Daymond John was living in New York City in 1992 when he and several of his friends had an idea.
The group wanted to start a clothing line, but John was operating his fledgling company on a $40 budget. He decided to put a $100,000 mortgage on his house and FUBU was born. The company now has more than $6 billion in sales and has propelled John onto the hit television show “Shark Tank.”
John will be the inaugural Mike Watson Lecture Series speaker at Arkansas State University, Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said. John is slated to speak Oct. 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Riceland Hall of The Fowler Center. Seats will be available Sept. 19.
“We are excited to bring to campus an individual with a powerful message about how to overcome obstacles and succeed in the 21st century world,” Damphousse said.
Funding for the Watson Lecture comes from the bequest of Jonesboro businessman and ASU supporter Mike Watson. Admission to the Watson Lecture is free, thanks to the Watson endowment and other university benefactors.
“Mike had a great passion for Arkansas State, for the students and for the local business community,” Damphousse said. “I know that having a speaker who brings together entrepreneurship, business savvy and a powerful message for our students would have been exciting for him.”
Ticket distribution will be similar to this year’s “Evening with President Bill Clinton.” Blocks of tickets will be reserved for students, faculty and staff, and interested community members. While admission is free, courtesy of the endowment, all tickets are reserved and must be ordered in advance.
In his talk, John reveals hard-won, real-world lessons on leadership, innovation, entrepreneurialism and overcoming obstacles in life and business.
At a young age, he created FUBU, one of the most recognized urban fashion brands in the world. With expertise sought out by global organizations and Fortune 500 companies, John now consults through his branding company, Shark Branding. He is also the best-selling author of four acclaimed books, the most recent, “Rise and Grind,” released in January 2018. In 2015, President Barack Obama selected him to be a Presidential Entrepreneurship Ambassador.
With an inspiring story that is the very essence of the American dream, John outlines the success strategies that took him from the bottom to the top of the business world. Drawing on his phenomenal journey to becoming the face of American entrepreneurship, he offers audiences invaluable tools for creating a vision, making it big, and achieving personal and professional goals.