We all know there are numerous ways to brand your sports business. From a professionally designed and well optimized website, to having consistent social networking usernames across a variety of social media platforms, you are well on your way to promoting your brand.
With a passion for domain names over the years, I have been able to appreciate what it means to have a unique vanity toll-free number. With domain names, you can have a maximum of 64-characters (numbers and letter combinations) to create a domain name, but with a toll free number, you only have seven digits to work with. Because of this length limitation, at least at the level of a true 800#, there are no numbers left in the 800# database left that have been unused.
So how do you find an 800# to market your business? I’ve been using TollFreeNumbers.com over the years because it allows you to search for that perfect number and it lets you know if it is available.
For my Athlete Web Design company, I knew it would be as impossible to get 1-800-ATHLETE as it would be to getting Athlete.com for a reasonable price, even if the owner of the toll-free number wanted to sell it. So I figured the next best option would be to get “WEB” in the three middle digits and 1-800-WEB-7502 (1-800-932-7502) was no longer being used.
A true 800# is the most desirable of numbers because it has been around the longest and most people associate a toll-free number having 800 in it, but you could also search for toll-free numbers using 888, 877, and 866. Because it is a lot easier to find a nice vanity number with these toll-frees, I’ve noticed more and more companies using the non-800# toll-frees.
Here are just a few sports and media related companies using non-800# toll-free numbers:
- 1-888-539-SIRIUS (Sirius/XM Radio)
- 1-877-NFL-KICK (Sirius NFL Radio Show – Ch. 124)
- 1-888-SAY-ESPN (ESPN’s national toll-free)
- 1-866-STUB-HUB (StubHub.com)
- 1-866-2-RIVALS (Rivals.com)
Although 7-letter, 2-word vanity toll-free numbers are not easy to find, some are still available. At the end of December 2009, 1-877-FAN-FEST was available and I picked it up for a project we are working on. I was amazed that a phone number like that was still available.
If a toll free number is available, and if the final 4 digits do not end in with consecutive numbers (i.e. 1000, 1100, 0000, etc.), you can get the number for $50-$80, depending on what toll-free exchange it is (800, 888, 877, and 866). If a number does have the final 4 digits ending with easier to remember digits such as 1000, 1100, 0000, etc., plan on paying a premium for this, because it is more desirable and easier to remember. For example, 1-877-FAN-0000 is an available toll-free number, but is going to be $599.00 to pick it up, vs. $49.95 if you just were to buy 1-877-FAN-1247.
Looking for a vanity toll-free number for your sports business? Below are just a few examples of vanity toll-free numbers that are currently available:
- 1-800-521-ESPN (great for a local ESPN affiliate who needs an 800#)
- 1-800-TIX-6700 (great for a ticket broker needing a memorable/established #)
- 1-888-921-SHOP (online or retail shop toll-free #)
- 1-800-MVP-3100 (is your organization an MVP?)
- 1-866-91-HOOPS (basketball related company or organization)
- 1-877-855-PICK (great for a Las Vegas sports book)
- 1-800-600-LINE (a more memorable/marketable vanity number for sports bets)
- 1-800-TEAM-597 (need a toll free number for your team?)
Vanity toll free numbers are a fascinating aspect to branding a business or organization. Feel free to post your questions and comments to me on Twitter @athlete as well as post your experiences with your organization’s toll-free number below.