eBay Sunday League Dream Transfer: Funny old game

eBay_Dream_TransfersAnd so to the not-so-beautiful game of waterlogged pitches, jumpers for goalposts, pre-match pies and pints, half-time pies and pints and post-match pies and pints. Welcome to the world of Sunday League football.

You see, at the beginning of the year, eBay UK hijacked football’s January Transfer Window to give Sunday League teams across the country the chance to sign football legends Roberto Carlos and Eni Aluko for a once-in-a-life-time match.

Yes, we know that was months ago but bare with us. Apparently the campaign led to over 770 editorial features, including 20 TV placements and 64 pieces of coverage across UK national publications, reaching 72 million impressions through paid social and brand sentiment on eBay’s channels rose 50%. Not too shabby then…

Led by creative agency McCann London alongside Weber Shandwick and MediaCom, eBay’s Dream Transfer was designed to showcase eBay’s community ethos of being the ‘people’s marketplace’.

The campaign took the January Transfer Window – typically reserved for football’s elite – and opened it up to anyone and everyone, through one-game Sunday League contracts, openly listed on eBay for just a fiver, with all proceeds going to the charity Football Beyond Borders.

As Sunday League took over the Transfer Window, two teams emerged victorious, with Eni signing to Pevensey & Westham Ladies in Eastbourne and Roberto signing to Bull in the Barne United – a pub team in Shrewsbury.

This week (see, there is something new) has seen the release of a documentary-style film directed by Glenn Kitson, showing Carlos and Eni battling their way through sliding tackles that would make Chopper Harris look tame, and flaying elbows that even Alan Shearer would be proud of.

Not only was it brutal on the pitch, the weather was pretty foul, too. But it seems fun – and a large portion of greasy food and beer – was had by all, helped in no small part by the presence of Chris “unbelievable Jeff” Kamara.

eBay UK chief marketing officer Eve Williams enthused: “The Dream Transfer has been a tribute to one of the UK’s biggest collective passions – football – and the fantastic work of our charity partner Football Beyond Borders to help young people reach their full potential through sport.

“Bringing communities together around a shared passion is what eBay’s marketplace is all about, and it’s been brilliant to bring this to life for the players and fans of Pevensey & Westham and Bull in the Barne FC.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, to be fair, the documentary sums up everything that everyone loves about Sunday League football in just over four minutes. Neither team actually benefitted from having a star player, both lost – Pevensey & Westham shipped 16 goals – but no-one cared because that is not what it was all about.

And who are we to argue with “770 editorial features, including 20 TV placements and 64 pieces of coverage across UK national publications, reaching 72 million impressions through paid social and brand sentiment on eBay’s channels rose 50%”?

Decision Marketing Adometer: A “different class” 10 out of 10

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