Our Work

Global media outreach with Graham Budd Auctions

Graham Budd Auctions is a leading international specialist auctioneer of sports memorabilia, offering collectors a chance to own their personal piece of spine-tingling, heart-thumping sporting history.

The auction business was started in 2004 by Graham Budd, following 25 years spent with the sporting memorabilia team at Sotheby’s. The auctioneer also sells art, prints, vinyl and other pieces of pop culture memorabilia.

The brief

The goal scored by Maradona for Argentina vs England in the Mexico 1986 World Cup quarter final has become one of the defining moments of football history. Known to everyone as the ‘Hand of God’ goal, it is as controversial and emotive today as it was 37 years ago. So when Graham Budd Auctions was commissioned to sell the ball used to score that famous goal, the team knew they had to get the word out to high net worth sports’ fans the world over, to attract the record breaking bids the ball deserved.

The plan

YS executed a two-stage media approach. Firstly, we launched the auction itself, working with the vendor (match referee Ali Bin Nasser) and the Graham Budd team to take briefings and draft a template release, which was tailored and sent out to selected media. Having researched and built a global target media list, selecting top tier titles based on audience, geographical reach and editorial tone of voice, we liaised with the world’s biggest media outlets to book in interviews and provide additional information where required.

A key aspect of this phase was managing controversy and planning for negative coverage. For instance, working with Ali on developing soundbites in advance, pushing back on difficult journalists and successfully managing inbound press inquiries.

For phase two, we organised and ran a full press day for international broadcast media at Wembley Stadium. During the day, we arranged multiple video calls with media including BBC, CNN, Forbes and more with the players, ball, and an opportunity to interview the referee from the 1986 match.

Our role on the day included managing an ever-changing schedule, making room for inbound unexpected tier-one media requests, managing and interjecting with key information where necessary, organising talent and key media in the room, and much more.

Our results



With a reach of 2.4bn

Total mentions


Of the Graham Budd Auctions’ brand

Global coverage


Global broadcast media coverage

Country coverage


Including strategic target areas of USA, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE

Total coverage


Secured 7x the amount achieved when Maradona’s shirt from the same match was sold in May 2022



The ball itself attracted bids in excess of £2m at the auction