ABG and WWE(R) Launch TapoutTM Joint Venture
WWE (NYSE:WWE) and Authentic Brands Group, LLC (ABG) today announced a joint venture for TapoutTM, a newly repositioned fitness lifestyle brand. TapoutTM is now the official fitness and training partner of WWE, and will be integrated across WWE’s global platforms including TV programming, WWE Network, pay-per-view broadcasts, live events, digital, and social media.
WWE Superstar Roman Reigns (Photo: Business Wire)
“Tapout was ABG’s first acquisition and it continues to be a global brand with strong sales and blue chip partners all over the world. We have a very strong commitment to the brand’s ongoing success,” said Jamie Salter, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ABG. “WWE is a media and entertainment force and we are excited to partner with them on Tapout’s future growth.”
“WWE is always looking for new opportunities to partner with best-in-class organizations, develop new products for our fans and drive shareholder value,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon. “This joint venture aligns with our strategic approach, and we look forward to building the Tapout brand.”
As part of this strategic partnership, WWE will create new content featuring its Superstars and Divas in TapoutTM apparel and market the brand across all platforms. TapoutTM branding will also be featured at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, and all performers, trainers, and staff will be outfitted in TapoutTM workout apparel.
“WWE’s expansive reach provides a global platform to broaden Tapout’s presence and consumer base,” said Nick Woodhouse, President and Chief Marketing Officer of ABG. “This is a powerhouse pairing given the synergy between Tapout’s brand promise to be the premiere hard-body fitness brand, and WWE’s commitment to training and fitness.”
“Combining ABG’s strengths in retail brand development, licensing and distribution with WWE’s marketing expertise, global reach and passionate fan base, makes for a powerful partnership,” said Michelle D. Wilson, WWE Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer. “The Tapout brand will enable us to expand into new product categories and further grow our current $1 billion consumer product retail business.”
The next generation of TapoutTM preserves the original brand essence and drives a hard-body, fitness-centric message positioned around motivation, discipline and determination. An all new line of men’s and women’s performance apparel and accessories will launch at retail in Spring 2016. New TapoutTM branding and packaging will roll out in key categories throughout 2015 starting with beverages, supplements and fitness centers.
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE:WWE) , is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 35 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all 12 live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 170 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich, and Tokyo.
About Authentic Brands Group, LLC
Authentic Brands Group, in partnership with Leonard Green & Partners, is an intellectual property corporation with a mandate to acquire, manage and build long-term value in prominent consumer brands. Headquartered in New York City, ABG’s mission is to further enhance brand equity through partnering with best-in-class licensees and direct-to-retail partnerships. ABG brands include Marilyn Monroe(R), Mini MarilynTM, Muhammad Ali(R), Elvis Presley(R), Juicy Couture(R), Judith Leiber(R), Adrienne Vittadini(R), Taryn Rose(R), Hickey Freeman(R), Hart Schaffner Marx(R), Palm Beach(R), Misook(R), Prince(R), Spyder(R), Airwalk(R), Above The Rim(R), Vision Street Wear(R), Hind(R), Ektelon(R), Viking(R), Bobby Jones(R), Tapout(R), Sportcraft(R). www.abg-nyc.com.
Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos, and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos, and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks relating to: WWE Network; major distribution agreements; our need to continue to develop creative and entertaining programs and events; a decline in the popularity of our brand of sports entertainment; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent K. McMahon; possible adverse changes in the regulatory atmosphere and related private sector initiatives; the highly competitive, rapidly changing and increasingly fragmented nature of the markets in which we operate and greater financial resources or marketplace presence of many of our competitors; uncertainties associated with international markets; our difficulty or inability to promote and conduct our live events and/or other businesses if we do not comply with applicable regulations; our dependence on our intellectual property rights, our need to protect those rights, and the risks of our infringement of others’ intellectual property rights; the complexity of our rights agreements across distribution mechanisms and geographical areas; potential substantial liability in the event of accidents or injuries occurring during our physically demanding events including, without limitation, claims relating to CTE; large public events as well as travel to and from such events; our feature film business; our expansion into new or complementary businesses and/or strategic investments; our computer systems and online operations; a possible decline in general economic conditions and disruption in financial markets; our accounts receivable; our revolving credit facility; litigation; our potential failure to meet market expectations for our financial performance, which could adversely affect our stock; Vincent K. McMahon exercising control over our affairs, and his interests may conflict with the holders of our Class A common stock; a substantial number of shares which are eligible for sale by the McMahons and the sale, or the perception of possible sales, of those shares could lower our stock price; and the relatively small public “float” of our Class A common stock. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends (including under our revolving credit facility), general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant. Forward-looking statements made by the Company speak only as of the date made, are subject to change without any obligation on the part of the Company to update or revise them, and undue reliance should not be placed on these statements.
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