B2Digital Inc (OTCMKTS:BTDG), an emerging force on the OTC billing itself as the premier development league for the UFC and top pro MMA sports, continues to plot a course for a big future from its humble roots as a highly promising OTC name.
There are several factors that are currently conspiring to fuel the B2Digital narrative right now, and each deserves some attention: marketing, distribution, lack of competition, and exceptional industry trends.
And all of this exists in a situational context that adds a great deal of fuel to the fire.
The B2Digital Inc (OTCMKTS:BTDG) story is striking for its innovative marketing dimension by itself. The company recently launched what it calls the “B2InstaStore” initiative.
The launch of the B2InstaStore initiative leverages B2Digital’s entire network to market pay-per-view tickets. The platform contains an embedded affiliate marketing incentive to drive engagement from fighters, fans, and followers to use their own social media networks and web resources to sell tickets to B2 Events.
“We have a massive and rapidly growing network built of extremely engaged ‘hardcore’ members of the MMA community, and we are now giving them the means and the incentive to drive potentially dramatic gains in our PPV ticket sales right in front of our biggest-ever string of live PPV MMA and Grappling events,” commented B2Digital’s Chairman & CEO, Greg P. Bell, one of the early pioneers and entrepreneurs at the intersection of entertainment and digital media, with over three decades of experience in the field.
This is special because it works as a viral mechanism to mobilize its target market to expand itself. That wouldn’t necessarily work for most products or services because you don’t have “hardcore” consumer-advocates in most markets. But this is different. This is a company targeting the real enthusiasts in a niche market. The people who like to focus on what amounts to minor league MMA are die-hard fans of the sport. And they want it to grow and expand. They want to share that enthusiasm with the world.
And this mechanism allows them to become, effectively, an impromptu marketing team, for a piece of the action.
According to its release, the technology is simple and seamless for users. “Let’s say we have a fighter being featured in an event next week,” added Bell. “Let’s suppose he has 5,000 social media followers. He gains access through this platform to a unique digital storefront that can be linked into his social media, so his followers can just click and buy a ticket to watch him fight. Instantly. Conveniently. And, he is incentivized for his efforts. But it’s not just the fighters. We are equipping all of our followers and fans as well with the same capability. And no one is better at selling tickets to MMA fights than fighters and avid fans of the sport. Their passion is genuine. They make the best sales team.”
Is it working? Apparently so. In its latest event – which set new records for PPV sales – tickets sold through B2InstaStore accounts made up half of all ticket sales. That’s a knockout performance, especially considering this initiative was only launched about six weeks ago.
This is where it gets really exciting for B2Digital Inc (OTCMKTS:BTDG) shareholders. The company is moving rapidly toward the launch of the B2 Fighting Series app for OTT distribution. The company claims to be nearing the launch of this app on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, and the Android platform.
That would extend its reach by tens of millions of potential viewers.
In one of its most recent releases, the company announced that it is making progress toward the launch of its new B2 Fighting Series App in the $6.8 billion global OTT sports market, with the added notion that it may be close to launching it on Amazon Fire TV very soon.
“We are excited about the progress so far because it means we may be able to distribute as many as five of our biggest fall season LIVE PPV MMA events over one of the largest global OTT platforms in the world,” remarked Bell. “That has huge implications for the growth of our brand because we anticipate those events to draw a lot of new fans and followers.”
According to that release, BTDG is pursuing a unique monetization model for its OTT app product, with free download using an email address, no monthly subscription, and free access to all content other than LIVE PPV event content, which will be available for a PPV charge, and then made free 36 hours after the conclusion of the event.
In other words, it is actively positioning this breakthrough extension in distribution to maximize its impact on brand growth. A smart move with big potential implications for B2 as a household name in the making.
Competitive Position and Industry Growth
The other big key to this story is that there really isn’t any obvious competition. B2Digital Inc (OTCMKTS:BTDG) is the go-to play for farm league MMA action.
The mixed martial arts “sport of fighting” phenomenon is, by any reasonable account, the fastest growing major sport on the planet over the past decade. And it keeps gaining steam with millennials and gen-z fans, which makes it a major investable theme as well. The UFC rode that thesis to a multi-billion-dollar valuation over the course a short period, and B2 is actively working to ride those coattails to the top.
Over the past five years, the industry has continued to grow. According to IBIS World, the martial arts industry made $5 billion in total revenue in 2019. Every year about 3.6 million people actively participate in martial arts in the United States.
We should also note that BTDG is not just a live sports event company. It owns a series of major gyms to leverage the coproduct relationships from its branding with hardcore enthusiasts, which is promising in its own right.
That reinforces its ability to maintain its industry-dominant positioning as the ceiling continues to rise for the MMA sport.
In all of this, we should also point out that B2Digital Inc (OTCMKTS:BTDG) is riding a pandemic tailwind at this point.
People are starved for live sports entertainment. The fact that the company has put together a powerful new marketing initiative in step with a rapidly expanding distribution platform in a soaring industry where it has market-dominant positioning relatively locked in creates a ton of prepotency given that this is all happening when BTDG is mid-stride in its biggest “season” of events in company history while fans are actively searching for live sports to consume.
The end result is a promising picture for a company that looks set to consistently post performance metrics that run rough-shod over prior company records over the months ahead.