ProMark Brands Inc.
H.J. Heinz Company
18.1 Mission and Purpose of .HEINZ ProMark Brands Inc. ("ProMark"), a subsidiary of H.J. Heinz Company ("Heinz"), has filed this application for a .HEINZ gTLD with the intention of bringing to market a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace for consumers to access content related to Heinz... Read more
18.1 Mission and Purpose of .HEINZ
ProMark Brands Inc. ("ProMark"), a subsidiary of H.J. Heinz Company ("Heinz"), has filed this application for a .HEINZ gTLD with the intention of bringing to market a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace for consumers to access content related to Heinz brands worldwide.
Through a unified corporate approach, ProMark intends to submit two gTLD applications for the strings .HEINZ and .KETCHUP.
The intended future mission and purpose of the .HEINZ gTLD is to serve as a trusted, hierarchical, and intuitive namespace, provided by Heinz through ProMark, for consumers, partners, and institutional consumers of Heinz products.
ProMark will be examining other .BRAND gTLD applications, as well as general market adoption, to determine short- and long-term potential use case options for .HEINZ to most effectively support Heinz's online marketing strategy.
18.1.1 H.J. Heinz Company Family of Brands
Heinz is one of the world's leading marketers of branded foods to retail and foodservice channels. With approximately 32,000 employees worldwide, Heinz markets its brands in hundreds of countries around the world. A representative sampling of the Heinz family of brands is below:
Ketchup and Sauces:
Heinz Ketchup, Condiments, and Sauces
Classico Pasta Sauce
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
Heinz Salad Cream
Meals and Snacks:
Heinz's products are sold through its own sales organizations as well as through independent brokers, agents, and distributors to chain, wholesale, cooperative, and independent grocery accounts, convenience stores, bakeries, pharmacies, mass merchants, club stores, foodservice distributors, and institutions including hotels, restaurants, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and certain government agencies.
Heinz products are sold under highly competitive conditions; competitors include both large and small businesses. Heinz regards its principal competition to be other manufacturers of prepared foods, including branded retail products, foodservice products, and private label products that compete with Heinz for consumer preference, distribution, shelf space, and merchandising support. The ability to operate .HEINZ as a trusted namespace for consumers could be an important way for Heinz to differentiate itself and gain advantage as a digital innovator in such highly competitive conditions.
ProMark intends to initially limit registration and use of domain names within the .HEINZ gTLD to Heinz and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. This initial limited use will allow Heinz to establish its operations and achieve full sustainability. This limited distribution coupled with the other requirements set forth in Specification 9 of the template Registry Agreement is intended to exempt ProMark from its annual Code of Conduct Compliance requirements.
After Year 3, ProMark will evaluate whether opportunities exist to carry out the business strategy for the .HEINZ gTLD through expansion that continues the sustainable operations of the registry through fee-based registrations to parties other than Heinz and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates.
ProMark currently plans a four-stage rollout for the .HEINZ gTLD. This rollout is subject to change depending upon business, strategic, and industry factors at the time of each stage:
1. Stage 1
The initial stage of implementation of the gTLD will involve Heinz registering a limited number of .HEINZ second-level domain names.
This initial use will provide Heinz's IT and security personnel the time to run a number of tests to ensure seamless and secure access using the .HEINZ gTLD domain names, interoperability with various software and Web-based applications, and unbroken and secure use of all names. This initial allocation will also allow the appropriate ProMark and Heinz staff to coordinate with the internal and external staff responsible for the application, delegation, and setup phases of the .HEINZ gTLD to ensure a proper transition from delegation to full operation.
2. Stage 2
Once all testing has been successfully completed, ProMark will begin allocating domain names in the .HEINZ gTLD for more widespread internal corporate use. During this same period of time, ProMark will begin evaluating strategies to potentially migrate traffic away from its current patchwork network of second-level domain names, which are registered in a variety of gTLDs, to ProMark's new gTLDs.
It is in Stage 2 that ProMark will evaluate expanding the operations of the gTLD to permit registration by other registrants, such as licensees and strategic partners. Should an assessment of its expansion strategy lead to a decision to extend registration rights to other parties, this expansion is currently planned to take place during Stage 3. However, any expansion would be conditioned upon a review of Specification 9 (Registry Code of Conduct) set forth in the template Registry Agreement to ensure compliance with ProMarkʹs and Heinz's business models.
3. Stage 3
Depending upon the analysis of the evaluations undertaken in stage two, ProMark may begin to implement the permanent migration of Internet traffic away from the gTLDs in which Heinz's domain names are currently registered, and toward the .HEINZ gTLD. It is in this stage that ProMark also may implement its decision to extend registration rights to licensees and strategic partners depending upon compliance with Specification 9 as noted above.
After consideration of the following factors: analysis of Heinz's existing domain name portfolio, internal analysis of marketing initiatives, and the fact that ProMark will have full control over the number of registrations in the .HEINZ gTLD namespace, ProMark is confident that the number of domain name registrations will be less than 10,000 in the first five years of operation.
4. Stage 4
Based on its experience with any expansion implemented in Stage 3, ProMark will assess whether its business plan and expansion strategy should be augmented by extending registration rights to a broader class of licensees, potentially including customers of Heinz. It is anticipated by ProMark that changes to the domain name industry will take at least five years to be realized and assessed. Any decision to expand the gTLDs beyond corporate, qualified subsidiary/afiliate, and licensee use will take into account this experience as well as the technical analysis of potential expansion.
The potential use of the .HEINZ gTLD by any segment of Heinz's business will also be driven by Heinz's future business strategies as identified in its annual report and investor filings, as viewed at this listed website: http://www.heinz.com/our-company/investor-relations.aspx.
Using current projections based on Heinz's existing businesses, future business plans, current domain name portfolio, and other strategic factors, ProMark estimates second-level domain name registrations to be in line with the projections set forth in the financial template provided in the answer to Question 46 of this application.×