Case Studies

See what we've done over the years.

NIKE Air Jordan Collection

NIKE & Michael Jordan decided to gift Kobe Bryant an ultra rare set of 30 special issue Air Jordans during the 2016 All Star Game Weekend. They also decided to auction off the only other set in existence for Kobe’s non-profit organization and turned to Auction Cause to make it happen. With less than a week turn around on the project, Auction Cause produced the highly visible campaign on eBay For Charity as a 1 day auction starting at $100,000. Though thousands wanted to bid, the need to secure legitimate payments required high level bidder prequalification, using proprietary techniques developed over 11 years as a high profile online auction management agency. When the dust settled, 34 competitive bids from around the world turned into $240,100 for the Kobe Bryant Foundation.

BMW 18th Man America’s Cup Race ​

BMW was looking to reinvigorate their long running support of their 10 year relationship with Susan G. Komen. They approached Auction Cause with an amazing concept to execute – for the first time ever, auction off the 18th man spot on their America’s Cup racing yacht, as it competed off Spain.

When the auction ended, a Chicago futures trader was thrilled to have the $102,000 winning bid. The auction was promoted via a TODAY show kickoff, more than 3 million emails sent to BMW’s list, and even an AP original wire story, drawing almost 1 million page views on eBay in just over a week’s time.

​​Action Comics No.1

You are looking at the single most valuable comic book to ever be sold on eBay. This is THE comic book that started it all. Issued in 1938, this comic features not only the first appearance of Superman, Clark Kent and Lois Lane, but this comic began the entire superhero genre that has followed during the 76 years since. It is referred to as the Holy Grail of comics and this is the finest graded copy to exist with perfect white pages. This is the Mona Lisa of comics and stands alone as the most valuable comic book ever printed. Reportedly, only 50 to 100 original copies still exist. Other than a CGC graded 2.5, this is the only known copy with “perfect white” pages. A portion of the proceeds benefitted the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

Total Raised: $3,207,852.00

Page Views: 964,289

​“P.S. I Love You” Warner Brothers

Just in time for its holiday release of “P.S. I Love You”, Warner Brothers needed a fast turn around for their eBay cause marketing campaign. Auction Cause handled the design, incorporating film assets, with strong calls to action for the non-profit organization. Ticket sales were driven to Fandango directly from the landing page, resulting in creative online marketing for the movie. Key props from the film, along with a trip to Ireland where the film took place rounded out the concept.

The Result: The  auction beat expectations – with major media outreach, thousands raised for the non-profit organization, and loyal fans winning some very special auction items.

​Vanity Fair Madonna Globe

Vanity Fair wanted to increase interest in their print publication and raise money for charity via an online cause marketing program. Auction Cause crafted a one of a kind auction experience that had many elements for the media and fans to get excited about. By bringing together the iconic Madonna, who was posing on the magazine’s cover with a globe, with a travel, dining, and concert package, we were able to garner global attention that exceeded expectations. The winner also got the globe that had been signed by Madonna as a priceless piece of memorabilia.

​2011 NIKE MAG

In September, 2011, Auction Cause managed the sale of the single largest charity auction campaign in eBay history. The famed 2011 NIKE MAGs, based on a design from the Back to the Future II film, were produced in a ultra limited production run. When it was finished 10 days later, over $4 million had been raised for Parkinson’s Research at the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

First Amendment Project

Challenge: Assist a small nonprofit with an important cause by raising funds on eBay. Also, use this opportunity to increase awareness via a creative, though untested eBay concept – auctioning off the opportunity to name a character or other element in various famous writers’ works. The client looked to Auction Cause to manage the entire process.

Plan: Design a campaign that highlighted the cause, craft specific terms and conditions which met the writers’ expectations, put bidder qualification checks in place to ensure sincere bidding, and work with eBay corporate on publicizing widely. Develop an email system to alert bidders when their favorite author’s auction was live.

