eBay plays virtual holiday game with sneakerheads

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis

eBay is using gamification and augmented reality to run a surprise sneaker drop just in time for the holidays.

The e-commerce marketplace is teaming up with NBA champion Anthony Davis to offer an event called “Santa Sneaker Drop” through Thursday, Dec. 24. The promotion kicks off with a digital short featuring Santa asking Davis for an assist delivering this season's hottest collectible sneakers. 

As the story goes, Davis ran into some trouble handling the sleigh, and when he swerved mid-flight, more than 500 pairs of the most coveted sneakers fell off the sleigh and scattered across the country. To make things right, Davis is partnering with eBay to turn the dropped sneakers into a holiday sneaker drop – all in augmented reality (AR). 

Through Dec. 24, this virtual event will allow people to score one of those 500 pairs of collectible sneakers. Using AR, consumers can activate the experience with the camera on their iOS or Android mobile device and open a virtual sneaker box that comes down the chimney to see if they have won a pair. Everyone gets five chances per day for three days. 

EBay is running “Santa Sneaker Drop” as part of a focus on collectible sneakers that includes its recently launched “Authenticity Guarantee” service for sales of sneakers worth over $100.

"I never imagined having a chance to team up with the greatest big man of all time, and I'm grateful that eBay has given me this once in a lifetime opportunity to work with Santa this holiday," said Anthony Davis. "Sneakers are at the top of millions of wish lists this year, and we're hoping to make holiday dreams come true for sneakerheads across the country."