By Barry Janoff
April 1, 2016: Global fitness and training brand TapouT, which last year was acquired and re-launched by WWE and Authentic Brands Group, has taken a major move to reach a larger audience, signing a deal to have its apparel available in almost 300 JCPenney stores.
The initial men's line will be joined by the launch of a women’s collection this summer.
TapouT’s product also includes accessories and eyewear, performance beverages and fitness centers. More product categories are scheduled to launching later this year.
TapouT, which originated in 1997 as a MMA-specific product, was re-launched as a lifestyle fitness brand last March when it was acquired via a joint venture between WWE and Authentic Brands Group, with WWE making the brand its "official fitness and training partner."
WWE and ABG said that the move into JCPenney would be supported by a fully integrated marketing program, including such WWE global platforms as TV, WWE Network, PPV broadcasts, live events such as WrestleMania, digital and social media.
WWE star John Cena serves as a Tapout brand ambassador. To help the move into JCPenney, he is featured in a new spot taking people behind the scenes of his workout regimen.
In addition to Cena, others in the campaign include Triple H, El Patron Alberto and WWE Divas Natalie Eva Marie, Charlotte and Lana. WWE Divas wear TapouT apparel during their fitness and training activities.
The brand's tagline is intended to reach a broad audience: "Fitness is a lifestyle with no finish line."
“From working out to hanging out, TapouT offers a stylish collection of performance sportswear that’s versatile enough to wear in and out of the gym,” James Starke, svp-men’s apparel for JCPenney, said in a statement. “TapouT has a strong fan base and JCPenney is excited to add this brand to our great assortment of high quality activewear for young men.”
According to Jamie Salter, chairman and CEO for ABG, “We are thrilled to reintroduce TapouT performance apparel into the retail space with JCPenney. The next generation of TapouT preserves elements of the original brand essence while tapping into current consumer needs for apparel that suits their active lifestyle.”
ABG also handles such brands as Prince, Bobby Jones, Ektelon and Juicy Couture, as well as managing intellectual properties for Shaquille O'Neal, Muhammad Ali and the estates of Elvis Presley and Marilyn Monroe.
“Fitness is my life, and it is important for me to use the high quality and comfortable performance apparel that TapouT offers,” said Cena. “The TapouT brand stands for motivation, discipline and determination, three core values that are key to my active lifestyle.”
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