For those who were unable to watch the episode, it was a classic. Not only did Spikeball (JuntoII) appear on this year's season finale, they were the last company to pitch on the show. As someone at the viewing party yelled out, "They're the finale of the finale!"
For the benefit of those who didn't watch the show, a slight spoiler alert here (without giving away the details). Chris Ruder, Spikeball's co-founder and CEO, led his team into the Shark Tank as poised as can be. He shared the history of the product and company, led a demo of the product, and then demonstrated that a startup CEO can be as shrewd a negotiator as anyone. He went head-to-head with one of the sharks, the result of which was a deal (buy Spikeball now). Here's the reaction at the Spikeball viewing party:
In addition, Spikeball got a nice boost in sales (buy your own now) and a number of strategic inquiries, demonstrating the PR power of such an opportunity. And not only did the company get national and global attention, it also caught the eyes and ears of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who declared in an official city proclamation that May 15, 2015 was Spikeball Day in Chicago.
After the show aired, Chris Ruder told us, "I was incredibly nervous watching it as I knew I had been in front of the sharks for nearly 40 minutes [during taping] yet only 8-9 minutes of that would air. I had no idea if the editors would be kind. I was surprised to see how many critical elements of the negotiation were cut but I was still pleased with the show as a whole."
At Junto, we weren't just pleased but proud (buy Spikeball now). It was a tremendous experience seeing a friend of ours in the national spotlight with such a positive outcome. Spikeball has been growing rapidly the last few years, and that trajectory promises to continue. Under Chris' leadership, we're confident that there are many more great things to come for this Chicago company.
Below is the complete Spikeball segment from the May 15, 2015 broadcast of Shark Tank.