by Adam Lawman
MMA’s top clothing brand TapouT has been synonymous with the sport for over 10 years, but their future could hold many changes. Sources close to TapouT have told MMAPrime.TV that the company will soon announce that they are sold or being sold and that sales representatives have already been let go from the clothing company’s headquarters. The source also stated that the new buyer is possibly none other than reputed billionaire Warren Buffett.
TapouT was started by Dan Caldwell (aka “Punkass”) and the late Charles Lewis Jr (aka “Mask”) back in 1997. From it’s beginning in San Bernardino, CA to it’s current status as one of the most recognizable brands in popular culture, TapouT has become a multi-million dollar company and even spawned a reality television series which was aired on the Versus channel.
The recognizable faces of “Mask”, “Punkass” and “SkySkrape” were always noticeable at MMA events and have been a strong proponent for the continued growth of the sport, specifically the UFC.
Details of the purchase such as how much the company was bought for are not yet available at this time. Also, the current status of the remaining members is unclear, though we hope to have more information regarding all facets of this story as it comes to us.
UPDATE: The information reported is from a source close to the situation however the news has not been officially confirmed with TapouT.
UPDATE #2: New reports are coming out that the potential deal TapouT is working on could be with Authentic Brands Group, a newly formed brand development and licensing company. Authentic Brands Group’s other investments consist of Polaroid, The Sharper Image and other large brands. The group is also rumored to be making a deal with Silver Star Casting Company, another mixed martial arts clothing brand.
If the deal went down with ABG, or even Buffett’s group Berkshire Hathway, then most likely it is just a selling of the brand and not the full company itself. These types of business deals usually consist of increasing the already proven company with wider resources to continue that company’s growth.
I don’t yet think it’s time to whistle the alarm for a fall of the TapouT empire. I’d assume that “Punkass” and “SkySkrape” will continue to be a part of the company, being that it’s most likely just a sale of their brand (or a percentage of it).
This news comes right after CNN Money recently ran an article defining TapouT’s success in sports apparel specifically with how unique the founders are. It’s a good read and has lots of information on TapouT and how the business is run.
Here’s a quote from “Punkass” taken from the article:
“I don’t see ourselves making TapouT Ken and Barbie dolls anytime soon,” he says. “We won’t make a product unless it connects to our core audience. We stay true to the brand.”
MMAPrime.TV will bring you more info as it becomes available.