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|Headquarters||Scottsdale, Arizona, USA|
|Key people||Michael Zimmerman (CFO)|
|Revenue||US$1.14 billion (2011)|
|Alexa rank||85 (August 2012[update])|
|Headquarters||Scottsdale, Arizona, USA|
|Key people||Michael Zimmerman (CFO)|
|Revenue||US$1.14 billion (2011)|
|Alexa rank||85 (August 2012[update])|
Go Daddy or Go Daddy Group Inc. is a privately held company that is primarily an internet domain registrar and web hosting company. Go Daddy Group Inc. filed for an IPO in 2006, but later canceled it, due to "market uncertainties". In addition to domain registration and hosting Go Daddy also sells e-business related software and services. On June 24, 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported that private-equity firms KKR and Silver Lake Partners, along with a third investor, were nearing a deal to buy the company for between $2–2.5 billion. On July 1, 2011 Go Daddy confirmed that KKR, Silver Lake Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures had closed the deal. Although the purchase price was not officially announced it was reported to be $2.25 billion, for 65% of the company. As of December 2011[update], Bob Parsons had ceded the CEO role of Go Daddy to Warren Adelman, who had been with the company for about 10 years.
Go Daddy was founded in 1997 as Jomax Technologies by Bob Parsons, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Prior to Go Daddy, Parsons sold his financial software services company, "Parsons Technology, Inc." to Intuit. The sale provided him with several millions of dollars in the mid-1990s. As a result, Parsons decided to retire. In 1997, Bob Parsons came out of his retirement to launch a new company, Jomax Technologies which later became Go Daddy Group Inc.
In 1999, a group of employees at Jomax Technologies were brainstorming and decided to change the company name. An employee said, "How about Big Daddy?" However, the domain name had already been purchased. Parsons replied, "How about Go Daddy?" The name was available, so he bought it. Parsons said the company stuck with the name because it made people smile and remember it.
Go Daddy Group Inc. has a 65,000 square foot data center in The United States. This data center is connected to an optical fiber DWDM Ethernet backbone with a speed of 20 Gigabits per second. In 2010, Go Daddy reached more than 45 million domain names under management. At that time, Go Daddy was reported as the largest ICANN-accredited registrar in the world, at the size of four times their closest competitor.
Parsons refers to the marketing as "Go Daddy-esque", which he describes as "fun, edgy, and a lot inappropriate".
Most of Go Daddy's early television ads starred former WWE diva Candice Michelle, usually appearing in a sexually suggestive manner. She has been referred to as "Miss GoDaddy.com" or "The Go Daddy Girl" by fans and on WWE television shows, where she also does the "Go Daddy Dance" (twirling her arms around her body while slowly turning) as part of her wrestling gimmick.
In 2006, Go Daddy began sponsoring IndyCar driver Danica Patrick, who subsequently joined the "Go Daddy Girl" lineup and began playing a prominent role in the company's commercials. In March 2009, Go Daddy announced professional poker player Vanessa Rousso as the newest Go Daddy Girl. Vanessa competed in the Go Daddy sponsored NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship the same month, finishing second and making history by being the first woman to make it to the finals. Also in March 2009, Go Daddy added pro-golfer Anna Rawson, bringing the Go Daddy Girl spokeswomen count to four. She is edgy, she is fun, she is hotter than firecrackers, she is very clever and everything we look for in a Go Daddy Girl, Parsons said of Rawson at a news conference in Phoenix. In August 2009, another Go Daddy Girl was announced. A Russian native, Marina Orlova is an online linguist, explaining the origin of words on her HotforWords.com Web site. A New Yorker magazine blogger called her the sexiest philologist in the world.
In 2010, Go Daddy announced it is adding "America's Toughest Trainer" Jillian Michaels as a Go Daddy Girl. Michaels joins race car driver Danica Patrick as a Go Daddy Girl, a move that Parsons said should attract new customers. Michaels is a well-known celebrity, famous for her role as a health and wellness coach on NBC's hit show, "The Biggest Loser".
An order was placed with Orange County Choppers for a custom bike to raise contributions for charity and was revealed in Miami, Florida, and featured the models Candice and Danica. The episode was documented by the reality show American Chopper episode number 82.
