Man plans to propose in Super Bowl ad - Business of Super Bowl-

For sale: one marriage proposal
Sponsorships sought for man’s scheme to pop question during Super Bowl
By Allison Linn

For football fans, the Super Bowl is all about the intrigue of which team will win. For a few suspecting women this year, it may be about wondering, am I going to get a ring during this thing?

 A man named JP, who doesn’t use his real name so as to keep his plans secret from his girlfriend, has been trying to use the Internet for months to raise more than $2 million needed to buy a single, 30-second Super Bowl advertising spot.

 The reason? So he could use the most-viewed television event of the year to ask for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage. When his online fundraising plan fell short, JP brought in outside help, including a publicist and an advertising expert.

 Joe Morin, chief executive of an online product placement company called Storybids Inc., saw an opportunity in JP’s plea. He offered to find a sponsor for the ad — if JP would let him sell product placement rights in a video of the would-be bride’s response.

 Morin said Friday he is in contract negotiations with six companies that have expressed interest in forking over more than $2 million for the spot. He declined to identify the companies but said he expected a deal to be completed by Monday.

 Morin said the proposal has already been filmed, but terms of how the sponsor will be promoted haven’t been worked out.

 “They’ll be identified somewhere in the ad, but the ad is not about them,” Morin said. “They basically just want to give him his moment.”

Meanwhile, Morin is feverishly negotiating with companies that might want their brand of cell phone, television, clothing or even engagement ring featured in a video of the girlfriend’s response, which will be posted online. Morin said he also is negotiating with Web sites to host the video.

Amid all the publicity, JP’s plight has drawn national attention, prompting several women to ask Morin if they, in fact, are the girlfriend.

But Morin swears JP’s real girlfriend doesn’t have a clue.

If not, she will be in for more than just a surprise proposal during the Feb. 4 game, which is expected to be viewed by some 90 million people nationwide. In addition to appearing in the response video, the unidentified girlfriend already has been booked to appear on morning talk shows the next day, Morin said.

Of course, there is always the possibility that the girlfriend will say no — either to the proposal itself or to the blast of publicity her boyfriend has agreed to on her behalf.

Morin said he isn’t worried.

“Knowing her personality, I think she’ll be good-natured about it and go for it,” he said.

And as for the more than $75,000 JP raised for the ad before turning to corporate sponsors? He said on his Web site it will now be donated to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.