Archive for May 27th, 2009

I’ve been dealing with TapouT for a few years now. When I started I would be on the phone to Dan Caldwell (aka punkass) or the TapouT president, ex disco mogul Marc Kreiner, as they walked through their warehouse telling me what they actually had in stock and what they didn’t. Such was the lack of sophistication of their stock management systems there was no way I could place a large trade order using their website and without actually walking through the TapouT warehouse they didn’t have a clue what stock they had.

There was always something very different about TapouT, right from the early days it was evident that this brand was something special. Their imagery and edginess (using porn actresses such as Britney Skye as models for example) stood them apart from any other Californian lifestyle brand. They really lived their mantra, American, Arrogant and In Ya Face. TapouT didn’t do subtlety. It was sex, it was violence and it was out there.

I took the TapouT brand to a UK trade show for independent “Urban” brands a few years ago. None of the buyers “got it”. Despite purporting to be independent and edgy they just didn’t get it, preferring to stick to their tried and tested brands and wondering why they had nothing that set them apart from anyone else in their town or mall. It was all rather depressing until the young skaters who were representing the skate brands came in and flooded round my TapouT stand, forsaking the brands that were actually paying for them to be in attendance. This confirmed to me that TapouT was a brand worth sticking with and it was indeed going to become something big.

Almost three years on and it’s a very different story. TapouT is now a $200m dollar business and still growing at a frenetic pace. Although I have long since been relegated from the premier league of trade accounts (a place now dominated by the large global retailers such as Macy’s and Footlocker) TapouT remains very much an inspiration to my own business. The drive of the late Charles Lewis (aka Mask) and his philosophy of “believe” is well documented.

But anyone who underestimates the impact of Marc Kreiner really doesn’t understand TapouT at all. A man every bit as charismatic as any of the TapouT Crew he has until the death of Lewis preferred to stay in the shadows. A somewhat Machiavellian figure with a fascinating life story long before he joined TapouT, it’s good to see him taking a more prominent public role as I have found him every bit as much an inspiration to my business as the renowned Lewis.

I personally don’t think TapouT have even scraped the surface of what they will achieve and I for one do “Believe”.

Anyway enough of my reminiscing and rambling, here is a video feature on TapouT made by the US finance publisher Forbes.

Read Full Post »

Dream 9 Results

  • Minowaman beat Bob Sapp by first-round submission (Achilles lock)
  • Hong Man Choi beat Jose Canseco by first-round submission (strikes)
  • Sokoudjou beat Jan Nortje by first-round TKO (strikes)
  • Gegard Mousasi beat Mark Hunt by first-round submission (kimura)
  • Tatsuya Kawajiri beat Gesias “JZ Calvan” Cavalcante by decision
  • Hideo Tokoro beat Abel Cullum by second-round submission (RNC)
  • Hiroyuki Takaya beat Yoshiro Maeda by first-round TKO (strikes)
  • Bibiano Fernandes beat Masakazu Imanari by decision
  • Joe Warren beat Kid Yamamoto by split decision
  • Ronaldo Jacaré vs Jason Miller ends in no contest

Read Full Post »