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Kings arena could lose its rights deal with bankrupt Power Balance bracelets

Eric Freeman
Ball Don't Lie

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If you're a fan of sports science, or more accurately sports products that claim scientific backing without any real science to back them up, then you probably know Power Balance energy bracelets quite well. The Sacramento Kings are also quite familiar with the bracelets, as they reached a deal with Power Balance last January for the naming rights to the building formerly known as Arco Arena. All that despite the fact that the bracelets had already been revealed as having no effect on athletic performance.

It will probably not shock you to learn that Power Balance filed for bankruptcy in November. And, as the company tries to find a buyer to bail them out, it looks less likely that the Power Balance name will be a part of the Kings' home. From Dale Kasler for The Sacramento Bee (via PBT and TBJ):

Cash-starved Power Balance expects to be sold soon, and court papers say the likely buyer doesn't plan to maintain the marketing deal that turned the former Arco Arena into Power Balance Pavilion.

That could change between now and Dec. 20, when Power Balance's business is scheduled to be auctioned off. Hanyang LLC, the Southern California company in line to buy Power Balance, could choose to retain the contract with the Kings after all. Someone could outbid Hanyang and decide to keep the Kings' deal. [...]

Still, the Power Balance bankruptcy filing adds to the uncertainty about the Kings' future. As the team gears up for an abbreviated NBA season starting Dec. 26, its owners are waiting to see if the city can assemble financing for a new arena. The Kings have vowed to leave town if financing isn't in place by spring.

If the Kings lose the Power Balance contract, "they're not going to have that revenue stream they were counting on," said E.J. Narcise of Team Services LLC, a Maryland company that negotiates arena naming-rights deals.

This is bad news for the Kings, obviously, because it's no sure bet that they can get a similar deal from another company. For a franchise that needs all the money it can get to stay in Sacramento, any loss of funds makes a big different. If the Kings somehow can't stay in town because a sham energy bracelet company went bankrupt, then it'll be amazingly sad.

Sacramento isn't a commercial powerhouse, but it's location in California's capital should be able to attract some decent companies. On the other hand, if they can't, maybe the NBA can chip in and hook the Kings up with some of the wonderful products advertised on NBA TV. Hoveround Arena and the Life Alert Center both sound great, right?

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