Friday, August 06, 2004

WearYellow, but not from Ebay

I’m a big believer in the wearyellow campaign from the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Nike. I stumbled across the wristbands and the campaign about two weeks before Lance won his record-breaking tour. I bought a wrist band immediately to help support the good work of the foundation. I don’t wear it, perhaps defeating part of the purpose of creating greater awareness for the foundation, but I still felt good supporting the cause.

Last week I decided to start sharing the wrist bands. I wanted pick one up for my young daughter, and thought while I was there – I got mine at Foot Locker – I’d get a bunch more to give to friends and family. Well, I totally spaced and didn’t realize how silly I was to imagine any would be left after Lance’s Tour victory. Well, at least awareness wasn’t a problem. I decided to check the website, and figured I’d buy a few 10-packs. Since I forgot I site address, I did a quick google search. The search gave me the site, but it also gave me a google text ad for ebay. Needless to say the site is sold-out and backordered, but the really disturbing part is that people are selling these, at a premium on ebay! This is one of worst parts of ebay. What is wrong with these people that they would seek to profit from a charity. Is the Foundation seeing any of this money! Of course not. I was so distressed that I wrote to both ebay and the Foundation. If anyone is actually reading this blog, I ask you to write to ebay and help put a stop to this.

As a marketer, I am at once sickened and enthralled by this. Sickened by the greed that would subvert a very good cause and enthralled by this grassroots marketing success of the Foundation. Yes, it is a sports star on the heels of a record breaking victory. But the success is such that it has already spawned a black market in something of very questionable collectability. The site clearly states that more will be available shortly, and yet people are selling and, I assume, buying these. It speaks volumes to the Foundation’s marketing. Good job guys, now get some more wrist bands on the market so the money can go where it belongs.