The New Britain Rock Cats revealed Wednesday that a viral YouTube video featuring a failed marriage proposal during a game last week was staged.
The video features a young man and woman taking part in a trivia promotion between innings. The third trivia question is a marriage proposal, to which the girl says "no" and runs off the field.
"I did see the video on Facebook," said New Britain resident Komiti Toleofoa. "I don't know, I think it could be phony."
The proposal was a promotional prank with the couple being employees and was thought of by the Rock Cats marketing team. The marketing team told Eyewitness News that they started talking about on-field marriage proposals and what would happen if someone said no.
The video has more than a half-million hits on YouTube and has gotten a lot of publicity.
"We received calls from Good Morning America, USA Today, the Associated Press, and the BBC," said Mike Abramson, New Britain Rock Cats vice president of marketing. "It was the No. 2 story on Yahoo.com and the No. 1 story on AOL.com."
However, some fans did get upset by the prank.
"They said it worked, they had over 600,000 views on YouTube, it's gone national, viral," said Leigh Grande, a fan from Newington. "I'm a little disappointed in the Rock Cats. We do attend, we love the fireworks on Friday nights, but I think it's a play on people's emotions."
Abramson told Eyewitness News that when the news broke that the proposal was not real and only a promotion, he had to take a few calls from upset fans. He said the marketing team offered to give fans tickets and bring them to a game.
Abramson said the main reason for the proposal was that they wanted people to talk about Rock Cats baseball, which did happen.
"This is fun, it's interesting, it's a promotion," Abramson said. "We didn't mean to offend anyone; we just want to remind people that we are here. If you don't have anything else to do, come to Rock Cats game because you'll always be surprised."
Other fans understood the prank and thought the Rock Cats marketing team got the publicity they wanted.
"It was a good thing, whatever they're trying to sell, they did good," Toleafoa said.
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