Results: Over $100,000 raised on eBay, hundreds of articles written in national print media, including a Associated Press original wire story. The Stephen King auction was the #1 most watched auction on all of eBay, raising over $25,000 alone. With Internet media, national broadcast TV, and radio taking an interest, the event exceeded everyone’s expectations. The auction was featured in the book “Fundraising on eBay”, highlighting the need at times for a nonprofit to hire a premier auction management agency to run their eBay event.

​Rush Limbaugh $2.1 Million Letter

In 2007, Auction Cause managed the highest grossing charity auction in eBay’s history at the time, raising over $2.1 million for The Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation.  In addition, Rush pledged to match the winning bid yielding a total of $4.2 million for the non-profit.

Background: When “Dingy Harry” Reid and the U.S. Senate turned away from the business of the nation to instead smear a private citizen, forty-one of them sent a letter demanding the “repudiation” of their inaccurate interpretation of Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Jesse Al-Zaid (a.k.a. Jesse MacBeth) and other “phony soldiers” who falsify their service.  This original letter, signed by 41 Democrat senators, may well represent the first time in the history of America that this large a group of U.S. senators attempted to demonize a private citizen by lying about his views. As such, it is a priceless memento of the folly of Harry Reid and his 40 senatorial co-signers.

Challenge: 1 week auction project turnaround.  The project needed advanced bidder prequalification considering the huge amount of media attention this would generate based on Rush’s radio outreach.

Results: Over 2 million unique page views in 10 days.   Featured in national broadcast media on TV and the Rush Limbaugh radio show.  Auction Cause managed all customer service and bidder prequalification – over 6000 requests to bid.   Rush publicly pledged to match the winning bid before the auction started, little knowing he would be paying millions!

​Eminem Custom NIKE Shoes

Brands with unique products/launches have had great success working with Auction Cause & eBay. NIKE wanted a 2 month campaign which showcased their partnership with Eminem, who had just custom designed & signed 64 pairs of shoes. The campaign needed a strong call out for Eminem’s charity, created brand awareness for NIKE, and spoke to the serious shoe collectors, keeping the momentum running throughout the two months they were live on eBay.

Auction highlights:

​Peter Gabriel’s Fairlight Keyboard

Peter Gabriel’s organization, Witness, had a dilemma. They had traditionally conducted live auctions during their annual galas, but with the donation of a super rare piece of music memorabilia – a Fairlight model keyboard – played at 1985 MTV awards, they wanted to open up the bidding to the world. Auction Cause came up with the concept of a simultaneous auction – it would end the night of the gala with the Christie’s live auction and end on eBay at the same exact second.

Auction Cause coordinated with the live auctioneer on the ending time, showed up at the event and coordinated the eBay bidding from the room and on the eBay website, pitting the 2 groups against each other. When it was all over, a bidder from Japan had won the keyboard with his $100,000 bid. Leveraged excitement and passion in room with eBay mass audience.

​Dalai Lama Land Rover

How does Auction Cause & eBay come together for an auction connected to an iconic world name – His Holiness – The Dalai Lama? Very carefully! The Dalai Lama Foundation had just refurbished his 1960s Land Rover and wanted to use it for a fundraising event.

Quite a bit of strategic guidance was needed – when to list, how to respectfully design the pages, what additional items/experiences to include, and how to message to the media and fans in a way which would not be exploitative of a religious leader.

Recommendations: Turn the Land Rover into an experience.  Utilize a celebrity spokesperson to help draw attention to the vehicle and add on an experience with them. Auction Cause went to Sharon Stone’s residence to quickly film her video introduction & call to action for the auction. The Foundation worked with Auction Cause to include a Buddhism study experience with His Holiness in India, and also meet Actress Sharon Stone at an upcoming event.

Results: $82,000 raised, over 1 million unique page views on eBay, and over 100 million media impressions on broadcast, print, radio, & Internet. The auction was also featured on the homepage of eBay.