With the news that ABC’s Shark Tank has been renewed for a ninth season, a slate of guest Sharks has been announced to joining the existing Shark lineup throughout the season. The lineup is diverse and includes Richard Branson and A-Rod.
The guest Sharks are (alphabetically):
- Sara Blakely – Sara Blakely is the founder and sole owner of Spanx, the brand that is constantly inventing more comfortable undergarment options for women that just happen to also make your butt and gut look amazing, and now, thankfully, makes killer leggings, too! The brand was born from a simple goal – find something to wear under white pants to make them more flattering. After some creativity with scissors and control top pantyhose, Spanx is now a successful business with offerings that extend far beyond its original shapewear. In 2006, Sara also founded her eponymous foundation, which has set aside millions of dollars to empower and elevate women and girls. She also created the Leg Up initiative, which empowers female entrepreneurs to build successful businesses and create economic opportunity in their communities. Sara lives in Atlanta with her husband and four kids. Sara is an advocate of women being whatever they want to be, but most importantly being their own boss.
- Richard Branson – The English businessman is a serial entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group, which has created more than 400 companies spanning travel, financial services, telecom, health & wellness and more recently, space travel. At the age of sixteen his first business venture was a magazine called Student. In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business. In 1971, he opened the first of a chain of Virgin record stores, later known as Virgin Megastores. Branson’s Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label. In 1999, Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for “services to entrepreneurship.” For his work in retail, music and transport (with interests in land, air, sea and space travel), his taste for adventure and for his humanitarian work, he became one of the most prominent figures in British culture. In 2002, he was named in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. In January 2016, Forbes listed Branson’s estimated net worth at $5.2 billion.
- Bethenny Frankel — Self-made businesswoman, TV producer, natural foods chef, multiple New York Times bestselling author, and mother. Bethenny is the Founder & CEO of Skinnygirl, a lifestyle brand offering practical solutions to women. She was listed on Forbes’ top 100 Most Powerful Celebrities, has a TV production company, B Real, and has hosted a nationally syndicated talk show, “Bethenny.” She is a star of “The Real Housewives of New York City” and founded B Strong, a charity providing real-time emergency assistance to women in crisis, diverted from their potential success.
- Rohan Oza – Often referred to as Hollywood’s Brandfather, Rohan Oza is a master of transforming groundbreaking consumer products into household names. Two of his greatest successes are Glaceau, best known for developing Vitaminwater and Smartwater, and Bai, which recently sold to Dr. Pepper for 1.7 billion dollars. Rohan, who was born and raised in Zambia and is of Indian descent, is a co-founder at CAVU Ventures Partners, one of the hottest venture firms in the consumer packaged goods space. His consistent success is the hallmark of his expertise in identifying key trends and leveraging them to build iconic brands. Following the model that he pioneered with rapper 50 Cent and Vitaminwater, Rohan has been instrumental in celebrity investment deals for Popchips, Vitacoco, and most recently Bai with Justin Timberlake.
- Alex Rodriguez – One of Major League Baseball’s greatest players, Rodriguez is CEO of AROD Corp, a multi-faceted business conglomeration boasting coast to coast with an auto dealership group, international and domestic fitness clubs, and a fully integrated real estate empire, with over 200 employees and more than 12,000 units in their portfolio across 13 states.
The Sharks of “Shark Tank” are tough, self-made, multi-millionaire and billionaire tycoons who search to invest in the best businesses and products that America has to offer. The Sharks will once again give people from all walks of life the chance to chase the American dream, and potentially secure business deals that could make their dreams come true. “Shark Tank” has become a culturally defining series and is the recipient of the 2016, 2015 and 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program.
The Sharks are billionaire Mark Cuban, owner and chairman of AXS TV and outspoken owner of the 2011 NBA champion Dallas Mavericks; real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran; “Queen of QVC” Lori Greiner; technology innovator Robert Herjavec; fashion and branding expert Daymond John; and venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary.