From NPR: If you direct your browser to TeaParty.com, you will not find a site devoted to the political movement of the same name. What you will find is the Internet home of The Tea Party, a Canadian rock band that has owned the domain name since the early ’90s.
Now, with seemingly no shortage of would-be buyers, the band is hoping to cash in.
The Tea Party may not be well-known in the U.S., but they’re pretty big in Canada. They got started in Toronto in 1990 and by the early 2000s, The Tea Party had recorded eight albums, toured the world and sold 1.6 million records. All along, the band got offers to sell its website.
“There [were] a bunch of small people kicking the tires and seeing if we’d be interested,” says Tea Party bassist Stuart Chatwood. “But the first real political offer came in this summer.”
Chatwood doesn’t want to say who made that offer, but he will say it was “significant.”
“It had a mid-seven-digit back-end to it, and it was like, whoa — all of a sudden we realized that, you know, our little house that we had built happened to be sitting right on top of a gold mine.”
Chatwood won’t say much about his politics, except that he’s very happy with his Canadian socialized medical care.
They hired domain-name broker Sedo, which sold Sex.com for $13 million in 2010, to help them out. Sedo spokeswoman Kathy Nielsen says she doesn’t think TeaParty.com will fetch as much as Sex.com did, but — between its traffic numbers and its search value — it could still be worth more than a million dollars.
“Say it’s a Tea Party group that needs it for fundraising,” Nielsen says. “They can make a business case out of it.”
The Tea Party’s broker expects a deal to close in the next few months, so the next time you click on TeaParty.com, the site could be singing a very different tune.