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Daymond John, SHARK TANK host, FUBU founder: Mr. Media Radio Interview

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Interviews by Bob Andelman

Interviews by Bob Andelman


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FUBU founder Daymond John dares Mr. Media to enter ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’!

The creative vision of Daymond John—the “Shark” in ABC’s business reality series “Shark Tank”—helped revolutionize the sportswear industry in the 1990s. As founder, president and chief executive officer of FUBU -- “For Us, By Us” -- Daymond created distinctive and fashionable sportswear and a host of other related gear. FUBU’s phenomenal success made mainstream apparel companies realize the potential for fashionable sportswear that appeals not just to trendsetting urban youth, but to mainstream teens as well.

One day in 1992, he and his friend sold $800 worth of hats and realized their ideas had definite potential. They created a distinctive logo and began sewing the FUBU logo on hockey jerseys, sweatshirts and t-shirts. Daymond lured some longtime friends into the business and asked old neighborhood friend, L.L. Cool J., to wear a t-shirt in a photograph for a FUBU promotional campaign in 1993. Daymond and his mother mortgaged the home they collectively owned for the $100,000 in start-up capital. Even more amazingly, she then moved out so the quartet could use the home as a makeshift factory and office space.

As CEO and president, Daymond guided FUBU to $350 million in revenues in 1998, placing it in the same stratosphere as such designer sportswear labels as DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger. In 2007 the street-smart businessman penned a book, Display of Power: How FUBU Changed a World of Fashion, Branding & Lifestyle.

Watch the season finale of “Shark Tank” on ABC on October 20 at 8 p.m.