SPERGO: What Happened To The Brand After Shark Tank?

"Shark Tank" — ABC's hit entrepreneurial reality show — often serves as a reminder that it's never too late to find your niche and start the business that could change your life. Every now and then, it proves to viewers that you're never too young, either. When 15-year-old Trey Brown appeared in Season 13, Episode 5, Sharks and viewers alike were inspired by his dedication to his premium clothing brand.

The teen, joined by his mother, went on to share a touching story that began with him investing the $178 he'd received for his 12th birthday into starting his very own line of athleisure clothing with a streetwear edge, known as SPERGO — a combination of sports, heroes, and go-getting. Three years later, the company boasted well over a million dollars in sales, and the young founder and his mother felt their success had only just begun. At least one Shark agreed. Was SPERGO then launched to mass sales and success, or has its ambitious founder moved onto greener pastures? 

SPERGO's Shark Tank pitch

Trey Brown and his mother, Sherell Peterson, wowed the Sharks with their retelling of Brown's journey to entrepreneurship at the young age of 12. Just three years later, the duo had sold enough of their urban streetwear online and in pop-up shops — $1.8 million worth, to be precise — for Peterson to retire, thanks in part to receiving a grant from famed rapper Sean "Diddy" Combs. Every Shark on the panel was in awe of the young man's tenacity and his commitment to showing his community that abundance is possible without compromising moral integrity. The founder asked the Sharks for $300,000 in return for 10% equity in the company.

Despite their admiration for the teenage CEO, Lori Greiner and Kevin O'Leary were quick to drop out of the running, citing their lack of expertise in the fashion industry. Robert Herjavec followed their lead, explaining that his fashion experience was limited to online clothing brands. Mark Cuban was the first to offer Brown and Peterson a deal, despite his admitted lack of experience in the fashion arena. "I don't do clothes," the Shark proclaimed, "but I do help young superstars." He went on to offer $300,000 for 25% equity in SPERGO. Then, FUBU founder Daymond John matched Cuban's offer but was met with a counteroffer of $300,000 for 20% of the company from Brown. Luckily for the young founder, John agreed. 

SPERGO after Shark Tank

It's unclear whether SPERGO followed through with closing its deal with Shark Daymond John after appearing on "Shark Tank." Though the brand extensively lists the names of celebrities and public figures who have worn or promoted its designs on its website and Instagram, there's no mention of John or "Shark Tank" (other than a GIF of Mark Cuban putting on a SPERGO baseball cap) to be found. While this could suggest that the company didn't ultimately partner with the Shark, this remains unconfirmed.

What does seem to be clear is that SPERGO continued to experience success after the brand's appearance on "Shark Tank." Since the episode aired, SPERGO has continued to launch new designs, as well as sell out of old ones, and has opened two permanent retail stores — one in Pennsylvania's King of Prussia Mall and one in Virgina's Pentagon City Mall. Founder Trey Brown also authored a book titled "Trey's Way: My Entrepreneurial Keys to Success" and established a secondary career as a motivational speaker. However, as reported by The Washington Post, Brown experienced a significant health scare in 2020 when he suffered a seizure following a period of insomnia that resulted in a month-long hospital stay, and he hasn't posted on social media much since.

Is SPERGO still in business?

While SPERGO's exact level of success since its appearance on "Shark Tank" is difficult to gauge, the brand still appears to be in business, as new designs, such as the SS'23 line, have been unveiled on the company's website and Instagram page as recently as spring 2023. The brand also appears to have expanded its accessory offerings, now selling branded water bottles, scarves, and stocking caps in addition to its variety of sock and baseball cap designs.

While celebs like Shaquille O'Neil, Charles Barkley, Grant Hill, Meek Mill, Tierra Whack, and Da Baby are still listed on SPERGO's website, no recent collaborations with mainstream public figures appear to have been shared publicly. This is another indicator that SPERGO's deal with Daymond John on "Shark Tank" may have never actually closed. Regardless, the company seems to still be trucking along and has clearly become well-established within the urban streetwear-athleisure niche. 

Outlook for SPERGO and Trey Brown

Whether or not SPERGO has reached its full potential remains to be seen, but there seems to be enough of a market for the brand's clothing and accessory designs to keep it afloat both online and in its physical retail locations. As for SPERGO's young entrepreneurial founder and CEO, Trey Brown, the future is surely bright, but public details are scarce.

Although Brown has mentioned plans to build his motivational speaking career and launch a business mentorship program for other young entrepreneurs in the past, his lack of an online presence — the last photo of himself on his Instagram was posted on November 29, 2021, with the only newer post being one a car posted on January 6, 2022 — in such a capacity is a bit troubling. Whether or not the teen continues to struggle with his health has not been shared publicly. Surely, with access to such determination and grit as he displayed before, during, and after his appearance on "Shark Tank," the world hasn't seen anywhere near the last of the remarkable young founder.