Professor Eric Silverberg
December 5, 2012 Executive Summary
With newfound commitment to his company, Fateh Belkalem faces the main marketing
challenge of maximizing future enrollment at Gracie Barra London. Specifically, he has the
target goal of increasing enrolment by forty percent for this upcoming year. Through the
achievement of this objective, Belkalem is confident that GBL will become the leader of the BJJ
market. To ensure success, Belkalem must make essential choices:
1. Target the untapped female market of London, specifically age group 20-29 with
middle to high income
2. Pursue the $10,000 gym expansion with the $8,000 secured investment and $2,000 of
the advertising budget.
3. Implement self-defence courses and female-only courses within the new schedule,
shifting open mat sessions to Sunday exclusively
4. Make no changes to the price other than the $15 surcharge with adult-gym
5. Promote existing and new services in numerous ways
There are many competitors in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu market in London; however, none
of them had pursued the female market. With males and children as existing clientele groups and
university students being seasonal with high turnover, females were the logical choice. It was in
the best interest of Belkalem to pursue this new market to ensure that his enrollment would not
only reach his short-term goal, but also inject new clientele into his company in the long-term.
Since females took BJJ for physical fitness, GBL’s largest competitor was Adrenaline. To
compete with them, Belkalem should expand the gym, ensuring that his new target market would
view and gravitate towards GBL as a “one stop shop”. Furthermore, it would strengthen his
relationship with existing male clientele who also wanted to achieve physical fitness.
To future cater to the needs of his new clients, Belkalem should offer self-defence and
female-only courses where they could learn important skills and feel more comfortable in the
gym setting with his new hours. Transferring all open mat shifts to Sunday would be beneficial
for families not normally in the same class to train together, further promoting GB’s family spirit.
GBL was already charging a relatively high price in comparison to competitors. To
prevent offsetting of current clientele before even being able to target the new market, Belkalem
should maintain current pricing. However, because he was adding quality to GBL and also
provided higher quality and more committed BJJ classes, he could charge the extra $15 for adult-
gym memberships without having to fear that Adrenaline would take clients away.
Finally, promotion of the new options available to females at GBL is very important, and
the best way to market was to diversify the spending of the remaining budget. This should
include: bus advertisements around the community and a viral marketing campaign where GB
logo white belts would be mailed to targeted population. Additionally, current members could
update the website, spread the word and Belkalem could reach out to Kyra Gracie for seminars.
In conclusion, Fateh Belkalem of GBL needs to pursue a new group to achieve his
enrolment goals. The lowest risk and most effective method to achieving this was to target
females with a new gym with slight change in pricing, specifically designed courses for females
and promotion for all of the above. Completion of this plan would make GBL a strong leader in
the London BJJ market now and for years to come. Introduction
Fateh Belkalem faces three major marketing challenges as owner and operator of Gracie
Barra London (GBL), a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) gym. With limited personal savings, Belkalem
needs to increase gym enrolment by forty percent in the upcoming year, preferably maximize all
future enrolment, and would like to establish GBL as the leader in the London BJJ market. Based
on the analysis, this report will recommend the best target clientele, and suggesting options for
product, price and promotion to cater to this market. In conclusion, this report will determine the
most efficient and effective way that Belkalem can achieve his target goals.
Belkalem has a limited budget to utilize for promotion and/or gym expansion if he so
chooses. However, the budget does offer almost enough to maximize multiple options of
advertising in unison. Therefore, Belkalem has to pick the most effective combination that his
budget will allow to achieve his goals. As a franchise with established corporate identity and
brand; Belkalem can focus on advertising the high quality of service that the Gracie Barra
franchise provides. Belkalem’s decision to resign from his full-time job gives GBL the capability
to offer new specialized courses that target a new potential market to reach the target goal of
future enrolment. The increased hours will have to fit with the schedules of his target market and
his student teachers, some of which already have problems with scheduling. All five current
teachers are qualified to teach with decent belt rankings in BJJ. To conclude, while GBL has a
strong established system, it is imperative that proper adjustments be made in line with
promotion strategy to maximize new corporate capabilities. Industry Analysis
GBL can be grouped with the recreational program industry. Considering London was
still affected by the 2008 recession, demand for luxury services such as GBL is low. Furthermore,
London contained an aging, baby boomer population, and seniors could not be targeted with such
physically intense training, therefore GBL should target a consistently expanding group. GBL
was benefiting from London’s government initialization of ActiveLondon2010 and the Healthy
Living Partnership promotion of the importance of physical activity, increasing the quantity of
individuals interested in physical programs such as GBL BJJ classes. Also, with the rapid
increase in popularity of UFC’s Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), increased exposure of BJJ has led
to increased interest in BJJ as a competitive sport and effective technique.
