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TapouT, Silver Star Sold to Authentic Brands Group; Original Owners to Remain Involved

(The best part about being filthy rich? You don’t have to share ring girls anymore. / Props: / R.I.P.: Charles Lewis)

After a 13-year run that saw TapouT go from a two-man operation — with founders Charles "Mask" Lewis and Dan "Punkass" Caldwell selling shirts out of the trunk of a car — to becoming the most powerful apparel and lifestyle brand in mixed martial arts, and then pressing on after Lewis’s tragic death, TapouT has finally reached the mythical "cash-out" stage of its existence. As first announced via press release yesterday, Authentic Brands Group has purchased TapouT, as well as its rival label Silver Star Casting Company, along with their subsidiary brands.

With offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto, ABG was founded earlier this year by chairman/CEO Jamie Salter, who previously managed such big-name brands as Polaroid, the Sharper Image, and Linens ‘N Things while at Hilco Consumer Capital. Now, he’s betting big on MMA. In a article published today, Salter wouldn’t talk numbers, but he did talk about how excited he was about his new company’s first major acquisitions:

“These are some of the most exciting brands I’ve seen in years. The popularity of mixed martial arts and the UFC is soaring around the world. The last time I saw a sport with this much potential was 20 years ago with snowboarding.”

Dan Caldwell explained that TapouT had "many suitors," but decided to work with Salter and ABG because they knew the clothing industry and welcomed his continued involvement. In fact, Punkass will remain president of TapouT, while Tim “SkySkrape” Katz will stay on as marketing/creative director, and Silver Star founder Luke Burrett will join them as a third partner. As Burrett told Bloomberg, “We’ve been fierce competitors with TapouT, and now that we’re under the same roof we’ll be unstoppable."

Salter predicts he’ll double revenues of the two brands in the next two years. And you thought TapouT couldn’t get anymore "inyaface"…

Cagepotato Comments

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paskhl- September 8, 2010 at 9:32 am
All right bud.
Dont know the guy,so tnx for the cue.
Now that he sold the company,he might be able to down play "the gimmick".
Its "kind of" like Criss Angel,a 40 yrs old,looking like a teenager.
But like you said,its part of their character and that I can understand.
Plus,it worked pretty good for both of them!
knucklesamitch- September 8, 2010 at 7:01 am
I'm not going to bother finding the Mask interview...But my guess is that 9 out of 10 people who have a chance to "sell out" like the TapOut crew did would sign on the dotted line...Then they'd rationalize it by metioning that they are still very involved in the company, blah, blah, blah.

Also, not to be insensitive, but Mask is dead, who gives a shit what he would've done, he doesn't get a say in the matter anymore.
Tact- September 7, 2010 at 10:43 pm
Tapout is to clothes, as dildos are to toys.
Gardeninja- September 7, 2010 at 9:39 pm
100% agree with omunto.
The world does not need anymore faux hawked,tattooed sleeved (tapout,affliction,ed hardy) wearing, thumb ring sporting chest pumpers that's for sure.
Goofy ass shit.
omunto- September 7, 2010 at 4:58 pm
Jens Pulver and Korean Zombie... The only two good fight shirts ever. I love this sport but god the clothing is worse then any other sport... Fucking clown shoes...
As Good As Anyone- September 7, 2010 at 4:53 pm
@ paskhl

It's his character. That's what he plays, a "punkass." It's sort of the gimmick.

He's actually a really nice guy.
paskhl- September 7, 2010 at 4:45 pm
The "bandanna guy"is working soooo hard to look like hes got an attitude.High school style!
Hes got the same look in every pics ever taken of him;bandanna low,chin up,fists pumped and that look,a very,very mean look.
Well,it must be the million dollars look...
You're rich buddy,chill out for god sake
Nikloai- September 7, 2010 at 3:59 pm
jesus christ, that's chick's body is so enticing
jimbonics- September 7, 2010 at 3:33 pm
I say CONGRATULATIONS! Fuckabuncha dumbshit. Show me the money!
Art Vanderley Silva- September 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm
after some independent research from the recommendation of Nut Puncher 9000, i too, don't think mask would've gone this way.
cecils_pupils- September 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm
Punkass and Skyscrape tapped out. Mask rolls over in his grave.
As Good As Anyone- September 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm
They probably had no choice but to sell out. The fact that they had managed to keep sales as high as they were is amazing. Owning a small business that's international is NOT easy. Considering the company is constantly expanding, it's no easy task to keep running. They probably couldn't handle the amount of product overhead necessary to keep it going with the exponential growth it probably has.

There's always that part of them that could have kept it dear to them. However, looking at the apparel and audience they already have, they sold out years ago.

Kudos to them for accomplishing the American dream. Hopefully this is what mask would have done / wanted.
rampageisgod- September 7, 2010 at 2:22 pm
Businessmen say one thing and do another all the time. Money talks
BuckWild- September 7, 2010 at 2:22 pm
Just like the Nature boy once said. "Everyone has a Price! Wooooo!"
Nut Puncher 9000- September 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Do yourself a favor and go to Youtube and watch Mask's last interview and then tell me again he would have signed...

Just because you have sell out blood in you doesn't mean its a universal feeling.
RwilsonR- September 7, 2010 at 2:04 pm
Brands that have declared bankruptcy and are all but out of business:

Polaroid........ check
Sharper Image....... check
Linens 'N Things....... check

Good to know Tapout and Silver Star are in excellent hands.
DAN THE VIKING- September 7, 2010 at 1:54 pm
Easy Nut Puncher, Im assuming the end game to this whole TapouT business venture was to make money and sell there merch across the globe. They're now acomplishing both easier than they ever have before with a little help from a large corporate business with massive pull and the money to supply the demand.

Maybe its a sell-out, but not in the 'disgracing their dead friend' type of way. Im sure Mask would have signed that paper too.
Nut Puncher 9000- September 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm
As THE brand name in MMA athletics and a company brought up from the ground floor, it is a disgrace to their "friend" and Cofounder MASK to sell out at this stage.

nicey- September 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm
omg from her belly button down to upper thigh im in love.
ben- September 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm
Bienvenido, Omar.
CAP10- September 7, 2010 at 1:21 pm
I saw an obese 50-year-old wearing a Tapout shirt at Walmart yesterday.
omarmtz- September 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm
me llamo omar :).