Feb 03, 2011 at 03:32 PM
written by

TapouT Expands Beyond MMA To New Sports

MMA outfitter, TapouT road the resurgence of mixed martial arts, growing from a $30,000 apparel company in 1999 to nearly $200 million in gross revenues in 2009. Now TapouT, which was recently acquired by Authentic Brands Group, is entering a new sport: NASCAR. The brand has signed a multi-year deal with Kevin Harvick and will make its NASCAR debut at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 5, 2011 as sponsor of the No. 2 Chevrolet Impala.

To date, the red hot apparel brand has only sponsored MMA fighters and events. TapouT says it is now branching out into new markets and looking to reach new fans in other sports. As part of the sponsorship deal, TapouT will launch a co-branded Kevin Harvick product this Spring. TapouT Co-founder, Tim "SkySkrape" Katz believes NASCAR is a natural extension based on overlapping demographics.

“I expect NASCAR and MMA fans to be in a bit of shock – in a good way,” said Katz. “TapouT has never ventured outside of MMA like this, but seeing how the fans love both sports, I think they will be the real winners here. TapouT loves doing things out of the ordinary and we think this is going to be a great partnership.”

“There are so many crossover fans that will love to see TapouT breaking ground into other competitive sports," TapouT Co-founder, Dan "Punkass" Caldwell, said.

Kevin Harvick said he is looking forward to the opportunity to help TapouT expand into this market.

“TapouT has become one of the most well known brands in sports,” said Harvick. “To have the opportunity to become part of the TapouT organization means a lot to not only me, but the KHI racing family. DeLana and I are very excited about this program and look forward to kicking it off in Las Vegas.”

Elliott Sadler will be behind the wheel of the No. 2 Chevrolet Impala for TapouT's first event in Las Vegas.

“TapouT is coming on board with us in the perfect NASCAR market to launch our partnership,” said Sadler. “When you think of Las Vegas you think of all the historic fights that have been held in that town. I'm a huge fan of mixed martial arts and TapouT apparel. They have some really bold designs that will definitely be appealing to NASCAR fans. We're going to work very hard to get these guys into victory lane in Vegas and work really hard to market the TapouT brand to all of the NASCAR fans.”

Learn more about how the TapouT brand tapped into MMA sponsorship and used it to become a household apparel name in this Forbes piece.