eBay Taps College Football Fervor

Auction giant eBay and Domino’s Pizza on Tuesday unveiled the centerpiece of their fall promotional campaign designed to tap into the audience of ardent college football fans. The “Stay True to Your School” campaign will be anchored by a contest that lets college football fans bid on unique memorabilia or experiences with their teams. The school whose fans spend the most will be awarded a $25,000 scholarship funded by eBay.

The “eBay National Sports Championship” builds on a promotional campaign announced by the San Jose, Calif., company and Domino’s two weeks ago. The promotion will put eBay advertisements on up to 15 million pizza boxes to build awareness for the contest hosted at eBay’s Web site.

So far, more than 25 schools’ athletic departments have listed merchandise or prizes, ranging from the mundane (an autographed football from Stanford’s coaching staff) to the highly unique (serving as an honorary team captain with Michigan State and participating in the pre-game coin toss).

In order to bid on the items, fans must register as eBay members. Visitors to eBay will also be directed to team memorabilia items offered by eBay’s 75 million members.

The contest will track the amount spent per team through the season, releasing weekly standings until the end of the contest, January 2004, when the top-ranked school will be awarded the scholarship.

The Stay True to Your School contest also offers fans the chance to win “the ultimate homecoming trip,” a road trip to a college football game with five friends. Contestants can also win $10 pizza gift certificates and one for $500.

Visitors to the eBay college football section will also have a chance to vote on their favorite college football moment in the past 25 years from a list that includes Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary pass to beat Miami and last year’s double overtime national championship game between Ohio State and Miami.

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