POWER BALANCE IN BANKRUPTCY!
Looks like Power Balance might not be championing what its main product is famous for (B.A.L.A.N.C.E) because they've recently filed for bankruptcy. Word on the street is that Power Balance owes Kobe Bryant $400,000 for endorsing their wristbands. And he's not the only athlete that won't be seeing a payday. Power Balance has some nerve! Or, is it our own fault for falling for a scam that made this company millions?
YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO WEARS ONE
Or you might wear one yourself. If you do, don't be angry with me. I'm not making this stuff up! If you live under a rock, Power Balance is a company famous for its hologram-embedded sports wristbands that allegedly use holographic technology to increase athletic and fitness performance when worn. There was never any scientific evidence to prove it, but it didn't seem to matter because the silicon bracelets became a cult favorite phenomenon at $30 a pop. Everyone seemed to have one and gyms like Crunch were pushing them harder than their own branded merchandise. Paragon Sports even sells them in every Skittles color imaginable. But do they work?
WAS BERNIE MADOFF A FRAUD? THERE YOU HAVE IT.
Power Balance wristbands increase their owners' physical balance, strength and flexibilty just as much as Bernie increased his investors' financial assets. Meaning didley squat negative. Because if you bought a Power Balance wristband you were robbed of $30 that you could've spent on stylish workout apparel or a session or two of your favorite bootcamp. Hmmm, should I buy a flimsy plastic bracelet with a hologram sticker on it or should I get one of the best workouts in town at Barry's Bootcamp? The choice is crystal clear now, but I'll admit, I caved a bit on Power Balance claims. Mostly because I thought 'if people are really dropping $30 bucks on it, then there has to be some truth to it'. But no, it's called (A) good marketing and (B) people carelessly spending their money. So, the answer to 'do they work' is HELL NO, THEY DON'T WORK. But here's a classier way of saying the same thing from Olympic champion gymnast Dominique Dawes (who actually tested them out):
The fact is, all athletes know that nothing can replace good old-fashioned hard work — practice, practice, practice...Can a silicone wristband with a hologram sticker really give you an added edge?
THE PONZI BALANCE TIMELINE (Ooops! Freudian slip, I guess)
- 2006 to 2009: Power Balance convinces the world holograms make you better and take your money. You think you're cool even though the bracelet lacks good design. But famous athletes and celebs are wearing them, so whatever.
- Dec 2010: Uh oh spaghetti-o! Lawsuits and orders from peeps in Australia percolate. You do not want to tossle with Aussies because they are the kings of fitness & sport. Even when they're sleeping they're lifting weight with their baby toes. They make Power Balance alter their claims to be more in line with reality.
- Jan 2011: A suit is filed against Power Balance for fraud, false advertising and some other stuff.
- Nov 2011: Power Balance has no money for lawsuits (or Kobe), files for bankruptcy and bizarrely tweets "we aint goin nowhere!" even though they're obliged to give full refunds for having engaged in false advertising. They say their bankruptcy move is strategic, blaming the NBA lockout and counterfeiters.
I just don't see a 2nd chance in their future unless they go the RUMBATIME route and make slim wristbands that tell time or do something else functional. It's not that Holograms aren't "in" but if you can't replicate THIS AMAZING HOLOGRAM then what's the point? And just as I suspected, they're leveraging NEW unrelated products like their new Mouthgear. I guess bad publicity now means "good time to launch a new product".
DID I OWN A POWER BALANCE WRISTBAND?
Honest to God truth, I never did. The product isn't stylish. I wasn't into it from the get-go but a good friend tested it out on me and supposedly it worked. He did this test on me where he pushed me from behind so that I wouldn't see it coming. When I didn't have the band on I sorta lost my balance and stumbled forward. When I was wearing the band I didn't budge. But I knew the push was coming the 2nd time around when I was wearing the wristband. I'm pretty sure my body was prepared for push #2 and maintained balance on it's own. But I didn't tell my friend that. God knows I wouldn't wear that bracelet unless it was smothered in Swarovski...or gold.
WERE YOU A POWER BALANCE BELIEVER?
Don't be shy! We were all duped including Khloe Kardashian, David Beckham, Princess Kate, Robert DeNiro and P.Diddy. We all make mistakes but in this case, we were lied to. Share your Power Balance story in the comments section below and FOLLOW ME on Twitter to win a RUMBATIME watch that does not use hologram technology in place of a good ol' battery.