Auction winner will get to pitch products to Walmart’s CEO

Discussion
Photo: Walmart; Fanatics
May 06, 2020
Matthew Stern

The founder of online sportswear retailer Fanatics has launched a series of sweepstakes and auctions offering singular, high-ticket experiences as prizes with the goal of raising funds to address food insecurity in society. Walmart is the first retailer to take part, and the experience it is donating is one that could have legs long into the future for the winners.

There are currently two experiences offered by Walmart on the All-In Challenge website. The first, a set of two auctions, allows small- and medium-sized businesses to bid on the opportunity to do a 10-minute pitch of their business plan to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon and a panel of executives in Bentonville, AR. In each contest, ten winners will get to pitch and receive feedback from Mr. McMillon and the panel. One grand prize winner will be featured from each and their winning product will be featured on Walmart.com. The first of the two auctions was won with a bid of $150,000. The second is currently has a high offer of $11,000.

The other experience, part of the sweepstakes portion of the All-In Challenge, offers the opportunity to shadow Mr. McMillon for a day at Walmart headquarters. Donations for the chance to win this experience range from $10 to $200.

Launched a few weeks ago, the All-In Challenge is donating the proceeds made from the contest to five prominent U.S. and global hunger-related charities: Meals on Wheels,  No Kid Hungry, America’s Food Fund, World Central Kitchen and Feeding America, according to a report on ESPN.

Auction winner will get to pitch products to Walmart’s CEO
Source: Fanatics All-In Challenge

In addition to the two Walmart experiences, All-In Challenge offers other opportunities to win larger-than-life prizes — 179 in total at present — such as a chance to hang out with Eddie Vedder and join Pearl Jam on stage, the chance to meet the entire cast of Friends and the chance to co-host the Ellen DeGeneres show.

In recent years, Walmart has conducted “Open Call” events in Bentonville to give small suppliers a chance to pitch their product, Shark Tank-style, to a panel of Walmart representatives.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How likely are Fanatics, Walmart and others to gain a business benefit as a result of their participation in the All-In Challenge? Are there any other current cause-related efforts by retailers that you think are noteworthy?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"I love that this website was started by a retail company and I am happy to see that other retailers want to get involved."
"Good fun. Great idea. Lady luck type of opportunity for Walmart shoppers with cash to burn."
"I like it – as most know, it is not easy to get a meeting with Walmart and this is a great way to do it and have it be for a good cause."

Join the Discussion!

9 Comments on "Auction winner will get to pitch products to Walmart’s CEO"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Zel Bianco
BrainTrust

Hey, a great idea can come from anywhere. Why not this? Even those that do not get a deal on Shark Tank benefit from the exposure.

Richard Hernandez
BrainTrust

I like it – as most know, it is not easy to get a meeting with Walmart and this is a great way to do it and have it be for a good cause. My only hope for all these fundraising events is that the money actually gets to those that really need it. I hope that is a transparent process as well.

Georganne Bender
BrainTrust

I have been watching Fanatic’s All-In Challenge website for weeks now. It’s so much fun. I have my fingers crossed that I will win the Walk-On Role In A Scorsese Film With DiCaprio And De Niro for my partner, Rich Kizer. It ends tomorrow, wish me luck.

I love that this website was started by a retail company and I am happy to see that other retailers want to get involved. What a great way for Walmart to find new items and connect with the community. It’s a win-win.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
BrainTrust

Auctioning off an opportunity to pitch a product is a bad business idea because the winner is determined by whoever has the most money to bid not who has a really good idea. Auctioning off a chance to be a member of the panel listening to pitches for new products would be a better choice. Auctioning off an opportunity to shadow Doug McMillon for a day is a good idea. Each company needs to think about what is unique about its process, its connections, its locations, its people, or events and what is important to its consumers for the auction process.

Brandon Rael
BrainTrust

The All-In Challenge is an outstanding way of building a sense of community in the retail space. It’s great to see that gamification is alive and well, especially with a retail giant such as Walmart being so supportive of indie retailers. This will give the indie retailers and entrepreneurs a rare platform they wouldn’t normally have, all the while supporting local charities through Fanatic’s platform.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

Walmart WILL gain business related benefits — primarily they have continued to involve themselves with small brands. The result won’t be a big sales boost or traceable, countable impact. Rather it adds to Walmart’s brand of involvement with small business. So I think it’s smart.

Ryan Mathews
BrainTrust

I hate the idea of an auction, since it lets the most well-funded, not necessarily best or most innovative, idea win. But, some variation on this theme has real possibilities. They just need to balance the auctioning off with a little meritocratic thinking.

Cynthia Holcomb
BrainTrust

Good fun. Great idea. Lady luck type of opportunity for Walmart shoppers with cash to burn.

Kathy Kimple
BrainTrust

From a marketing standpoint, the clear winner here is Walmart. (Along with the named charities.) Look at all the media attention this is driving already, and it will continue through when the winner’s product hits Walmart.com. Kudos to Walmart for being an early adopter.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"I love that this website was started by a retail company and I am happy to see that other retailers want to get involved."
"Good fun. Great idea. Lady luck type of opportunity for Walmart shoppers with cash to burn."
"I like it – as most know, it is not easy to get a meeting with Walmart and this is a great way to do it and have it be for a good cause."

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