So we have ‘sold our souls to the devil'. Just kidding! It is actually with pride and joy that I announce that the vision that my husband Jay had, which by the way took me months to understand, has come true. When Jay first told me about his idea, he said he no longer wanted to work with his hands but rather with his head by convincing companies to sign on as sponsors and in return get exposure for their products through advertisement, using our boat and our personas as the conductors of such exposure. I remember thinking there is no way companies will pay us to sail around. Well, he proved me wrong, we now have a sponsor!
Jay created his company Unique Exposure and after a few grueling months designing a logo and a website for him I slowly started understanding and thinking that maybe his idea was possible. The idea was to offer the boat as a ‘mobile billboard’, the sail is like a 30 square meter canvas on which to advertise on. The boat can be equipped with products that a company is interested in either testing or showing them in use to fellow mariners. We offer attending boat shows, participating in regattas and visiting numerous ports where the boat can be seen and visited by many people. We also offer media coverage: photo and video documentation, social media publication, blogging and interest from newspapers, television and radio.
After a failed attempt to get a company to sign on, one that offered a product that Jay believed could be a total hit in the boating community, Jay had read that if you wanted to get a company to do something ‘outside the box’ you had to speak directly to the CEO, these are the visionaries of the companies. But it’s almost impossible to get a meeting with the CEO, usually the Marketing Director is as good as you can get. So on his first attempt, Jay’s vision was stalled there, at the marketing department. Therefore Jay was back to working with his hands, he was in Reykjavik this spring rigging up a boat that had been dismasted during a storm the previous winter when he befriended a man who was tinkering on his own boat next to the one Jay was working on. They hit it off and were hanging out, talking about boats, sharing meals and good times together for a week or so before Jay found out what he did for a living. It turns out that this 'neighbor', who’s name is Jens, is the CEO of the top-level domain .is, he understood Jay’s Unique Exposure idea, ceased the opportunity and jumped on it.
Today Messenger and it’s crew represent .is, our goal is to create awareness that .com is not the only and best option out there for a web domain. There are over 100 million registered .com while only around 50 thousand .is, which means you are most likely to find the name you want under a .is than a .com. A live example of this is us, it’s always been difficult to tell people our website and have them remember it. “So our website is www.familiacoconut.com”, “What was that?”, “It’s ‘familia’ which is family in Spanish ad is spelled f-a-m-i-l-i-a and then ‘coconut’ in English, we are known as the Coconut family or Familia Coconut to go hand-in-hand with our bilingual identity”. Now it’s as simple as “Our website is www.coconuts.is”. Not only has .is been consistently rated among the top five most secure domains in the world but it is also one of the few where you can buy the domain directly at the registry without going through a ‘middle-man’. The coolest thing about a .is is that it is a readable domain, this means that you can use your domain name in a slogan or phrase on your url. When on our homepage the url in the browser reads www.coconuts.is/your-internet-id, so our url incorporates our slogan, we’ve actually made everyone of our pages on our website have it’s own unique readable domain on the url browser window, browse around to check it out for yourselves.
So no, we have not ‘sold our souls to the devil’, our deal with our sponsor has not limited our freedom in any way, on the contrary it has given us a bit more freedom to sail to more places rather than having to worry so much on stopping to look for work along the way, it has given us a cushion to explore the world. And yes, Jay doesn’t have to work with his hands, now he gets paid for doing what he loves most, sailing and converting others to ‘his religion’ along the way. On that note, when Jay told Jens that his family was up in the Westfjords of Iceland and that he would be returning there after his work in Reykjavik was done, Jens joked saying that maybe he would sail him up there on his 8 meter boat Maja, he didn’t know Jay would seriously take him up on it, anything to avoid traveling by car rather than by sea. But Jens being the spontaneous and ‘just do it’ kinda guy he is, got busy getting his boat ready for his first passage ever. Together they set sail on a two day journey up the west coast of Iceland, the partnership started as a friendship on an adventure. It couldn’t have started on a better note.