NIL that could affect your collegiate eligibility, know that you are responsible for your actions, including consulting with your institution's compliance department or with legal counsel. Check out our full disclaimer here.

I'm Chris Clark, and I have been in sports media for over a decade. My mission at AthletesForProfit.com is to help student-athletes across the country in building their brand and monetizing their NIL in a legal and compliant fashion. Let's jump right into the topic at hand.

Helpful tips for how to choose a domain name

Where should you start when picking your own domain name? Here's some advice:

1. Don't be cheap, get a real “dot com”.

This has to be said first: don't cheap out on purchasing an actual “dot com” domain name. You don't want yourname.wixsite.com or something of that nature. A “dot com” name is not only much more memorable, it's more professional and reinforces the legitimacy of your brand. There are bunches of options for the extension (i.e. something like .com, .net, org) that you choose, but whatever name you pick, try to stick with a .com domain name since that’s the most common and recognizable. For charitable organizations, “.org” is a quality extension, like the Mahomes example from earlier.

2.Choose more than one domain name.

Start with trying your first and last name, like LeBron James did with his website. Yours may be taken already, particularly if you have a more common name. If you’re going to set up a business, you could also create a name for your company and use that. Using the same LeBron example, if he owned a company called LeBron Basketball Camps, LLC, he could do something like lebronbasketballcamps.com. A good rule of thumb is to try and make it simple, short and easy to remember.

It's important to register multiple domain names not just to give yourself flexibility for the future for different business and branding ventures, but also as a form of protecting your brand and intellectual property. Believe it or not, there are multiple celebrities that have had to go fight in court to acquire their domain names from people that had bought them up previously – and sometimes they didn't win! You may not be ready to actually launch your website yet, and that's OK.  You still need to make sure you secure your domain name(s) for the future to ensure that you own your brand and keep your business options open. Here's the cool thing: even if you don't ultimately become a collegiate or professional athlete, you can always use your domain name in the future for other business or personal ventures!

3. Including your jersey number should not be your primary option

If you want to include your jersey number in one of your domain names, keep in mind that you're not guaranteed to keep that jersey number from high school to college, from college to pros. If you nab one just in case, that's fine! Your jersey number can definitely end up being part of your brand.

4. Do not use your school name or mascot in your domain

NIL laws restrict the usage of school logos, marks, and names of colleges when it comes to things like autograph signings and other monetary opportunities for student-athletes without prior approval. That's OK, though – you actually have more flexibility by keeping the brand focus on you.

5. Consider getting privacy protection

Regardless of where or how you go about registering your domain name, we recommend getting privacy protection added on. Some domain registrars/services include this in their pricing, and others do not. When you register a domain, your personal information can be found online in a directory (called WHOIS) unless you purchase privacy protection. That can lead to spam calls on your phone, or folks being able to find where you live.


 

Athlete domain name examples

It's important for your website to be easy to remember and well-branded. Now that you have some tips, let's look at some real-world examples. The world's top athletes all have their own “dot com” that serve as places to learn more about them, their brands, and their businesses.

1. Lebron James

LebronJames.com has information on his companies, investments, endorsements, and companies he's partnered with currently. He's built many ventures and sides businesses based on his success as an athlete and has specific branding for each of those.

2. Tom Brady

He's built an entire business off his “TB12” lifestyle branding. He has a couple businesses and a charitable organization based off that brand, and dedicated domain names for two: TB12Sports.com and TB12Foundation.com

3. Patrick Mahomes

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes also has a quality setup; his main namesake website PatrickMahomes.com links to his Adidas apparel store, while his charity foundation is at 15andthemahomies.org. As you can see, Mahomes simply uses his name for one site and then uses a clever play on his name and jersey number for another.


Alright, so you now have some guidance as far as how to choose your domain names. Now you need to know how to actually register a domain.

Where to buy a domain name for athletes

One more consideration for you: are you ready to launch a website, or not? If you, you may just want to purchase some domain names to hold on to for the future – which is a good move! Keep in mind that if you register a domain (or domains) that you may need to transfer those to another service (unless you use their hosting) once you're ready to have your website built. That can incur extra costs. 

Best quick option for domain and website: Wix

Best long term option for domain and website: Bluehost

Best option for domain and store: Shopify

Best place to buy multiple domain names for the future: Domain.com

1. WIX

This is a hosting/builder option that also includes a free domain for the first year. Wix has lots of templates and a smaller learning curve if you're building your own website, so it's good for beginners. You can start accumulating higher costs (you may need to upgrade your hosting plan, for example) if you do things like add an online store to your site.

Learn how to build a website with Wix

2. BLUEHOST 

This a hosting/builder option that also includes a free domain name for the first year. Bluehost has the most affordable long-term entry point – your price can be as low as three-bucks a month on average over a three year term. 

domains and web hosting for NIL

3. SQUARESPACE

Packages also include a free domain for the first year. Similar to Wix in that it's a drag-and-drop, user friendly website editor. Squarespace is slightly more pricy than Wix, and there are some of the same limitations in terms of long-term customizations, but you may prefer it.

Squarespace for college athletes

4. SHOPIFY

If you want your website – or one of your websites – to be an online store, Shopify is an extremely popular platform that many college athletes have already used to feature their apparel.

It is a more expensive option, but a good one to build an online store. Domain names are an extra cost even with a paid Shopify plan, so keep that in mind.

Shopify for college athlete websites

5. GoDaddy

6. NameCheap

7. Domain.com

8. Google Domains

 Registering a domain name, or multiple domain names, should be one of the very first thing you do as a student-athlete to get ready to capitalize on the name, image, and likeness era.

Any questions about domain registration or websites? Drop us a line: info@athletesforprofit.com and we'll be glad to help!

The best NIL marketplaces for athletes and brands
The best NIL marketplaces for athletes and brands

Last summer, the ability for collegiate student-athletes to capitalize on their name, image, and likeness became a reality, and that opened up a world of possibilities for those athletes and for businesses. With so many questions about how these deals would work,...

How to use LinkedIn for athletes
How to use LinkedIn for athletes

LinkedIn is critical for athletes searching for a job, whether current student-athletes or former athletes who are finished playing and becoming a professional in something other than sports. LinkedIn boasts 756 million members worldwide, with over 174 million members...

Related Articles

The best NIL marketplaces for athletes and brands

The best NIL marketplaces for athletes and brands

Last summer, the ability for collegiate student-athletes to capitalize on their name, image, and likeness became a reality, and that opened up a world of possibilities for those athletes and for businesses. With so many questions about how these deals would work,...

How to use LinkedIn for athletes

How to use LinkedIn for athletes

LinkedIn is critical for athletes searching for a job, whether current student-athletes or former athletes who are finished playing and becoming a professional in something other than sports. LinkedIn boasts 756 million members worldwide, with over 174 million members...

NIL tax tips for college athletes

NIL tax tips for college athletes

If you are a college athlete making money from your name, image, and likeness, you need to make sure that you are educated on your tax responsibilities. Dollars earned from NIL activities will be subject to taxes and must be reported when filing your yearly tax...

By viewing/using this site, you agree to our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, and Disclaimer.

X