Balloon Distractions Update | Shark Tank Season 5

Eating our with little kids can be difficult. That’s why Clown and balloon artist Ben Alexander created a business that brings clowns and balloon artists to restaurants to help distract them while parents eat. Will he earn a deal on Shark Tank Season 5? Find out in our Balloon Distractions update!

Shark Tank Balloon Distractions Update

Balloon Distractions Update

  • Entrepreneurs: Ben Alexander
  • Business: Entertainment – balloon animals
  • Ask: $250,000 in exchange for 30% equity
  • Result: No deal
  • Sharks: None

Ben brought his business, Balloon Distractions to the tank. He shared that these days he’s not so much a working clown as he is a boss clown, booking other clowns to make appearances at restaurants. Ben coordinates clown schedules with restaurant requests, and he charges the restaurants a fee, which he pockets.

When the sharks asked Ben how he paid his entertainers, he had one of his balloon artists explain. Ben didn’t pay them; they wore buttons that said they worked for tips, along with a $5 bill pinned to their shirt as a hint.

Ben thought this was a great sales model, as the restaurants loved it and it made him a lot of money. He wanted to turn his concept into a business model for others to copy in their own cities and regions. Ben said he had tried to get others to follow his plan elsewhere, but it “never really took off.” He’s still hoping to franchise his company.

The business charged restaurants $40-$60 per night for the entertainment service, and brought in over $500,000 in sales each year, for a total of $4 million since its inception. In recent years, the business made as much as $650,000, but in the year of filming, they were on track to make much less.

According to Ben, part of the reason sales dropped was when he angered the “online clown community”, who complained about his business model. Ben admitted he wanted to be the Sam Walton of the clown world.

Robert Herjavec told Ben that he didn’t need an investment from the sharks, he needed better infrastructure. Kevin O’Leary said that $250,000 was a big investment to ask when Ben didn’t even come to the sharks with a real plan. Barbara Corcoran said he was a good salesman, but a terrible sales manager. Lori Greiner agreed, and said it was hard for her to follow his business model because his pitch was so unorganized. Mark Cuban echoed the other sharks’ complaints.

Every shark was out and Ben left without a deal. What happened next for Ben’s company? Keep reading our Balloon Distractions update to find out!

We have bad news to share. Unfortunately Ben’s appearance on Shark Tank seemed to anger the clown community more. The Tampa Bay Times profiled the rift between Ben and the clowns he had upset. The business eventually shut down, so this will be our final Balloon Distractions update.

Would you like to learn about the other companies featured on Season 5 Episode 14? Follow the links below for our other company updates from the episode.

For even more on companies and products, be sure to stop by our Season 5 Products Page!

 

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Andrew Smith is the founder and owner of Shark Tank Recap. He is a longtime Shark Tank fan that has been watching it for years and has seen every episode multiple times. His friends know him as the Shark Tank expert, because he can answer any question about the show! His favorite Shark Tank products are Bertello's pizza oven and Bug Bite Thing!