MetroPCS Introduces MMA-Themed Huawei Ascend


What do mixed martial arts and Android have to do with each other? I’m not sure either, but apparently MetroPCS and Huawei see the connection, as today they have announced the Huawei Ascend Sanctioned by TapouT. Aside from coming with an awkwardly long official titling (which is repeated verbatim throughout their presser), the phone features exclusive content and apps based around the MMA lifestyle brand TapouT, including live wallpapers, a TapouT application, and training videos to get you in top fighting form.

You get the same Huawei Ascend otherwise, an Android 2.2 smartphone with 3.5-inch touchscreen and 3.2MP camera. Aesthetically, the phone is finished with some spiffy TapouT logos that you can flash at your friends before pummeling them into the dirt (remember those training videos?). Availability is merely set as the coming weeks, so no specifics to report there. Full press release below.

MetroPCS Introduces TapouT Special Edition Android Handset, Nationwide Tour with MMA’s Best Fighters
Custom Huawei Ascend brings the thrill of the cage to the palm of your hand with pre-loaded, exclusive TapouT training content and new TapouT application
DALLAS – (March 30, 2011) – MetroPCS Communications, Inc., in partnership with SA Studios Global, today introduced the Huawei Ascend Sanctioned by TapouT, a special-edition handset designed in conjunction with Mixed Martial Arts (“MMA”) and lifestyle brand TapouT, an Authentic Brands Group company. The phone will be available exclusively at MetroPCS stores and online within the next few weeks.
The Huawei Ascend Sanctioned by TapouT comes with two interchangeable backs and is pre-loaded with a full content suite featuring TapouT static and live wallpapers, TapouT Virtual Training center videos and a new TapouT application exclusively available on the phone.
Finished in high gloss black with matte black casing, the Huawei Ascend Sanctioned by TapouT features the iconic TapouT logo emblazoned on the back of both covers, one in tonal black and the other in dark grey with the cage graphic frequently seen on TapouT merchandise. The handset is powered by Android™ 2.2 (Froyo), features a large 3.5 inch touchscreen and a 3.2 megapixel auto-focus camera and camcorder, and comes with a 2GB microSD ™ memory card.
The Huawei Ascend Sanctioned by TapouT is available with MetroPCS’ smartphone service plans at $50 and $60 a month, including all applicable taxes and regulatory fees. Both plans offer unlimited talk, text and Web services for about half the cost of other carriers’ smartphone plans today, along with Metro USASM nationwide coverage covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population.
“The TapouT brand is admired by MMA fans around the world, and we’re proud to offer consumers a unique and personalized handset that carries the energy and radical design for which TapouT is known,” said Phil R. Terry, senior vice president of corporate marketing for MetroPCS. “Special edition handsets are one of the ways that we’re giving consumers the devices, services and features that are a perfect fit with their lifestyles and interests.”
TapouT is the most recognizable brand in the MMA world. Founded in 1997 by Charles “Mask” Lewis Jr., Dan “Punkass” Caldwell and Tim “SkySkrape” Katz in California, the three made t-shirts and sold them at local gyms and MMA events. The brand rapidly became the de-facto brand worn by MMA fans throughout the U.S. and now has global distribution sponsoring a number of top athletes including Ryan Bader and Jake Shields.
“When we started TapouT, the goal was to create a brand that captured the true essence and lifestyle of MMA fans. Today, the mobile phone is the most important piece of technology that we own, and is an extension of the owner’s personality. TapouT fans now have a handset that reflects their lifestyle and the latest technology on the market. The value that MetroPCS offers consumers is unmatched in the industry and was an obvious choice for us,” said Caldwell, co-founder of TapouT.
Cross-Country Tour
To celebrate the launch, Punkass and SkySkrape will travel across the country on the TapouT bus to visit MetroPCS stores and host The Ultimate Fighter™ watching parties. A full schedule of locations and dates can be found at www.metropcs.com/TapouT. Additionally, customers who purchase the phone will be able to redeem 20 percent off gear and apparel at www.TapouT.com and enter to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas to watch the finale of The Ultimate Fighter™ with Punkass and SkySkrape.
About MetroPCS Communications, Inc.
Dallas-based MetroPCS Communications, Inc. is a provider of unlimited wireless communications service for a flat-rate with no annual contract. MetroPCS is the fifth largest facilities-based wireless carrier in the United States based on number of subscribers served. With Metro USA?, MetroPCS customers can use their services in areas throughout the United States covering a population of over 280 million people. As of December 31, 2010, MetroPCS had over 8.1 million subscribers. For more information please visit www.metropcs.com.
MetroPCS related brands, product names, company names, trademarks, service marks, images, symbols, copyrighted material, and other intellectual property are the exclusive properties of MetroPCS Wireless, Inc. and its subsidiaries, parent companies, and affiliates. Copyright ©2010 MetroPCS Wireless, Inc.
TapouT is a registered trademark of ABG TapouT LLC © TapouT LLC. The Ultimate Fighter™ is a trademark of Zuffa LLC and is not a sponsor or otherwise participating in the promotion
About SA Studios Global
SA Studios Global is a full service agency that specializes in strategic positioning and content creation for select brands, products and feature films looking to dominate the multicultural marketplace. The agency has unparalleled credibility, authenticity and reach amongst core influencers, that ensures the pinpoint positioning of its projects; clients include Microsoft, Universal Pictures, Nike and other leading brands. Sanctioned is SA Studios private label brand, reserved for select alliances and partnerships. Sanctioned merges distinctive and relevant content and products with multiple touch-point marketing experiences. A portion of proceeds from all Sanctioned projects is dedicated to charity. SA Studios is headquartered in Los Angeles with an office in New York.
About TapouT:
Founded in 1997 by Mask, Punkass and Skyskrape, TapouT is the first brand to represent the sport of MMA. From humble beginnings when the brand was sold at underground events, TapouT has become synonymous with the sport and is the most recognized MMA brand in the world. Athletes and millions of global fans wear TapouT as a badge of honor as it symbolizes the brands fighting spirit and that quitting is never an option. TapouT’s worldwide movement is founded on Mask’s conviction that anything is possible if one simply believes.
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. A New York based company with offices in Toronto, ABG’s mission is to acquire and manage iconic consumer brands in apparel, sporting goods, action sports, home, celebrity, entertainment and consumer electronics and enhance brand equity through best-in-class brand licensee and direct-to-retail partnerships. ABG holds Marilyn Monroe, TapouT, TapouT MPS, TapouT Pro, TapouT Vintage, Silver Star Casting Company, Iron Star, Hitman Fight Gear and Sinister Brand. ABG manages the merchandise licensing programs for the Bob Marley family of brands. www.authenticbrandsgroup.com


Kevin Krause
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