As the campaign’s founder Michael Rubin stated, “When the world faces a crisis, businesses and sports have an obligation to step up and make a difference.”
Fanatics sits at the unique crossroads of working with nearly every league, team and athlete, while having many connections to entertainers and celebrities who are friends, but also sports fans. Despite the unprecedented circumstances surrounding the sports world, the All In Challenge created a way to rally the biggest names in our industry and beyond together to help those in need. This led to participation from more than 500 of the most influential athletes, teams, leagues, celebrities and brands, as well as over 1 million individual contributions via sweepstakes entries, auction bids and personal donations, setting a precedent for the impact our industry can have in times of need moving forward.
Objective: At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fanatics’ Executive Chairman Michael Rubin knew that he needed to use his resources to make a positive impact and help those in need. He decided to halt Fanatics’ traditional production of MLB jerseys and pivot to produce one million masks and gowns (made of the same on-field player jersey material) that were then donated to frontline workers across 11 states. But Rubin knew he wanted to do more, and quickly turned his attention to the next issue being exposed by the pandemic – widespread food insecurity.
Always an important cause, COVID-19 unearthed a staggering number of people affected by a lack of food resources including kids, the elderly and the millions of newly unemployed. Recognizing the dire need to address this problem, Rubin and Fanatics created the ALL In Challenge, and then quickly brought in entrepreneurs Alan Tisch and Gary Vaynerchuk to collectively use their deep connections across sports, entertainment and business to build out the program and support four leading food charities: No Kid Hungry, Meals on Wheels, World Central Kitchen and Feeding America.
Strategy & Execution: The goal of the All in Challenge was to create a digital, socially driven platform that would offer sports fans access to incredible items and once and a lifetime experiences while supporting a critically important issue exposed by COVID-19. The strategy was to create easy access points for ALL fans to get involved, whether it was through online auctions or donating as little as $10 for the chance to enter several enter to win sweepstakes.
With hundreds of the most popular teams, athletes and leagues joining the cause, all fans had something intriguing available to win through the campaign. The All In Challenge provided fans over-the-top experiences, such as a putting lesson from Tiger Woods, and the most cherished personal items from the biggest names in sports, like Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl LI ring, while supporting those struggling during the pandemic.
Results: From launch, the #AllInChallenge immediately became a viral sensation and a daily topic of conversation across social channels and media outlets worldwide, including several days as a trending topic on Twitter. Consumers waited with anticipation for who the next athletes, leagues, teams and sports brands to go “All In” would be, with new participants announcing their challenges around the clock over the duration of the campaign.
The program has become one of the largest digital fundraisers ever, and overall to date has generated roughly 4,500 earned media placements resulting in over 28 billion media impressions across traditional and social media channels. The nearly $60 million raised has funded an estimated 220 million meals to feed those in need.