Love him or hate him, U.S. President Donald Trump has proven to be one of the most savvy politicians when it comes to digital.
His controversial use of social media helped him gain earned media like no other presidential candidate before him, but President Trump’s digital savvy isn’t limited to social. As it turns out, the Trump Organization owns thousands of domain names, possibly even more than 10,000.
By CNNMoney’s count, Trump’s company owned some 3,600 domain names prior to his presidential bid. It registered nearly 100 following his announcement that he would be running for president.
There are the kind of domain name registrations that one would expect Trump’s company to own. These include Trump.com, TrumpOrganization.com and TrumpBuilding.org, registered in 1997, 1999 and 2015, respectively.
But the Trump Organization has also been aggressive in acquiring defensive domains. It owns, for instance, DonaldTrumpSucks.com, TrumpScam.com and TrumpFraud.org, and appears to have applied a defensive stance to just about every new business it enters.
For instance, CNNMoney revealed that in 2007, when Trump planned to launch a multi-level marketing company, his company registered defensive domains like TrumpNetworkFraud.com, TrumpNetworkPyramidScheme.com and TrumpNetworkPonziScheme.com. In the wrong hands, such domains could have been used to level criticism at the new business.
Trump’s team is also apparently active in snapping up domain names of interest when they aren’t renewed by their owners instead of paying top dollar to acquire them while they’re still registered.
For example, in June of last year, The Trump Organization registered TrumpEmpire.com after its owner failed to renew it. The previous owner, an apparent “cybersquatter,” is said to have “bought TrumpEmpire for $10 in April 2015 hoping that someday he’d be able to cash in on the property.” He didn’t even know that Trump had snapped the domain up after it dropped until CNNMoney informed him.
Perhaps the organization’s best catch: DonaldTrumpSucks.com, which Trump managed to grab on Christmas Eve in 2014 when its previous owner failed to renew the domain.
Not surprisingly, Trump’s domain name buying has extended to the political domain. He registered domains with his catchphrase, MakeAmericaGreatAgain, before he announced his presidential bid, and years earlier in 2012 registered domains like VoteAgainstTrump.com, TrumpMustGo.com and NoMoreTrump.com.
He doesn’t own NeverTrump.org; the registrants of NeverTrump.com and NeverTrump.net are hidden behind a privacy service, but no websites are currently operated at these addresses.
One of the world’s most prolific digital real estate owners?
Interestingly, while CNNMoney has identified 3,600-plus domain names that are owned by Trump and/or his company, a 2015 statement by his son and the Trump Organization’s EVP of development and acquisitions, Eric Trump, indicates that the Trump Organization may own tens of thousands of domain names.
In 2015, the younger Trump told Business Insider that the Trump Organization owns “tens of thousands” of domains and registers “thousands” each year. While large companies frequently own many domains, if the “tens of thousands” of domains figure is accurate, it could make Trump and his organization one of the most prolific corporate owners of domain names.
Either way, the large portfolio of domains the Trump Organization owns highlights just how important digital real estate is to the real estate mogul who managed to parlay marketing savvy, relentless self-promotion and controversy into a successful presidential campaign.
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