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Meet the new Sharks: Richard Branson and A-Rod are joining the Tank

Alex Rodriguez
Photo by Adam Glanzman
Alex Rodriguez

"Shark Tank" is getting some new sharks.

ABC announced its hit entrepreneurship reality show has been renewed for a ninth season, and it will have a new slate of big-name investors when it airs in the fall: Spanx billionaire, Sara Blakely; billionaire Richard Branson; "Real Housewives of New York" star Bethenny Frankel; venture capitalist Rohan Oza; and former baseball player Alex Rodriguez.

The existing line-up of full-time sharks — Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O'Leary and Lori Greiner — will continue to be the main investors on the show. But when the primary sharks can't fill all five seats on the show's panel, one of the guest sharks will be tapped to fill in.

Chris Sacca was a popular substitute guest shark, but the Silicon Valley venture capitalist announced earlier this year that he wasretiring from investing and therefore from "Shark Tank." (Despite their bickering on-screen, billionaire investor Mark Cuban was the most bummed to hear of Sacca's retirement.)

The new sharks

Sara Blakely is the billionaire founder of shapewear line Spanx. When she started the company, she says she didn't know what she was doing — and that was a good thing.

"What you don't know can become your greatest asset if you'll let it and if you have the confidence to say, I'm going to do it anyway even though I haven't been taught or somebody hasn't shown me the way," she tells "Squawk Box."

"The fact that I had never taken a business class, had no training, didn't know how retail worked, I wasn't as intimidated as I should have been."

Bethenny Frankel is a celebrity, entrepreneur and author. After starring on "Real Housewives of New York," she launched a line of diet cocktail mixers, Skinnygirl Cocktails, and sold the company to beverage giant Beam Global in March 2011 for a reported $100 million.

Rohan Oza, dubbed "Hollywood's Brandfather," is best known for generating buzz for consumer products. For example, he helped turn Smartwater and Vitaminwater into the household names they are today. He also developed the Bai brand, which Dr. Pepper bought in 2017 for $1.7 billion.

Alex Rodriguez is not only a baseball legend, he's also the CEO of AROD Corp, a business portfolio that includes real estate, auto dealerships and high-end fitness centers in both Mexico and the U.S.