Power Balance Loses Balance, Files For Bankruptcy
November 23, 2011
By Terry Smiljanich:
Power Balance, the company that promises increased strength, flexibility and balance by wearing cheap plastic holograms on cheap rubber bracelets, has apparently lost its own balance, and has filed for Chapter 11 protections under bankruptcy law. Despite endorsements by famous professional athletes like Drew Brees and Shaquille O’Neal, claiming that the product really works for them, and despite entire sports arenas being named after the product, it seems there was always a bit of a problem with presenting any scientific evidence for any of these suspicious claims.
Consumers Call Foul
Now, a reported $57 million settlement of a class action lawsuit brought by disgruntled consumers has caused the company to seek protection from creditors. One of these creditors is NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant, whose company claims it is owed $400,000. A company spokesman, however, has stated that the company wants to continue in business, bringing increased health and performance to millions of others through the benefits of pseudoscience.
Last year, the Australian consumer watchdog organization forced Power Balance to admit that “no credible scientific evidence” supports its claims. Despite this, Power Balance was named the CNBC “Sports Product of the Year,” and was one of Amazon’s top five sellers last Christmas season. The Sacramento Kings, a professional basketball team, gave the company naming rights to its sports arena, the new “Power Balance Arena.”
How It’s Supposed to Work
How does this amazing product work? Simple. The “frequency” embedded in the hologram “reacts’ with the “electrical field” of the human body to improve balance, flexibility and strength. This completely bogus pseudo-scientific babble was enough to convince millions, especially teenagers anxious to emulate their sports heroes, to buy up these extremely overpriced rubber bands. An entire new industry was spawned, with other companies such as Eken Power Bands following suit.
Miracle Off Balance
And the Sacramento Kings have not lost faith in this miracle product. “They have been good partners since day one and are, understandably, taking steps to put the company in a position to continue innovation in the performance technology sector.”
“Innovation in the performance technology sector?” A cheap (but expensively priced) bracelet, supported by nothing more than scientific illiteracy, is a part of the “performance technology sector?”
Not to worry though. You can’t keep this sector of our economy down for long. Next up for Power Balance will be its new “Performance Mouth Gear.” If this new product incorporates the same holographic techniques, maybe wearing a hologram against your teeth will give you more strength to flatten your opponent. Just ask the next pro celebrity who will surely endorse this miracle product, destined to make another top five list at Amazon.
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