Upwork Drafts Yankees Skipper and Slugger for Sports Card Play

Aaron Boone and Anthony Rizzo appear

I'll trade you Richard Porter, master of project management, for an Aaron Judge rookie card. C'mon, I'll throw in Lisa Smith—she's an all-star remote copywriter!

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone and first-baseman Anthony Rizzo check out some very special "baseball cards" in a cute :30 for Upwork. Instead of hyping MLB stars, this set spotlights talent available for hire through Upwork's freelance marketplace.

"Both personalities we chose have a great deal of credibility in the baseball space," Michael Galante, SVP of Playfly, which developed the campaign, tells Muse. "They both have charisma that is off the charts, and we felt like they would work well together on set, as they do on the field and in the dugout. New York is an important market for Upwork, but the influence these guys have stretches outside of New York. That balance was important."

Swapping sports cards, of course, is a time-honored ritual. Even in the cyber age, the practice still resonates with fans. "I traded baseball cards my whole childhood," Rizzo says. "It was like a rite of passage as a baseball fan and it was beyond exciting to team up with Aaron Boone and Upwork to bring that tradition back in such a unique way."

Adds Galante: "The easy symmetry between top talent in baseball and top talent on Upwork's work marketplace was obvious to us, but we wanted to make it true to life in the way the two stars were interacting with each other. We wanted it to feel natural, almost childlike. And I think we accomplished that."

The ad broke this weekend across regional sports networks.

In recent years, Upwork has crafted several notable campaigns. These include its current corpse boss commercials and this globetrotting epic from 2021.

Riffs on sports cards appear frequently in ads from various brands. Last year, we saw this initiative designed to reveal the human tragedy behind the FIFA World Cup.


Agency: Playfly
SVP, Playfly Creates: Michael Galante
Director, Playfly Creates: Chelsea Berris
Director, Playfly Creates: Ka’anela Holcomb

Production: The Vault

Brand: Upwork
Chief Marketing Officer: Melissa Waters
VP, Brand & Product Marketing: Amanda Leach-Rouvi
Executive Creative Director: Patrick Holly            
Senior Director, Brand Marketing: Charlie Quirk         
Director, Creative Strategy: Zach Wooton
Director, Cultural Marketing: Blair Witte
Brand Media Director: Alison LaRocque

Media Agency: Universal McCann        

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