The immense popularity of mixed martial arts has made international brands of popular training gyms – but is the rise of generative AI seeing them now ‘tap out’?

Lesser-known competitors are now looking to outmanoeuvre these giants of the competitive scene via customer acquisition strategies powered by MarTech 50 star Dream Agility’s AI.

Even iconic gyms are shuttering their doors as they struggle to adapt to the evolving digital battleground, with recent closures of three competitor gyms within a span of just two weeks across various towns in the United States, including the training grounds of world-renowned grappler Kron Gracie.

The closure of Gracie’s gym, coupled with the influx of tech-savvy individuals relocating to burgeoning towns, underscores the urgency for traditional brands to embrace innovative strategies or risk obsolescence, says Glyn Powditch, CTO of Dream Agility and a third degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Dream Agility

Traditional approaches, reliant on static websites and generic Google Ads, pale in comparison to the precision targeting enabled by AI algorithms, says Powditch.

“When times are good you should do marketing – but when times are bad you must do marketing with an AI edge,” says Powditch.

“We’ve taken the AI-driven approach from our financial services sector clients and applied it to a sector that’s very close to my heart. It’s reaping – and will continue to deliver – dividends long after the big names have fallen.”

By analysing data and optimising content based on actual conversion metrics, businesses can tailor their outreach to resonate with prospective customers effectively, according to the co-founder.

Furthermore, as the cost of traditional advertising channels like Google Ads skyrockets, AI has emerged as a cost-effective results enhancer. By leveraging AI-generated content and predictive analytics, businesses can maximise their marketing ROI while bypassing the limitations of SEO-centric strategies.

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“Perhaps the most overlooked aspect is the failure of gym owners to grasp the concept of lifetime customer value,” adds Powditch. “By understanding the long-term revenue potential of each member, businesses can make informed decisions regarding marketing budgets and customer acquisition costs, thus ensuring sustainable growth in an increasingly competitive landscape.

“Amidst the closures and consolidations, there exists a silver lining for the remaining players – the opportunity to attract new members from defunct establishments. 

“As the dust settles, those equipped with AI-driven insights and a forward-thinking approach stand poised to dominate the MMA industry’s new frontier.”