MMA took another significant step towards the mainstream this week when Authentic Brands Group LLC purchased the sport’s foremost merchandising brand, TapouT, along with Hitman Fight Gear and Silver Star in hopes of expanding their profile both in the United States and abroad.
Though the financial figures involved were not released to the public, TapouT made nearly $200 million in sales last year and is already available in a number of retail outlets such as Kohl’s, K-Mart, and JC Penny.
“We strategically chose these acquisitions as our first big move because we’re getting into the right business at the right time. We’re looking forward to working with the best brands and the best athletes in the world as we transition these (companies) into global lifestyle brands with our retail and licensing partners,” said Authentic Brands’ CEO Jamie Salter in a press release on the deal.
It was also confirmed TapouT founders Dan “Punkass” Caldwell and Tim “Skyskrape” Katz will remain integral parts of the clothing line they, along with the late Charles “Mask” Lewis, originally peddled from the trunk of a car.
As Caldwell put it, “TapouT is more than a company or a brand to me, it is a way of life. With the passing of my best friend and co-founder (Lewis) we’ve been through a lot. Now we are focused on continuing to set the standard as the industry leader, bringing to life Mask’s dream of building a billion dollar empire. Authentic Brands Group understands what TapouT is about and they share our vision. Mask always said to simply ‘believe’ and that one word became our formula for success. We believe in Authentic Brands Group and they believe in us.”
TapOut is currently considered the sport’s leading apparel company and sponsors a number of Mixed Martial Artists including Dan Hardy, Jake Shields, Ryan Bader, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Roy Nelson, Dan Henderson, and Michael Bisping.