Exposing PseudoAstronomy

November 10, 2010

Follow-Up 2: Major American University Advertising Pseudoscience


This is going to be a quick post, and for background, you should take a look at the original post about this issue and the first follow-up.

Sweetheart Deals

It was brought to my attention very early this morning that there is an article on the Sports Business Journal about PowerForce bracelets (subscription required). The article states, in part:

“Power Force, a brand of ion-infused wristbands, has struck sponsorship and advertising deals with more than 100 colleges that will give the company exposure through radio broadcasts, in-stadium signage and on-campus displays. The seven-figure deals … will give Power Force marketing and media rights at most of the nation’s top colleges. On each of the campuses where Power Force made a deal, it will be recognized as the official supplier or preferred supplier of ion-infused products. … Power Force is in the process of supplying the licensed wristbands to the schools’ bookstores and other retail outlets around campus. The company also has begun to set up retail centers under tents on college football game days where it has rights near the stadium.”

Final Thoughts

In today’s society, money talks. Multi-million dollar sponsorship, if the article is accurate, could perhaps be why the CU-Boulder Director of Media Relations and Spokesperson was reluctant to say anything bad about them.

I still think it’s not a valid excuse, and this also continues to raise the interesting question about who is funding these guys. If these were “seven-figure deals” with 100 schools, that’s one hundred million to just under one billion dollars in capital that they have put up. For a company whose website is not very good (duplicated logos at the bottom, links not working or going to the wrong page at the bottom, unreadable font sizes, disappearing press releases that weren’t linked properly the first time, etc.), one really does wonder.

Oh, and in browsing the company’s legal page, I came across this gem:

“Unless we give you written permission in advance, any other use of this website, its content and its information, including linking or framing to this website, is strictly prohibited.”




  1. The “seven-figure deals” for EACH college strike me as way too high for a product at this level, even for the larger colleges in the list. I suspect that the journalist screwed-up and meant that it’s one seven-figure deal that collectively includes all 100 colleges.

    The dominant player in this industry — Power-Balance — isn’t even near that big in terms of sales.

    And as you suggest, the shoddy Power|Force website suggests a smaller operation.

    Comment by Reed Esau — November 10, 2010 @ 11:47 am | Reply

  2. They really think a person needs permission to link to their site?

    Comment by Graey — November 10, 2010 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

  3. Wait so no one can link to their website unless they get written permission?
    That doesn’t even make sense PowerForce.
    It seems your lawyers are as stupid as your scientists.

    Comment by Woomobile — November 10, 2010 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

    • …and your web designers.

      Comment by David Johnson — November 10, 2010 @ 2:53 pm | Reply

      • I got on their website without any permission and bought an Alabama wristband. Now my whole family wants one. You may have some heartburn with them, but they are selling like hotcakes.

        Comment by Sara Ellsworth — November 13, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

  4. Here’s some Legal stuff between Power Force and Power Balance http://www.rfcexpress.com/lawsuit.asp?id=67103

    Comment by Annie — November 26, 2010 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

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