Toronto Company buys TapouT, Silver Star and Hitman

September 6, 2010

MMA Weekly reports that TapouT, Silver Star Casting Co. and Hitman Fight Gear have been sold to businessman Jamie Salter.

The MMA clothing brands will be merged under Salter’s Toronto-based Authentic Brands Group, LLC.

From Bloomberg:

Salter’s Toronto-based Authentic Brands Group LLC is betting the three labels — TapouT, Silver Star Casting Co. and Hitman Fight Gear — are ripe for expansion as mixed martial arts tightens its grip on the mainstream. J.C. Penney Co., Kohl’s Corp. and Macy’s Inc. already sell some of the gear, and the new owners and founders are looking to add sales both at home and overseas.

“These are some of the most exciting brands I’ve seen in years,” Salter said in a telephone interview. “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.”

Salter wouldn’t say how much his firm paid for the brands.

Payout Perspective:

This purchase shakes up the MMA merchandise market as this merges TapouT with two of its competitors. According to the Bloomberg article, TapouT President Dan “Punkass” Caldwell and Tim “SkySkrape” Katz will be joined by Silver Star’s Luke Burrett.

The acquisition shows the growth of the MMA market and this marks the further expansion of the brands into mainstream awareness. What will be interesting in the coming days will be the organizational leadership of the new company. What changes will be made to the brands? Will Caldwell and Katz be able to work with Burrett and vice versa? What affect will the merged companies have on the identity of the individual brands?  We will have more on this later this week.

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