Jan. 10, 2019
This paid piece is sponsored by the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau.
You likely know him as an investor on “Shark Tank.”
And, hopefully, you’ll get a chance to hear from Daymond John in person May 14 at the Sioux Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau’s annual luncheon.
In the meantime, here are five lesser-known facts about the “shark” who’s coming to Sioux Falls.
- Daymond John rose to fame with FUBU. Growing up in Queens, New York, Daymond chose not to attend college after graduating high school so that he could begin working to help support his family as soon as possible. He was working as a full-time waiter at Red Lobster when he started his iconic hip-hop fashion line, FUBU, where he remains the CEO. FUBU, which stands for For Us, By Us took off after branded clothing items were seen being worn by stars in the hip-hop music scene for magazine photo shoots, music videos and celebrity appearances. FUBU is now worth $6 billion and is featured at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture.
- LL Cool J and Samsung were instrumental in FUBU’s success. Daymond started with $40 worth of fabric and turned it into $800 worth of hat sales. He took shirts to various hip-hop music video shoots to hand out in hopes of the shirts being worn for the videos. He eventually was able to convince LL Cool J, who grew up in the same neighborhood, to take a photo wearing a FUBU shirt. Daymond snuck into a menswear product conference in Las Vegas and secured $300,000 in orders. He then was faced with the reality of needing to produce $300,000 worth of clothing. Needing a makeshift factory, he met with banks to secure a loan but was rejected no fewer than 27 times, which led to his mom taking out an equity line on their home. After placing an ad in the local newspaper, the textile division of Samsung contacted Daymond to offer financing on the condition that he make $5 million in sales in the next three years. He had $30 million in sales after only three months.
- Success stories following Daymond’s investments include Bubba’s-Q and Bombas Socks. Daymond has been a shark on “Shark Tank” for all 10 seasons. He has invested more than $8.5 million of his own money in over 60 companies that have been featured on the hit show. Two examples of companies that saw success following investments from Daymond are Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs in 2015, and Bombas Socks in 2016. His investment in Bubba’s-Q Boneless Ribs helped grow the company from $154,000 in sales to $16 million in three years. In 2017, Bubba’s-Q partnered with Carl’s Jr. to create the limited-edition Baby Back Rib Burger. After investing in Bombas Socks, total sales for the company increased from $450,000 in the first nine months to $12 million. For every pair of socks sold, Bombas donates a pair to someone in need. They now have donated more than 10 million pairs of socks to people around the world.
- He was named a presidential ambassador for global entrepreneurship under the Obama administration. In 2015, President Barrack Obama selected Daymond to be a presidential ambassador for global entrepreneurship. This initiative was created by Obama to help grow the business startup culture in the United States. Other awards and recognitions include Brandweek Marketer of the Year, two-time NAACP Entrepreneur of the Year, Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign, Essence Award, Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40 Award, Ernst & Young’s New York Entrepreneur of the Year, Brandeis University International Business School’s Asper Award for Excellence in Global Entrepreneurship, Details’ 50 Most Influential Men and a two-time winner of the Congressional Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship.
- He’s a two-time New York Times best-selling author. As well as being on “Shark Tank” and continuing to run FUBU, Daymond is also the CEO of The Shark Group, a brand management and consulting firm located in New York City. The Shark Group works with companies on brand strategy and creation, marketing campaigns, content development, social media influencers and more. Past notable clients include AT&T, Chase, Evian, Forbes, Gillette, Google+ and Miller Lite. Daymond is also a two-time New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author. He has written four acclaimed books, with his most recent, “Rise & Grind,” released in January 2018.
Don’t miss what’s sure to be an inspiring appearance in Sioux Falls! Reserve your tickets here.
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