While playing in Jerry Bruckheimer’s rogue hockey league on weekends, five unsuspecting teammates came up with an idea. In the vain of Tom’s shoes, the five thought to create a company that would provide one school uniform to a disadvantaged student for every SOMB t-shirt sold. The new company outfitted children in nearly 50 schools in the first year.
Raised in 3 different countries, SOMB’s five founding members chose very different life paths that led each to Los Angeles. A professional athlete (Anson Carter), a movie producer (Anders Bard), a Wharton Business School grad (James Williams), a sports marketing exec (Chris Norqual), and a Harvard Business School student (Will Bennett) were all connected by a common desire to help others and a simple idea for a company. Half of Hollywood from Adrien Grenier to Snoop Dogg to Brittany Spears has sported their t-shirt to help and support.
In 2010, this shared passion led to the creation of “Shirt Off My Back” or SOMB. T-shirts are available online at www.somb.com. Today the model has changed slight to make the sale of one t-shirt provide direct funds to the global organization Right To Play, which uses sports and play to educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty. All designs in this collection were made in Los Angeles by local artists, DJ Indebele and Assal Deshmeh.
- Born/raised: Montreal, Quebec and Stockholm, Sweden. Has lived in L.A. for 12 years.
- School: McGill University/Mt. Alison University and Bishop’s University, USC School of Cinema and Television.
- Job History: Commodities trader in Toronto. Film School at 28. Assistant jobs: Bruckheimer Films, Sylvester Stallone, Michael Shamberg at Jersey Films. Eventually produced for writer/director John Hamburg. Producer on Along Came Polly, I Love You Man; now making 2 films; one for Fox and one for Paramount.
- Born/raised: Surrey, which is the English countryside.
- School: City of London Freemen’s School, Leeds University, Nottingham Law School, Wharton Business School.
- Job history: Corporate lawyer, management consultant, clothing brand owner.
- Born/raised: Wingtree Farm in Bedford and New York, just north of the city.
- School: Phillips Exeter Academy, Wesleyan University, Harvard Business School.
- Job history: Investment Banker.
- Born/raised: Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
- School: Phillips Exeter Academy, Amherst College.
- Job history: Pro-hockey player (Stuttgart, Germany), AEG/L.A. Kings Sales and Marketing, Easton Bell Sports Director of Product Marketing, SOMB, LLC Founder.
- Born/raised: Scarborough, a suburb of Toronto.
- School: Michigan State University where he played.
- Job history: Played pro hockey for NHL and AHL; now is a sports marketer.