Mixed Martial Arts has gained increasingly more exposure within the general public and national media largely due to the popularity of the UFC. Despite this growing popularity, a vast majority of the “neighborhood training facilities” are not fight schools. This leaves ample opportunity for facility owners to take advantage of the national exposure and attract new customers. How can you use this opportunity to grow your business?
Know What Students Want
You must first realize that a vast majority of students want to be in shape like the MMA fighters they see on TV, but they don’t really want to be a fighter! It’s best to offer classes in MMA conditioning as opposed to competitive fighting. Reach out in your community and show the public that Mixed Martial Arts is as much about great conditioning, safety and self-esteem as it is about combat.
Take Advantage of Trends
One way to take advantage of the MMA trend is to promote your gym as such:
“Our Mixed Martial Arts program teaches and trains the same winning strategies and techniques as used by the professional UFC fighters.”
It’s important that people see that you are now a fight school, but you are not looking for fighters. Instead, you are looking for people interested in fitness and self-defense. Even if you do have a fighting element in your school, make sure a new person coming in for the first time isn’t going to see your fighters having a hard sparring session in an MMA cage. It’s important that people can identify with MMA and UFC but still feel like they can train at their own pace and achieve their own goals.
Some highly successful gyms offer an “MMA Training System.” They progressively teach MMA techniques and methods in a safe and effective manner. Start with MMA Basics, then move to Intermediate MMA and then to MMA Fighting Fitness. The goal is to have a progressive program that converts the students into long-time members, not fighters.
Promoting Your Gym
Here are some additional ideas from the experts on how to promote your gym within the community:
- Make yourself the “local expert” and develop relationships with local newspapers, radio and television channels. You want them to come to you for articles and for expert advice when covering the sport.
- Host a pay-per-view party at a local pub with drawings for prizes and free trial memberships.
- Join the local Chamber of Commerce and offer classes and fitness clinics to corporate members.
- Develop a cross-promotional campaign with a local business (auto and motorcycle dealerships, sporting goods store, etc.).
- Promote an “MMA-Lite” program for kids and beginners. Offer to hold them at the local YMCA or Community Center.