Wear 'Em Out Store



eBay, the reigning marketplace for new and pre-worn shoes, faced fierce competition from reselling rivals. To reclaim their stake in sneaker culture, we birthed the ground-breaking Wear 'Em Out Store. Rewriting the rules, we rewarded consumers for rocking their fresh kicks straight out of our store.


In a sneaker world plagued by bots and resellers, genuine sneakerheads are left empty-handed, unable to snag the kicks they crave. Enter eBay, the oldest and largest marketplace for new and pre-worn shoes. As new competitors rise — with many only accepting pristine, unworn shoes, eBay refused to abandon its loyal sneaker community.

eBay wanted to champion sneaker culture and democratize access to coveted kicks. While others prioritize profit, eBay celebrated the true essence of sneakers. With open arms, we welcomed both new and pre-worn shoes, empowering sneaker enthusiasts to embrace their passion.


Sneakerheads faced increasing financial barriers and societal pressures to keep their kicks untouched. eBay wanted to change this; we introduced a game-changing Wear 'Em Out Store, the first sneaker store to reward sneakerheads for wearing their shoes as soon as they purchased them, straight out the store.

The Wear ‘Em Out Store cemented eBay’s position as an active participant in sneaker culture, going far beyond being just a marketplace like their competitors, and helped fuel a growing cultural shift to actually wearing your shoes.


To celebrate the sneakerhead community and to highlight eBay’s position in the sneaker marketplace, the store offered exclusive pricing on collectible sneakers, including Nike, Jordan and New Balance shoes.

Each pair of sneakers was offered at a “market price” and a lower (up to 70%) “wear ‘em out” price. To ensure the sneakers could not then be re-sold as new, consumers who bought shoes to “wear ‘em out” walked along a path of grass, gravel and concrete as they left the store.

The store was packed for its three-day run, with overnight campers keen to get their hands on their favourite sneakers. The “rock ‘em” or “stock ‘em” debate continued on social for those who could not attend in person.

To capture sneaker aficionados and target media, the activation was timed directly after an Anaheim sneaker convention. Exclusive interviews, compelling imagery, and celebrity spokesperson, Offset, fueled anticipation. We drove local buzz through advertising in LA’s sneaker and streetwear shopping district (the store locale), through sneaker and lifestyle media, and by teasing on eBay and influencer social channels to reach sneakerheads further afield.

The Outcome

Attendees at the event overwhelmingly chose to "wear 'em out," with an impressive 99% participation rate. The event also saw a notable 25% increase in sales compared to the previous year. Media coverage was extensive, with over 60 unique pieces, including features in Fast Company, Vibe, Complex, Yahoo, Ad Age, and Los Angeles Magazine. Social media engagement soared, witnessing a remarkable 2,000% surge in 'eBay sneaker' mentions. The event garnered a positive sentiment increase of 127% for eBay. In addition, the presence of celebrities such as Cardi B and Quincy Taylor Brown organically sharing the activation on their Instagram accounts reached a combined audience of 144.5 million followers. The event spanned three days and attracted large crowds.


surge in 'eBay sneaker' mentions


increase in sales compared to the previous year


pieces of unique media coverage



Category: PR|
Sub-Category: Culture & Context > Cultural Insight
Prize: Bronze