Mark Cuban Quickly Rejects Black Founders Following ‘Shark Tank’ Joke About Dallas Mavericks

Photo Credit: Christopher Willard


Ride FRSH, a subscription-based car air freshener brand with unique scents and designs, was founded by Donovan Brown and Trey Brown. The brothers asked the Sharks for a $200,000 investment in exchange for a 5% stake in their company. While their pitch was brimming with energy, one Shark was not amused.

Things Take A Turn

The Browns made a lighthearted joke at Mark Cuban during their product presentation. The Golden State Warriors logo was on one of the car air fresheners.

“This one smells like a winner,” Trey observed. Then, as the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Donovan added, “Sorry, Mark.”

As their pitch came to an end, Cuban abruptly stated his mind, shocking his fellow judges.

“Worst marketing move ever!” “I’m leaving,” the millionaire declared. “You really need to read the room. “Wrong move at the wrong time.”

“The only breath of fresh air in the NBA is the team that defeats [the Dallas Mavericks] in the NBA Conference Finals,” he added. “You should be aware that that could backfire.”

Cuban was quickly removed, but the Browns continued to pursue a potential deal with one of the other Sharks. While on the show, the duo revealed that Ride FRSH was on its way to earning over $750,000 in revenue this year. To top it all off, the company has made $1.1 million in revenue in three years thanks to its convenient subscription model.

“I remember walking down the street and seeing all of these air fresheners everywhere in everybody’s car,” Trey recalled. “And I was like, ‘Well listen if we put some culture and style on top of this thing I already know that this market is $11 billion worldwide. In the United States, it’s $300 million. So, yeah we could definitely do this because there’s nobody really doing a subscription model.”

Their argument was convincing enough for Barbara Corcoran to agree to a $200,000 investment for 20% of Ride FRSH.

Following the closing of the acquisition, the co-founders apologized to Cuban for the Mavericks joke.

“Everything is fine,” he said.

The Browns, both Howard graduates, launched WeMojis in 2014, the first mobile app for Black and brown emojis.

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