Leveraging the 2021/22 Transfer Window, eBay UK teamed up with youth football non-profit Football Beyond Borders to give fans the chance to sign a football legend – either former Real Madrid and Brazil fullback Roberto Carlos and/or Juventus, Chelsea and England attacker Eni Aluko – for their own Sunday League teams for an unforgettable game in a campaign called ‘Dream Transfer’.
The initiative aims to showcase eBay’s community ethos and ‘people’s marketplace’ positioning by bringing elite level Transfer Window excitement to local clubs via one-game Sunday League contracts humorously listed on eBay just for £5.
All bidders need to do is enter via a £5 raffle ticket and all proceeds are donated to social inclusion charity Football Beyond Borders.
The project was developed and promoted in harness with creative agency McCann London and media agency MediaCom Sport & Entertainment and also saw the brand, charity and agencies work with several media partners including Sky Sports and Joe Media.
It was promoted through an integrated campaign running through January up to and beyond Transfer Deadline Day with teaser films, paid-for and organic online social, TVC, onsite takeovers, all accumulating in ‘Match Day’ films once the winners were announced.
Sign a legend for a fiver! Enter our #DreamTransfer competition to have Roberto Carlos or Eni Aluko play for your team!
T&Cs apply. pic.twitter.com/v2urPtLlfW
— eBay.co.uk (@eBay_UK) January 7, 2022
— eBay.co.uk (@eBay_UK) January 9, 2022
— eBay.co.uk (@eBay_UK) January 8, 2022
Entries were open from the first week of January to 28 January with the winning teams announced on 31 January – in line with Deadline Day itself.
Creative imagery was shot by Amit & Naroop (At Trayler) and the campaign also includes Sky Sport’s Kelly Cates and Chris Kamara, plus transfer rumour specialist Fabrizio Romano.
— Chris Kamara (@chris_kammy) January 7, 2022
“Bringing communities together who have a shared passion is what eBay’s marketplace is all about,” explained eBay Chief Marketing Officer Eve Williams. “We wanted to kick off 2022 in a big way to celebrate one of the UK’s biggest collective passions – football – and to make it accessible to everyone – all while supporting Football Beyond Borders, a fantastic charity that does great work to help young people reach their full potential through sport. We’re thrilled to be working alongside legends Carlos and Aluko and look forward to seeing which lucky Sunday league team gets them on their pitch.”
McCann London Creative Director Matt Searle added: “In recent times the ‘Beautiful Game’ has gotten ugly. Tarnished by elitism, the football pyramid and communities who thrive because of it, are in threat of being left behind. But, by using eBay we set out to democratise the biggest marketplace of all: with bags of heart, a lot of fun, a Serie A champ, and a World Cup winner. Can Carlos bend it in Bromley? You bet he can. Can Aluko do it on a wet night in Stoke? Just watch her shine! And best of all? Either legend is yours on eBay, for the price of a pint – with funds raised going to a good cause. Now that’s something we can all cheer.”
MediaCom Sport & Entertainment Director Alex Brown comented: “The Transfer Window is one of the most exciting moments in football every year, but the smaller clubs are always left out. Our campaign with eBay builds on the success we’ve already seen with Small Business United and aims to democratise football to bring it back to the local clubs and businesses where it all started for so many. With world famous footballers and pundits onboard, we’ll deliver a Transfer Window like no other this year across all major platforms.”
Chris Kamara said: “Bringing these retired legends back is going to be a real occasion, raising funds for a great cause – Football Beyond Borders. We want to raise as much as we can to support kids across the UK that all share a love of the great game, so get going on eBay as you really don’t want to miss out! With Carlos’ pace and Aluko’s striking skills we’re in for some cracking football and I can’t wait to see these Dream Transfers take place.”
‘Dream Transfer’ was created for eBay UK’s marketing team of Chief Marketing Officer Eve Williams, Head Of Brand Marketing Alex Allcott, Head Of Partnerships Faisal Alani, Head Of Consumer PR Menreet Kaur,
Heads Of Marketing Operations & Onsite Creative Strategy Ed Maule and Kirsten Freeman, Social Media & Content Manager Jack Francis, PR Manager Annie Shields, Onsite Senior Account Manager Isabell Proschak, Marketing Executive Eva Lamerton, Ebay For Charity Lead Melissa Selwood and Ebay For Charity Intern Amelia Buttery.
The team at agency McCann London included
Chief Creative Officers Laurence Thomson and Rob Doubal, Chief Strategy Officer Theo Izzard-Brown, Executive Creative Directors Ray Shaughnessy and Dan Norris, Creative Directors Matt Searle and Olly Wood, Creatives Connor Wynn and Jack Stoten, Global Business Lead Sailesh Jani, Business Director Tom Oliver, Account Director Conor Lloyd, Account Manager Katie Dumbrell, Account Associate Sasha Semple, Strategy Director Harrison Steinhart, Senior Planner Jonathan Bender, Project Director Clare Prager, Project Manager Neil Tingey, Head Of Design Lisa Carrana and Design Director Andy McGuigan.
Media was handled by MediaCom, PR by Weber Shandwick with Charity PR by Launch, Influencer Seen Connect, Onsite Production by Feed and social by That Lot and production/post production by Craft and At Trayler.
The initiative aims to reinforce eBay’s positioning as a place where surprising value is found every day and also to utilise the power of the eBay marketplace for a good cause.
This initiative builds on previous eBay work with The English Football League (EFL) focused on the online auction outfit’s ‘Small Businesses United’ three-year partnership which celebrates the businesses powering local communities around all 72 EFL clubs.
As for the annual January Transfer Window itself, it is usually something of an exclusive period reserved for football’s elite, so this initiative seeks to democratise it and offer everyone a taste of the window’s excitement no matter what level they play at.
Founded in 2013, Football Beyond Borders was set up to change the lives of young people who may be passionate about football but not fulfilling their potential at school and more than 2000 young people have already benefited from its programmes and its previous initiatives include 2021’s ‘No More Empty Chairs’ and its ‘Spoken Word Project’.