Businesses try to cash in on Manti Te’o hoax
Florence, KY, United States (4E Sports) – Several businesses are cashing in, or trying to cash in, on the controversial fake girlfriend scandal hounding Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.
It was discovered by Deadspin.com that Te’o's girlfriend, whom he claimed died of leukemia, was not a real person.
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick defended his player, saying Te’o was a victim of an online hoax.
However, businessmen are looking to cash in on the controversy, using the hoax as a tool for promoting a product to make extra profit.
As first reported by ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Spirit Airlines recently posted an ad on its website proclaiming: “No hoax. These fares are really low,” written in Notre Dame’s blue and yellow just like its famous “Play Like A Champion Today” sign.
Also, an independent baseball team, the Florence (Ky.) Freedom, announced it would have “Manti Te’o Girlfriend Bobblehead Day” on May 23.
As part of the promotion, the first 1,000 fans will get an empty bobblehead box, there will be a pretend kiss cam for fans to kiss their imaginary friends and there will be an imaginary food fight in the kids’ area, as well as an air guitar contest.
“There’s not a lot to do to get attention in January,” Freedom general manager Josh Anderson said. “You have to find some way to get the buzz.”
Anderson admitted that things might die down during that time but the team is committed to it nonetheless.
“I don’t know who we’d be offending,” said Anderson, who claimed he met his wife online. “It would just be isolated to the guy who made his season based off this story.”
The Freedom hope that the promo would reel in real people in its 3,100-seat ballpark. Last season, the team averaged 2,000 fans per game.