Is Peleton’s 35 percent loss MMA’s 335 percent win?

How Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star Rory Singer’s gym, SBG Athens, used AI to filter out uncompleted sales, and knock out the competition.

An extraordinary combo of brains and brawn, Rory Singer not only has a degree in Biological Engineering, he has gained notoriety from his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter series. His Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career spans AFC, KOTC, PRODE and UFC, before setting up his MMA gym – SBG Athens – where he coaches Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) and MMA to kids and people from all walks of life. 

Singer is the thinking man’s fighter, with a business edge that comes from his engineering degree. His work ethic stems from being brought up in Brooklyn and watching his mother do a four-hour round commute to Manhattan to work to provide everything the family needed. Now, he has one of the most successful Gyms in Atlanta, bringing  UFC superstars through their ranks; like Forest Griffin and Brian Bowles. But he wanted more than UFC glory, he wanted to see what AI could do for his membership pipeline. 

Georgia hadn’t been as affected by lockdown as much as some other US states; however US research has shown that 30 percent of gym memberships never renewed after lockdown and 20 percent of those have no intention of returning. A 35 percent plunge in Peleton stock value last week, following  successful lockdown growth, shows that people want more than just one form of exercise. 

It was clear that finding these people who want a comprehensive fitness regime and are ready to try challenges like MMA training would be key to filling that 30 percent gap in the gym market. Working smarter, not harder, was key to removing leads that don’t convert, to give a pipeline that converts quickly and is full of the right kind of customers. 

Fiercely analytical and process-driven, Singer had heard of Dream Agility’s Lead AI from some of their other US clients and wanted to see how AI could give him better leads, higher sales and even greater success. 

The strategy 

  1. One of the unique advantages Dream Agility claims over other marketing solutions is the ability to pass the sales value back to the ad/keyword that drove the sale. Other gyms optimise their AdWords based on form fills. If you have a no-show or a non-payer, they’re still logged in Google as a form fill, and Google will still keep spending your budget on them as it’s the only measure of success it has to go on. But when you optimise for actual sales values, the bad leads/customers are eliminated from your funnel as they produce as zero value. 
  2. They used Machine Learning on Demand (MLoD) to remove the spend in the account that hadn’t driven sales and reallocate it to where it was making revenue. 
  3. Once the sales values were dropping back into Google they bid really hard using Bidding Genius – making it more expensive for competing gyms who don’t have MloD, who then have to bid hard across everything, not just the traffic that converts to sales; thus driving up competitors’ costsand cost per lead, whilst simultaneously keeping SBG at the top of the rankings.

The results 

The strategy proved to be highly effective, outstripping the other gyms in Singer's gym owners networks. 

  • Revenues increased by 335 percent 
  • ROAS (return on ad spend) increased by 108 percent 
  • Costs went up by only 109 percent 
  • The funnel now has better quality customers, who convert faster, leaving the sales staff feeling more motivated and the gym buzzing with enthusiastic customers  

Singer says: “Working with Dream Agility has been like training with a top MMA team – constant analysis of performance, iterative process and laser-like precision have been key to us growing faster than other MMA gyms – their desire to annihilate the competition is as strong as ours.”