On August 13, 2007, Parsons announced that Go Daddy may be sitting out Super Bowl XLII. "There's always the possibility that we might not be able to get an appropriately edgy advertisement approved," he said. "All things considered, there's a strong argument for staying on the sidelines this year and taking that Super Bowl advertising money and using it for other opportunities," he added. However, on January 28, 2008, during a telecast of World Wrestling Entertainment's RAW program on USA Network in a reverse of field, it was disclosed by Go Daddy spokesperson (and WWE diva) Candice Michelle that there will be an advertisement during the game, which featured a "behind the scenes" look into that ad. Once again, Go Daddy went through more than a dozen submissions before it was able to get a commercial approved by Fox, the same network that had pulled its Super Bowl XXXIX advertisement before its second scheduled airing. Go Daddy had hoped to broadcast a spot called "Exposure" featuring Go Daddy Girl Danica Patrick and animatronic beavers. But Fox deemed the spot too racy for prime time television and told Parsons it would not air it unless he removed the word "beaver". Parsons refused, and Go Daddy instead aired a completely different commercial, called "Spot On". The spot was essentially an "Ad to an Ad" and told viewers to go to the company's Web site to see "Exposure". "Spot On" aired in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLII, and the company quickly deemed it an enormous success. Go Daddy logged more than one million views of the "Exposure" advertisement before the game ended and reported 1.5 million visits to the GoDaddy.com Web site. 
The 2008 Go Daddy advertisement has been both maligned and praised. Ad Week's Barbara Lippert described it a "poorly produced scene in a living room where people are gathered to watch the Super Bowl. As we watch them watch, a guy at his computer in the corner of the room drags the crowd over to GoDaddy.com to view the banned ad instead." But Lippert, like others, also acknowledges the shrewdness of the public relations strategy, saying "it will probably produce a Pavlovian response in getting actual viewers in their own living rooms to do the same." Go Daddy's Super Bowl XLI advertisement was criticized in The New York Times as being "cheesy"; in National Review as "raunchy, 'Girls-Gone-Wild' style"; and "just sad" by Barbara Lippert in Adweek, who gave the advertisement a "D". However, Reprise Media, reviewing the success of Super Bowl advertising in getting potential customers online, listed the 2007 commercial as one of only eight "Touchdown"-worthy ads among the day's high-priced advertisers. IAG Research, which rated the effectiveness of likeability and memorability of the ads, ranked Go Daddy's spot as second for most-recalled.
Go Daddy purchased two Super Bowl spots for different commercials, both of which NBC approved. The commercials featured Go Daddy Girl and IndyCar Series driver Danica Patrick. In "Shower", Danica takes a shower with Simona Fusco Stratten as three college students control the women's maneuvers from a computer. "Baseball" is a spoof of the steroids scandal. While "Shower" won Go Daddy's online vote, "Baseball" was the most popular of the Super Bowl. Both helped increase domain registrations 110 percent above 2008 post Super Bowl levels. Go Daddy posted Internet-only versions of its commercials during the game. These are extended versions with more risque content.
"Baseball" was the most watched Super Bowl commercial according to TiVo, Inc. According to comScore, Go Daddy ranked first in advertiser Web site follow-through. Rob Goulding, head of business-to-business markets for Google, offered an in-depth analysis of Super Bowl spots that aired during Sunday's championship game. He said the most successful were multichannel-oriented, driving viewers to Web sites and "focusing on conversion as never before." Go Daddy experienced significant Web traffic and a strong "hangover" effect of viewer interest in the days that followed due to a provocative "teaser" advertisement pointing to the Web, Goulding said.
In 2010, Go Daddy was again the presenting sponsor for the live race broadcast and the primary sponsor for IndyCar driver Danica Patrick. And, for the first time ever, Go Daddy broadcast user-generated commercials as part of its advertising strategy. The top three winners of Go Daddy's "Create Your Own Commercial" contest had their ads air during the race broadcast. Creators of the first place advertisement "Go Momma" received $100,000 in cash. The commercial features a mother who creates a Web site with Go Daddy in order to save time and still keep in touch with her family. In the thirty-second story, she posts her cherished family recipes on her Web site, even though she's not tech-savvy. The grand prize winner of the user-generated content contest is not only cleavage-free and smarm-free, it also celebrates an empowered woman of a certain age who uses Go Daddy to help her solve a family problem.
In 2009, for a third consecutive year, Go Daddy was the presenting sponsor of the Indianapolis 500 race broadcast on ABC. Go Daddy also debuted a new commercial called "Speeding" during the Indy 500. The commercial features Danica Patrick getting pulled over for speeding by a female cop wanting to be a "Go Daddy Girl". The advertisement teases to an edgier Web version that drove a 570% traffic increase to GoDaddy.com. 
