SBD/January 5, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Power Balance Admits No Science Behind Popular Bracelets

The maker of Power Balance bracelets has admitted that there is no science behind its claims and has "agreed to give refunds to customers who believe they were cheated," according to Amy Taxin of the AP. Australian Competition & Consumer Commission authorities had said that Power Balance "has no business claiming that they improve balance, strength and flexibility," and they "got Power Balance to admit it." Power Balance said in a statement, "We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims." But Power Balance spokesperson Adam Selwyn said that the company "doesn't claim to have science on its side." Instead, the company "relies on testimonials from famous athletes and users to tout the products' effects." Taxin reported the company began selling bracelets in '07 "embedded with holograms that were purportedly designed to interact with the body's natural energy flow." The wristbands, which sell for $29.95, have since "become ubiquitous," donned by athletes such as Celtics C Shaquille O'Neal, Lakers F Lamar Odom and MLS Galaxy MF David Beckham. The company "expects more than $35 million in sales" in '10 (AP, 1/4). In N.Y., Adam Caparell notes Power Balance bracelets "have soared in popularity since hitting the market," as more than 2.5 million bracelets "have been sold worldwide." Power Balance yesterday "defended its product and posted tweets from customers who still believe in the bracelet’s abilities." The company tweeted, "Don't believe what u hear. We stand by our products. (our trainers did test on us and we saw a difference in wearing them)"  (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/5).

BAD TIMING AWARD: In Milwaukee, Don Walker wrote under the header, "Shocking News: Power Balance Wristbands Don't Work." Walker noted Bucks G Brandon Jennings and Packers TE Jermichael Finley have worn the bracelets and both are "out with injuries" (JSONLINE.com, 1/4).

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