As widely reported yesterday, a fan of the rapper 2Pac is keeping the Pac-12--the expanded version of the Pac-10 that debuts next year--from its desired domain name: Pac12.com. The conference is taking the case to arbitration, but they ought to just embrace what's been the better name from the start: The 12-Pac.
The conference, according to DomainNameWire.com, has filed a domain-name dispute with World Intellectual Property Forum against the owner of Pac12.com. But since the site has been registered since 2005, long before the conference even considered expansion, it seems like proving this guy is a URL squatter is a lost cause.
Which brings us to our current argument. Why not just tweak the name and call the conference the 12-Pac? Ostensibly, the conference added two schools to improve competition, move into another time zone, and open up a new swath of the country for recruiting. But really, they did it for the money. A football conference championship game--not really feasible in a 10-team conference--brings in millions of dollars in TV revenue. And what type of company loves to advertise during college football games? Beer companies, of course.
Seriously, how much would Anheuser-Busch/InBev pay for the naming rights to the Bud Light 12-Pac? $100 million? $250 million? This is a company that already makes special beer cans to match school colors. The marketing opportunities are endless. And, at least for the time being, www.12pac.com is still available.
Of course, the Pac-12 will probably just end up registering Pac12.org. (Their current website is Pac10.org, which they settled for after a previous dispute over Pac10.com that was resolved in 2009.) Or perhaps they'll jump on one of these new .whatever suffixes that will become available later this year. Either way, it will be cheaper than dealing with the Tupac devotee, because he is most definitely familiar with the rapper's words: "If no money ain't involved, ain't no need for me speakin' with you."