For the Las Vegas race in 2011, Go Daddy launched the Go Daddy IndyCar Challenge where the only participent, driver Dan Wheldon, would have won $2.5m each for himself and randomly selected fan, Ann Babenco, if he won the race, starting from last place. A 15 car pile up 12 laps into the race injured 4 drivers and killed Wheldon. 
Despite the tragedy (Wheldon had been set for the 2012 season with Andretti Autosport in the renumbered #27 Chevrolet), Go Daddy will return to Andretti Autosport with second-year driver James Hinchcliffe. Go Daddy's commercials with Andretti Autosport will focus on the "Mario Andretti Advice Show" gimmick, and later in the season Hinchliffe's "Mayor of Hinchtown" Web promotion is expected for Go Daddy promotion.
In September 2009, Go Daddy announced it would be returning advertisers in the 2010 Super Bowl, purchasing two spots. The commercials "Spa" and "News" starred Go Daddy Girl and racecar driver Danica Patrick. In "Spa," Patrick is getting a lavish massage when the masseuse breaks into a spontaneous Go Daddy Girl audition. The second advertisement called "News" has news anchors conducting a 'gotcha' interview with Go Daddy Girl Danica Patrick about commercials known for being too hot for television.
According to Akamai, there was a large spike in Internet traffic late in the fourth quarter of the game. This spike was tied to Go Daddy's "News" advertisement airing. CEO Bob Parsons said Go Daddy had "a tremendous surge in Web traffic, sustained the spike, converted new customers and shot overall sales off the chart."
A fourth spokesman, with commercials which are not sexually suggestive, has appeared in ads starting in 2008. These advertisements, which air in NASCAR broadcasts, feature NASCAR Nationwide Series owner Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who designed and owns and occasionally drives the #5 JR Motorsports Chevrolet in the series. Go Daddy's sponsorship of the team includes five races in 2008 with Mark Martin and Ron Fellows (who won the NAPA Auto Parts 200 in the Go Daddy Chevrolet), sharing duties in the races with Earnhardt Jr. Junior designed the paint scheme for the car, which in true Earnhardt tradition is dominated by black with green and orange (the colors of Go Daddy). GoDaddy.com also has sponsored the Randy Moss Motorsports (aka Morgan-Dollar Motorsports) truck when Landon Cassill drives it, both in the original #46 and later as #81, as Cassill is a Hendrick Motorsports Developmental Driver, which includes selected Nationwide Series races in Earnhardt's #5 car.
Go Daddy has also sponsored Brad Keselowski in the #25 for Hendrick Motorsports on a limited basis in the Sprint Cup series (owing to the "part-time rookie exemption" to a four-car limit). After a successful 2008 season, Go Daddy is expanding its 2009 NASCAR sponsorship with the JR Motorsports organisation, sponsoring 20 Nationwide Series races as primary sponsor, split between the #5 and #88 teams. The #88 deal gave Keselowski a full 35-race NASCAR Nationwide Series sponsorship for 2009 split with Delphi and Unilever. Go Daddy will also be the primary sponsor for seven races in the Sprint Cup Series with Keselowski driving. GoDaddy.com signed a one-year deal with Darlington Raceway to sponsor the 53rd Annual Rebel 500, the fifth-oldest race on the Sprint Cup circuit. Keselowski got his third Nationwide victory at Dover - his first in the #88 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet. In the same season, Keselowski scored a second Nationwide victory in the #88 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet at the first ever NASCAR race at Iowa SpeedwayAnd then at Michigan.
For 2010, the Hendrick/Go Daddy association will continue; Danica Patrick drove a 12 race schedule in the #7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, while GoDaddy.com was also the primary sponsor for Mark Martin in the #5 Chevrolet Impala for most of the 2010 and 2011 seasons. 
In the last few years, Go Daddy has made many donations to local, regional, national, and international charities, including those that focus on domestic violence, child abuse, disabled children, teenage homelessness, Parkinson's research, breast cancer, and animal shelters. Major recipients of Go Daddy contributions over the past several years include the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Phoenix Children's Hospital, the Arizona Humane Society, the Phoenix Zoo, Chrysalis, HomeBase Youth Services, and the Salvation Army. Go Daddy's employees have also participated in a series of events to raise money for charitable causes. In 2009 Go Daddy donated $50,000 to the Lincoln Family Downtown YMCA in Arizona when the organization requested only $1,000. Go Daddy also participated in the 11th Annual Arizona Humane Society Pet Telethon as the title sponsor. The company matched online contributions and donated a check for $100,000. In December 2009 at Go Daddy's annual Holiday Party, Executive Chairman and Founder Bob Parsons and Danica Patrick announced that Go Daddy would be donating $500,000 to the Phoenix-based UMOM New Day Center to fund the Danica Patrick Go Daddy.com Domestic Violence Center. In November 2008, more than 700 Go Daddy employees participated in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Walk to Cure Diabetes in Tempe, AZ. Other Go Daddy employee efforts have included the annual Toys for Tots drive, as well as donations to St. Mary's Food Bank during the holiday season. In April 2006, the company donated $10,000 to the OpenSSH development program, which is managed by OpenBSD. They have also donated $10,000 in March 2006 to Perverted-Justice.com in which volunteers pose online as minors to find child predators and report them to law enforcement.
