Banned By the NBA – Making a Killing Off Bad Press

Imagine creating a company and building a product that could revolutionize the way people live, do business or play sports… then being told your product couldn’t be used for business or in any professions? This would be detrimental to your business, and the idea of not having a pro athlete / entertainer being about to sponsor and sport your product would be a disaster!… or would it?

This is EXACTLY what has happened to a new shoe company, Athletic Propulsion Labs and their new $300 shoes called the “Concept 1“. The promise from the company is that these shoes will increase your vertical jump anywhere from 1-8 inches. Sounds crazy right? Well… not too crazy! The NBA has banned the use of these shoes as they are considered a performance enhancing product. The only thing better than having Lebron James or Kobe Bryant running down the court in a pair of these, is the NBA banning these shoes and solidifying the amazing claim that these shoes WILL make you jump higher!

What seems like a disaster for Athletic Propulsion Labs, has turned into anything but. ESPN and every other sports outlet has been covering the story and Athletic Propulsion Labs is getting an amazing amount of exposure for their breakthrough technology shoe for nothing. Heck… I even ordered a pair to give them a try!

Check out some of the free publicity Athletic Propulsion Labs has been receiving due to their shoes being banned in the NBA. This is the type of exposure that can’t be bought!

Rejection by N.B.A. Gives New Shoes Even Greater Bounce

NBA: Players can’t wear Concept 1s

NBA Bans Athletic Propulsion Labs’ Concept 1 Shoe Designed to Increase Vertical Leap

– Can special basketball shoes really make you jump higher?

My favorite article so far has been the one from Sports Illustrated (bottom link above) where they actually do a video test. In short, one guy jumps off one foot and doesn’t see much of a different, then another jumps off two and jumps a bit higher than he ever has before. We will have to wait for more people to purchase the Concept 1s and take their video testimonials to YouTube to see the truth behind these shoes and if they really work.

In the meantime… Athletic Propulsion Labs will bask in the glory of being “Banned by the NBA“! What a great way to kick off the upcoming NBA season!

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  1. Seriously, 1-8 inches? It was like Hancock but these shoes would be great for me.
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  2. I saw something about these shoes yesterday. I had the same thought as you did. What great marketing spin to be able to have "banned by the NBA" plastered all over your ads. It lends the performance claims some instant credibility. If the NBA banned it then it must improve your vertical – right? That's the immediate impression I got, even though I have no idea if the shoe works at all. No idea if it will take off as a product ($300 is pretty steep) but they can sure get some great marketing and PR mileage out of that ban.
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  3. I must have missed have been buried in work when the news brouhaha was going on but you're headline did get my attention. This made me remember the TMZ feature about an unsigned athlete jumping over 4 feet high onto the trash can without even a starting run.

    Controversy does make good advertising. If the swimsuits that can shave precious seconds were accepted in the olympics these shoes can be allowed too so we can see newer basketball plays! Maybe this will make the game more exciting because we will see new moves. Or maybe its more about their current advertisers who don't want competition from a new brand.
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      1. Yes it is definitely just like the new swimsuits. It is interesting that some sports associations decide to target certain equipment on not others. Sports should have progression to take advantage of newer technology. I guess sometimes there does have to be limits to retain the original theme of the sport. With the shoes maybe the NBA was worried that would become a trend and shoe companies would keep improving on that technology making natural jumping ability less important.

    1. The hype is selling these products like crazy, but I really would like to see more "real" testimonial videos. Not many people are buying swimsuits to shave seconds off their swim time, but imagine how many shoes are sold with the simple hope of jumping a few inches higher!

  4. I only watched the SI video, that is pretty cool though. I was primarily a two foot jumper as well. My vertical was 26 inches (which is decent I guess) but getting an extra even 1 or 2 inches would have made a huge difference!

  5. Wonder if it will help my 2" vertical..
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  6. You know what would be coo? Zac if you get a pair and put on your Spiderman Costume and do a jump shot! Take a pic and post it on you about me page! That would be cool man.
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  7. Marketing Marketing Marketing. The famous 3 M's. Regardless of how outed your product can be, with proper marketing you can get it ur idea out there.

  8. Nice one Zac!

    For me, it's bad luck to Athletic Propulsion Labs. But later on, basketball players (not in the NBA) will buy a pair just to look awesome by adding an extra inches to their vertical leap. It's sad that they didn't get inside the NBA. Maybe Nike, Adidas, Reebok, etc didn't welcome them.
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    1. I don't know if it was necessarily bad luck. I'm sure they considered this possibility during initial product planning. There is a good chance that they purposely designed the shoe knowing that the NBA might have to ban it. It is an ingenious way to get a ton of free advertising. The banned shoe may still appeal to non-NBA players and this may give them the springboard to generate interest in other shoe models they release.

  9. This is a good example of how best use a setback (banned from NBA) for good marketing – I'm sure many many people will buy just out of sheer curiosity…
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  10. wow…I guess it can be a compliment that the NBA is scared the shoes actually work.

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