Billionaire Mark Cuban recently rejected two Black entrepreneurs–Donovan and Trey Brown–on Shark Tank. He called their ideas the “dumbest marketing move ever” after they took a tongue-in-cheek jab at his NBA team.
Mark expressed his sentiments during the seventh episode of Shark Tank’s 14th season. During the episode, he rejected the Los-Angeles based founders of the air freshener brand Ride FRSH.
Donovan and Trey appeared on the show to pitch their car air freshener company, which consists of fresheners with NBA logos and fun quotes such as “Picture Me Rolling” and “Drive Slow Homie.” The Howard University alums’ business had been on track to generate over $750,000 in annual revenue, they said.
While the duo proudly showed off several of their popular air fresheners, they made a seemingly colossal mistake. One of them sniffed an NBA-themed one from their collection that had a logo of the Golden State Warriors and said, “This one smells like winning. Sorry, Mark.”
Mark was clearly offended, as he owns the Dallas Mavericks, and the team went toe to toe against the Warriors four times during the 2022 NBA season.
“You got to read your room,” he said before tossing the air freshener. “I’m out. Wrong move, wrong time.”
When other Shark Tank panelists asked why he was so upset, the billionaire responded, “What do you think?! The one air freshener from the NBA is the team that beats us in the NBA conference Finals. You gotta know that it could backfire.”
Ride FRSH reportedly made $1.1 million in three years since its launch, Donovan and Trey revealed. They added that they were in talks with AutoZone, among other major retailers, and if the deal went through, the company would buy $2.1 million worth of Ride FRSH air fresheners to distribute at 2,000 locations.
The two reportedly asked investors for $200,000 for 5% of Ride FRSH and eventually scored an offer with businesswoman Barbara Corcoran. They ultimately apologized to salty a** Mark, who replied, “It’s all good.”