Starting in 2010, Go Daddy is the sponsor of the GoDaddy.com Bowl, a postseason college football bowl game played in Mobile, Alabama, which was previously branded as the GMAC Bowl before GMAC took TARP funding in 2009. The game currently matches teams from the Sun Belt Conference and the Mid-American Conference, and will through 2013.
In 2002, Go Daddy sued VeriSign for domain slamming and again in 2003 over its Site Finder service. This latter suit caused controversy over VeriSign's role as the sole maintainer of the .com and the .net top-level domains. VeriSign shut down Site Finder after receiving a letter from ICANN ordering it to comply with a request to disable the service. In 2006, Go Daddy was sued by Web.com for patent infringement.
On January 24, 2007, Go Daddy deactivated the domain of computer security site Seclists.org, taking 250,000 pages of security content offline. The shutdown resulted from a complaint from MySpace to Go Daddy regarding 56,000 user names and passwords posted a week earlier to the full-disclosure mailing list and archived on the Seclists.org site as well as many other websites. Seclists.org administrator Gordon Lyon, who goes by the handle "Fyodor", provided logs to CNET News.com showing Go Daddy de-activated the domain 52 seconds after leaving him a voicemail and he had to go to great lengths to get the site reactivated. Go Daddy general counsel Christine Jones stated that Go Daddy's terms of service "reserves the right to terminate your access to the services at any time, without notice, for any reason whatsoever." The site seclists.org is now hosted with Linode. The suspension of seclists.org led Lyon to create NoDaddy.com, a consumer activist website where dissatisfied Go Daddy customers and whistleblowers from Go Daddy's staff share their experiences. The No Daddy domain has since been sold to Go Daddy.
On December 19, 2006, Go Daddy received a third party complaint of invalid domain contact information in the WHOIS database for the domain FamilyAlbum.com. Go Daddy wrote a letter to the owner of FamilyAlbum.com saying, "Whenever we receive a complaint, we are required by ICANN regulations to initiate an investigation as to whether the contact data displaying in the WHOIS database is valid data or not... On 12/19/2006 we sent a notice to you at the admin/tech contact email address and the account email address informing you of invalid data in breach of the domain registration agreement and advising you to update the information or risk cancellation of the domain. The contact information was not updated within the specified period of time and we canceled the domain." The editor of "Domain Name Wire" said that since domain names are valuable it was reasonable to expect that the registrar would try to contact the domain owner by phone or postal mail. On February 28, 2007, Go Daddy offered to get the domain name back for the previous owner if he would indemnify Go Daddy from legal action by the new registrant. Go Daddy stated that the new owner paid $18.99 for the domain, the price of a backorder, not a regular registration. On November 2, 2007, Domain Name Wire reported that it appears that Go Daddy no longer cancels domains for invalid WHOIS. The editor on Domain Name Wire received a message from a reader who is trying to acquire a domain with obviously false WHOIS information. The message from Go Daddy said, "The domain has been suspended due to invalid WHOIS. The domain will remain in suspension through expiration, including the registry's redemption period, unless the owner updates the contact information before that time."
On March 11, 2008, Go Daddy shut down RateMyCop.com — a RateMyProfessors-type site where people would comment on their interactions with law enforcement officers. Some reports said there have been complaints from police. A Go Daddy spokesperson said, "Basically, he was paying for compact car, when he really needed a semi-truck." The registrar for the name, Name.com, continued to allow the DNS to resolve, and is now hosted at Lunarpages. Go Daddy stated the reason for shutting down the Web site had nothing to do with censorship or complaints but that the site was receiving too many simultaneous connections. In 2006, Go Daddy locked access to the Irish Web site RateYourSolicitor.com after the Irish high court issued an order to remove offensive material about a barrister from the site.
In March 2010, Go Daddy stopped registering .cn domains (China) due to the high amount of personal information that is required to register in that country. Some called it a public relations campaign, since it closely followed Google's revolt in China.
