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In the Wild:

With a viewership in the hundreds of millions every year, the Tour de France is one of the world’s most prominent sporting events. For marketers, the potential reach of sponsoring this event is the stuff of dreams – and one company has gone all-in at the Tour de France using their dotBrand.

French supermarket chain E.Leclerc (commonly referred to as Leclerc within France) has again sponsored the red polka dot jersey for the 2022 Tour de France, with its highly recognisable branding appearing on the best climber of each stage of the race as well as signage at a large number of locations throughout the race route. Using its dotBrand to create the clever exact-match domain, this has become the organisation’s call to action across all its Tour de France advertising and indeed its primary website.

This appears to be a deliberate strategy from Leclerc, which doesn’t appear to own the direct match .com or .fr equivalent of its brand name. In fact, both of these are registered to other users unassociated with the company, which is often a tactic used by bad actors looking to take advantage of the high-profile brand name. This approach from E.Leclerc perfectly illustrates one of the major advantages of dotBrands; the ability to create any domain you want without dealing with aftermarket prices or domain squatters.

E.Leclerc has instead chosen to put all its digital and marketing investment in the dotBrand domain – a secure, unique and perfectly branded online space only it can control. As a single character, exact match to the brand name, makes it easy for customers to find the company online after seeing its branding all over the Tour de France coverage.

Leclerc is one of the world’s most active dotBrand users, with 1906 domains registered in total and more than 700 in use. 28 of these have their own developed websites, while 689 redirect to other locations on the main website.

A large number of these are domains for store locations, which take users to contact details and directions for their local store. This approach has great potential for hyper localised marketing and campaigns or to educate users they can search by location within the .leclerc online environment. With more than 700 supermarkets to its name, E.Leclerc has also shown another advantage of owning a dotBrand: the ability to create a large volume of domains without the hassle of individual registration fees and renewals.

🎁Tour de France Advent Calendar – Day 21 are offering up a polka dot jersey signed by @TamauPogi. 🎁Calendrier de l'Avent du Tour de France – Jour 21 vous offre un @maillotapois signé par @TamauPogi. 📲 — Tour de France™ (@LeTour) December 21, 2021

Simon Geschke still in The Polka Dot Jersey, day after day! Well done!!😊🥳 #TDF2022 — Cycling_Eve (@CyclingEve) July 19, 2022
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