March 31, 2009

SFU raises $15,000 in eBay auction

When the 2008 World Pipe Band Champions Simon Fraser University decided to create an online auction on eBay Canada it might have hoped that the creative marketing effort might see a die-hard fan pay the $5,000 minimum to spend the week at Glasgow with the band. Little did they know that it would be so successful that the band would raise $15,000.
After the auction closed on March 15, Nick Wemyss of Calgary emerged the winner with a “snipe” bid of $7,500, edging out the next-highest bidder in the final few seconds. With more than 150 positive feedback points, Wemyss is experienced at winning eBay auctions and came away the winner of a return flight with the band from Vancouver to Glasgow, the right to be the band’s special guest at all practices, the band dinner, concert rehearsals, VIP tickets to the band’s “Affirmation” concert at the Royal Glasgow Concert Hall before they defend their title and more.
“Our eBay auction was very successful for everyone involved,” said Pipe-Sergeant and band President Jack Lee. “The interest in the trip was incredible and there were several bidders actively trying to win it.”
“This is going to be totally great,” said Wemyss after winning the auction. But the auction action wasn’t finished.
“We were contacted shortly after by the person that Nick just edged out,” Lee continued. “She was very disappointed and really had her heart set on the trip. She asked us if we would consider selling her the trip also.”
Lee then asked Wemyss if he would mind if the band added the as-yet unnamed runner-up as another $7,500 winner, and he agreed to her also enjoying the identical prize package.
“In the end, SFU raised $15,000 and we are looking forward to having both people join us for a terrific week in Scotland,” Lee added.


  1. Congratulations all around – To the SFUPB for raising that kind of cash and to Mr. Nick Wemyss and the as-yet unnamed runner up, I am sure both of you will have an absolute blast.

  2. I’ve actually felt the excitement of this all morning – so pleased for SFU, for the winner of the auction Nick Wemyss and the other winner too. What an amazing stroke to pull at the last minute,– how great for band funds, and how totally amazing for these two people. It’s a win win win win situation! So-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o- exciting! Can’t wait to hear more!

  3. Fantastic way to leverage the power of the SFU brand. More than simple goods or services, selling an experience of this sort really demonstrates the way to differentiate in the marketplace.

  4. This way of proceedeing bothers me a bit. I thought a band of such reputation (that I admire) had enough sponsors to avoid ‘selling themselves’ on ebay… I feel deceived by this.

  5. A brilliant bit of fundraising! Deception? Selling themselves out? I can’t see it….unless, they’ve begun top-secret work on a Kenny G or Barry Manilow medley.

  6. Obviously the offended guy has little concept of how much money it takes to get that band to Scotland for a week. I give them full credit for making the experience” available and if two people feel that it is worth that much money then more power to em!!! Fill yer boots.”

  7. You certainly got me wrong : I’m not at all ‘offended’ by this way of collecting money but ‘deceived’ (or disappointed). For me beautifull things are priceless and SFU has now one, like any other items…

  8. I wonder where SFU, or any of the top bands, go for diner the night before the worlds. Might make for an interesting article to profile a bands lead up to the big event, maybe P/D could get the winner to file a report for all of us that couldn’t afford the prize.

  9. Yes…quite! Filming a band getting ready for the big day would be much more revealing. I was always amused at how on the eve of the big day everybody tried not to go to the pub as usual, but somehow ended up going for a careful pint or two anyway. It was (and probably still is) a strange contest of not showing weakness to the herd by hiding ones nerves which ironically results in just precisely that. Anyone who tells you that they are not wound up at least a little is lying to you and/or themselves. The scene becomes even more intense as the moment of truth approaches. The usual banter between the players now being replaced by awkward silence punctuated by a few nervously spoken comments and jokes along with forced reassuring smiles and laughing here and there. The look of intensity is forced calm is rivetting. Also, take a look at the wavering fingers as the pipers play. I’ve literally seen my ex Pipe Major shaking while leading the charge. One piece of advice. Stay away from hot spicy food the night before. Stick with pastas or mild rice dishes………



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