In 2011, animal rights groups including PETA complained when a video of Bob Parsons shooting and killing an elephant at night in Zimbabwe was made by Parsons and posted on his personal blog. In response, Parsons stated "The tribal authorities request that I and others like me, patrol the fields before and during the harvest". PETA said they would be closing their account with Go Daddy.
On July 12, 2011, an article in the The Register reported that, shortly after Bob Parsons' sale of Go Daddy, the company purchased gripe site No Daddy. The site had returned a top 5 result on Google for a search for Go Daddy.
In July, 2011, Go Daddy introduced a policy of blocking DNS queries from some outside DNS servers, in order to prevent other DNS queries from being too slow. Among other things, this prevents some bots from visiting websites, forcing some search engines to exclude domains hosted with Go Daddy. This policy has an impact on search engine ranking for various Go Daddy customers who have multiple domains with different registrars. Go Daddy has refused to comment on the policy or the perception that their servers cannot handle the load or they are giving preference to their platinum level customers. It has also interfered with projects that collect Internet statistics.
On August 16, 2011, after the policy was introduced, it appears that GoDaddy blocked recursive DNS servers in China, preventing Chinese visitors from reaching websites using Go Daddy DNS hosting.
On December 22, 2011, a thread was started on the social news website Reddit discussing the identity of supporters of the US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which included Go Daddy. Go Daddy subsequently released additional statements supporting SOPA. A boycott and transfer of domains was proposed. This quickly spread across the Internet, gained support, and was followed by a proposed Boycott Go Daddy day on December 29, 2011. One strong supporter of this action was Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh, who threatened that the organization would remove over 1,000 domains from Go Daddy if they continued their support of SOPA. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales also announced that all Wikipedia domains would be moved away from Go Daddy as their position on SOPA was "unacceptable". After a brief campaign on Reddit, imgur owner Alan Schaaf transferred his domain from Go Daddy.
Go Daddy pulled its support for SOPA on December 23, releasing a statement saying "Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it." Later that day, CEO Warren Adelman couldn’t commit to changing Go Daddy's position on the record in Congress when asked, but said “I’ll take that back to our legislative guys, but I agree that’s an important step.” when pressed, he said “We’re going to step back and let others take leadership roles.” He felt that the public statement removing their support would be sufficient for now, though further steps would be considered. Further outrage was due to the fact that many Internet sites and domain registrars would be subject to shutdowns under SOPA, but GoDaddy is in a narrow class of exempted businesses that would have immunity, where many other domain operators would not.
On December 25, 2011 (Christmas Day), Go Daddy lost a net 16,191 domains as a result of the boycott. However, on December 29 (the day of the proposed boycott), Go Daddy gained a net of 20,748 domains, twice as many as it lost that day.
On December 26, 2011, a Google bomb was started against Go Daddy to remove them from the #1 place on Google for the term "Domain Registration" in retaliation for supporting SOPA. This was then disseminated through Hacker News.
On September 10, 2012, GoDaddy was shut down completely. A self-proclaimed member of the hacktivist group Anonymous took responsibility for shutting down GoDaddy along with all GoDaddy serviced websites. This claim was disputed by Wagner, who stated that the isolated incident was due to internal mistakes that led to corrupt data tables. Wagner stood by the quality of GoDaddy's infrastructure, citing a 99.999% uptime. Parts of his claims were disputable as the nearly 6-hour downtime would suggest that GoDaddy had been in operation for approximately 70 years when the statement was released.
On September 10 2012, a major networking failure caused by corrupted router tables resulted in a DNS outage intermittently affecting millions of customers' sites for a period of 4.5 hours. Initial reports attributed it to a DDOS attack, but GoDaddy later said in an apology e-mail to its customers on September 14, 2012, that the outage was due to the corruption of router data tables, confirming indications that millions of web sites and e-mails were affected.
The rival domain name registrar NameCheap claimed that Go Daddy was in violation of ICANN rules by providing incomplete information in order to hinder the protest moves of domain names from Go Daddy to NameCheap, an accusation which Go Daddy denied, claiming that it was following its standard business practice to prevent WHOIS abuse.
On April 12, 2006, Marketwatch reported that GoDaddy.com, Inc., had hired Lehman Brothers to manage an initial stock offering that could raise more than $100 million and value the company at several times that amount. On May 12, 2006, Go Daddy filed an S-1 registration statement prior to an initial public offering. On August 8, 2006, Bob Parsons, announced that he had withdrawn the company's IPO filing.
In September 2010, Go Daddy put itself up for auction. Go Daddy called off the auction several weeks later, despite reports that bids exceeded the asking price of $1.5 billion to $2 billion.