How to Survive a Reality Show Without a Sponsor

He sold top business minds on a TV show that promised to save the world – and make them famous. They handed over thousands. Then reality set in: the show fell apart and they were left with nothing. In the process, they learned an important lesson: they weren’t that marketable after all. Today, they all live at the same house. But these two men never met.

The TV show – a sort of showbiz survival show – was called B-Team. It was a reality show in the sense that they were all on the set and filming. But there was one twist: the participants knew each other before the filming. When the show launched back in 2010, they were all there for the first shot.

The premise was: how do you survive if no one pays attention to you, if everyone else is just focused on the show’s sponsor?

These TV show participants were supposed to be the next generation of business leaders, as well as showbiz superstars and global entrepreneurs. They were all in their early 30s. Most were from business or technology backgrounds, with backgrounds in sales, marketing, or finance. All were single or married, and all were “smart” and ambitious – in other words, they were smart enough to buy the show. But then reality set in: all the participants were unemployed at home, and had no idea how to market themselves. One of them wrote a book titled Job Search Genius. Another even tried his hand at writing a screenplay.

In the end, only one of the participants made it to the second episode. “The most important lesson is that your value is not in how much you know. Value is in how much you can help others out,” he says.

In the first episode, they were all presented with a problem: they needed money, but they already knew where the money could come from. They had big ideas for the show and a huge sponsor – but no buyers, no sponsors, and no marketing budget. So the challenge, from the viewers’ perspective, was clear: how can you get them to listen?


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