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Tapout is an American multinational corporation that designs and manufactures sports clothing, casual apparel and accessories headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. It is one of the largest sportswear manufacturers in the United States, and one of the biggest in the world.
Tapout was registered in 1997 in San Bernardino County, California, by Charles Lewis, Jr., Dan Caldwell and Tim Katz. The company was founded after the trio began selling mixed martial arts clothing from the back of their Ford Mustang. Selling the merchandise during a period where MMA solely reached a niche market, Lewis, Caldwell and Katz branded the company around the sport, distributing the merchandise in cities where the sport was prevalent. However, following the growing popularity of mixed martial arts in the United States, and its later nationwide mainstream acceptance, the company became the largest MMA-related merchandise company in the world, accruing revenues of over $22.5 million.
1.2: Relaunch with ABG, in conjunction with WWE
Following ABG's absorption of Tapout, the firm looked to re-brand the company. The firm reached out to wrestling entertainment company WWE, in attempts to form a working relationship. WWE, who deal primarily in professional wrestling, came to an agreement with ABG in March 2015 to relaunch Tapout as a joint-venture. In a press release, Vince McMahon, WWE chairman and CEO, stated: “WWE is always looking for new opportunities to partner with best-in-class organizations, develop new products for our fans and drive shareholder value and this joint venture aligns with our strategic approach, and we look forward to building the Tapout brand.”
Jamie Slater, the CEO of ABG, also spoke on the deal, saying: “Tapout was ABG’s first acquisition and it continues to be a global brand with strong sales and blue chip partners all over the world. We have a very strong commitment to the brand’s ongoing success. WWE is a media and entertainment force, and we are excited to partner with them on Tapout’s future growth.”
The venture saw the former MMA-related brand transformed into more general "lifestyle fitness" apparel and is expected to be released in spring of 2016. WWE marketed the brand through various products, including beverages, supplements and gyms with the company hoping to achieve one billion impressions a month in order to build the brand.