Participating in one of the world's most unique marketing experiments, Lulu.com, the online marketplace for digital content, is bidding on an opportunity to legally rename a California man after the company.
Stan Oleynick, a 23-year-old Web designer and developer from Sacramento, Calif., is auctioning off his personal naming rights to the highest bidder in an effort to raise capital for an Internet project he's launching. According to the auction Web site, http://www.holdmyrecord.com/, Oleynick will legally change his name to the company or Web site address of the highest bidder.
Once his name is changed, he will then attempt to break a Guinness World Record, which will enable the sponsoring company to receive the recognition that comes with the record-breaking accomplishment. As an added incentive, Oleynick says the winning bidder will receive a 10 percent equity stake in his as-yet-disclosed Internet project.
Lulu.com has placed a bid of $4500, which is currently the top offer in the public online auction hosted by HoldMyRecord.com. Oleynick is accepting bids until October 1, at which point he'll announce the auction winner and begin the legal name-changing process. Bidders also have the option to end the auction automatically, at any time, by committing to a purchase amount of $250,000.
"We are always looking for that perfect holiday gift for our best selling author. Maybe this year we will give him or her the right to rename Mr. Oleynick after their book," said Lulu.com CEO Bob Young.
Oleynick says he is open to suggestions on which record he should attempt to break once he changes his name. However, one record he is considering for his challenge is to become the fastest to manually type the numbers one to one million. According to Guinness, Australian Les Stewart is the current record holder for this achievement, completing the project over a period between 1982 and 1998.
Oleynick points out that if he is unsuccessful in his effort to break a Guinness World Record within one year's time, the sponsoring company will receive a 100 percent refund. As part of the agreement, Oleynick will maintain his new legal name for one year.