SBD/Issue 37/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Power Balance Bracelets A Popular Accessory For NBA Players

Many Players Wearing Power Balance
Bracelets For Purely Fashion Reasons

California-based Power Balance produces bracelets that are advertised to "harness the body's natural energy to add to your balance, strength and flexibility," and the company has seen its sales of the $30 bracelets "increase 4,000% in just three years," according to ESPN's Bob Ley. ESPN's Mark Schwarz noted Celtics C Shaquille O'Neal gives a testimonial on the effects of the company's products because he is "being paid by the company to recruit an army of believers." Schwarz also noted the company is "popular with everyone from celebrities like Robert de Niro, Joe Jonas and David Beckham, to NBA stars, like Lakers F Lamar Odom, who is paid to endorse and market the bracelet." When asked what the most important reason was for his wearing the bracelet, Odom said, "Other than marketing and branding? No, I mean I think it helps." Thunder F Kevin Durant, who is not paid by Power Balance, added, "Everybody on our team has them I think here. They probably wear them for the same reasons I wear them: For a fashion statement." Durant noted he does not feel any different when wearing the bracelet and said, "Maybe they work for some people, maybe they don't work for some people. They're pretty cool to look at." Schwarz noted the company's sales by June had "skyrocketed to $17 million, and the company projects more than $35 million in sales this year alone." But Power Balance indicated that it "has yet to conduct scientific tests to validate that its bracelets actually improve athletic performance." Ley following the report noted he had been wearing a Power Balance bracelet for five days and said, "I can report that in my own decidedly less than world class athletic existence, it's done absolutely nothing" ("OTL," ESPN, 10/31).

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