For four years “Shark Tank” has taken a bite out of small businesses in the best way possible. The non-scripted reality show created by Mark Burnett gives entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their business in front of a group of potential investors—sharks—in hopes that a shark will invest in them. The “Tank” has found a home in many households, but has experienced particular success with African-American and female viewers. Given this, Burnett and his team sought to respond to their diverse viewership by paying attention to the demographics of the entrepreneurs on the show and this is where our bishop comes in.
Bishop Rodney Sampson, a consecrated bishop in the Old Holy Catholic Church in intercommunion with the International Bishop’s conference, is the Executive-in-Charge of Diversity and Inclusivity for Shark Tank as well as several other Burnett shows. As such he is responsible for ensuring that what we see Friday after Friday is a reflection of the world we live in. In a talk with UrbanFaith, Sampson stated that he took the position because he saw it as an opportunity to influence culture and where else could one best do that but with Mark Burnett, one of the top producers of non-scripted reality shows. Sampson is particularly good fit because he has a history of entrepreneurial victories. He was co-founder of Streaming Faith—the earliest online video platform that made a way for YouTube—as well as co-founder of Intellect, Intellect Inspire and the Legacy Opportunity Fund. His experience as an entrepreneur lead him to write the bestselling book “Kingonomics” which is inspired by the economic ideals of Martin Luther King, Jr and will be the focal point of Friday night’s Shark Tank. But lest anyone think that Sampson’s work is just a new-fangled prosperity gospel, he is ready to debunk it and clarify what he’s about. Education, empowerment, creativity, dreaming big…This is what Sampson is about and through his book and the Kingonomics program he wants to train up a legion of leaders who are ready not to make a dollar but affect real change. This is what people will see on Friday night as Sampson gives the world a look at the Kingonomics conference that coincided with the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. We will see Sampson, Cuban, and others cutting through the rhetoric that stymies conversations about job creation and discussing real ways that people can participate in changing the economic tide of our country.
Be sure to tune in to ABC on Friday at 9PM Eastern standard time to learn more about Kingonomics and see Bishop Rodney Sampson and the sharks in action.