Here at the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, we manage the .CA domain name registry —an iconic, recognized symbol of Canada online. We are proud to be Canadian, just like our athletes that represent us on the world stage.
Athletes having their own website helps them become champions (of their own personal brand)
For professional and amateur athletes alike, having a website is an easy way to share stories about training, provide updates on recent results and achievements, and post photos of themselves in action. Having that website with a .CA domain name is a great way for them to let the world know that they are proudly Canadian.
Registering a personal domain name with a .CA (as in, firstnamelastname.ca) is an essential step for individuals, such as athletes or entrepreneurs, looking to build and protect their personal brand online.
Someone who understands managing their personal brand very well is Dustin Cook, Canadian alpine ski racer.
dustincook.ca: a winning example of a Canadian athlete using their .CA website
Dustin Cook uses his website to share a biography, post photos from the slopes, link to social media profiles, blog about his adventures as a professional athlete (with posts that range from What I travel with to the World Championships 2015), recognize his sponsors, and sell/donate extra gear to younger athletes.
We sat down with Dustin and asked him a few questions about his .CA.
Why was it important for you to have a .CA?
I look at my .CA as a tool, one of many that I use to promote myself, my story, my sponsors, connect with fans, and is a creative outlet for me to experiment with.
At what point in your athletic career did you register your .CA?
I registered my .CA back in 2007, which was right around the time that I was selected for the Canadian Ski Team. The timing was totally coincidental and if memory serves I somehow stumbled onto the fact that I could have my own website with my name (instead of a blogger domain, for example).
I was blown away and super excited, so I did some research and registered dustincook.ca as quickly as I could. Registering as a .com never even entered my mind.
How important is having your own personal website in your digital brand portfolio?
Social media is great. It’s easy to use and digest, but it can be difficult to get the whole picture across. Experiences, accomplishments, setbacks, etc., aren’t always easily summed up in 140 characters!
My website is a great way for me to share my story and my journey in a more complete way, and I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from sharing those on my website. As an athlete it’s super important for us to showcase, promote, and thank the sponsors that help us chase our dreams, so that plays a big role as well.
How have you benefited from having a strong digital presence?
As I mentioned I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from the stories and posts I’ve shared over the years, which I think helps people identify with what I (or any athlete) is going through and trying to accomplish. A strong digital presence definitely helps bring you closer to the people that are interested in what you’re doing and want to follow you. I can’t count the number of times I’ll have people ask me in person about things that I’ve written on my website or social media, which I think is really cool and very flattering!
It has also helped to open doors and create connections that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. I’ve met some amazing people through my website, sometimes from something as simple as a comment on a post, and these connections have led to both friendships and sponsorships.
How do you think an athlete is like an entrepreneur?
The drive, passion, and commitment necessary to succeed in sport is very similar to the attitude of an entrepreneur. As an athlete, especially in an individual sport, nobody is going to make things happen for you except you. Putting in ridiculous hours, relentless drive to improve yourself and put distance between you and your competitors, positive thinking, overcoming obstacles, time management...
There are so many things we do that are applicable in the business and entrepreneurial world, that it never surprises me when I see athletes that have transitioned after sport and are successful in their next endeavor.
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