The Submission Academy is a direct competitor to GBL. While expanding quickly and
advertising well with a “sleek, up-to-date website”, it remains fairly new, lacking history.
Moreover, the owner has a lower belt ranking and is actually Belkalem’s former student with less
experience. Although it offers 11 hours a week, it targets all markets with lower prices than GBL.
Bindner’s Jiu-Jitsu Academy is experienced in the business operation, but primarily
focuses on a different martial art style, aikido. Since the BJJ gym was opened solely for the
purpose of capturing the growing market due to increased popularity, Bindner’s lacks the same
history and values that GBL embodies. Furthermore, there are fewer BJJ students and less
teaching hours, targeting only adults and adult-warriors. GBL can easily gain advantage over this
competitor by advertising the commitment and high quality that it offered in comparison.
The high reputation and one-stop shop image that Adrenaline promotes is especially
dangerous to the welfare of GBL, as many individuals exercise for physical fitness rather than for martial art. Secondly, a reason the BJJ market was increasing is the overall increased interest
in MMA, which Adrenaline offers fully. Adrenaline is the only direct competitor that has a black
belted BJJ instructor. Therefore, clientele would be offered access to the gym and the same
quality of BJJ with fewer hours of “regular BJJ” if they go to Adrenaline. On the other hand,
GBL would be able to compete through Belkalem’s holistic teaching style of BJJ.
Overall, GBL’s primary advantage over direct competitors and indirect competitors (i.e.
sports programs) is experience and commitment to high quality BJJ. Please refer to Exhibit 1 for
the perception map (PM) in regards to quality and target market specialization.
The relationship between males and GBL was an important one to maintain due to the
fact that they accounted for the majority (about eighty percent) of current clientele. While this
group consistently showed more interest and commitment, the adult male group had always
naturally come to GBL with limited marketing. Additionally, the male market was also being
targeted by all direct competitors and had other indirect options available to them. Considering
that Belkalem looked to maximize future enrollment in the long term, targeting an already
established group would provide limited potential.
Both the children and university student groups would require readjustment of the gym
hours to fit the schedules of school. Additionally, large adjustments would have to be made if
either of these groups were targeted. While children were a growing target market, GBL would
have to offer more child classes and a child-friendly gym. Western currently lacked a BJJ team,
allowing GBL to gain the loyalty of students interested, but would transform the gym into a
seasonal market with high turnover as out-of-province students left for summer and after
education. Moreover, both markets were beginning to be targeted by competitors: children due to the increased number, and student MMA enthusiasts who had a better option at Adrenaline for
the same price.
Females are another untapped but inconsistent market. With the increase of interest in
BJJ for self-defence and physical fitness, GBL could have a first-mover advantage in targeting
women. However, others would follow quickly. Moreover, other indirect competitors were
available to achieve the same goals. However, like children, the gym would have to become
friendlier to the target group. The female market remains a high-risk, high-reward situation that
could prove beneficial.
The goal is to increase enrolment forty percent this year and maximize it for the next few
years. Therefore, it is pointless to target the existing clientele of males and children: firstly it is
unlikely that maximization of these groups will lead to a significantly large increase, and
secondly both of these groups are competitively targeted. It is better to target an entirely new
group with more potential that will increase enrolment in the long-term. Targeting university
students is not long-term due to the high-turnover and seasonality, both of which lead to high
instability. Furthermore, targeting students forces new classes to all fit into either evenings or
weekends when it does not obstruct school hours. Therefore, GBL should target females,
specifically age group 20-29 with disposable income to spend on luxury goods such as BJJ
classes, as they have not been targeted by any other competitor. With increased advertising about
the “family spirit” of Gracie Barra BJJ, customized programs and more holistic options targeted
directed to the needs of this target group, Belkalem will be able to reach his goals easily. Product
With females as the target group, some operational adjustments need to be made. Out of
the five possible alternatives that Belkalem could implement, females would attend the self-
defence classes and female only classes. Implementing just two courses two times a week and
switching the wrestling and open mat periods would allow for females to attend after work, and
for children as well as females to attend self-defence classes. Having open mat on weekends
would also be beneficially as it allowed most people to come in and practice freely, especially
the possibility that families with members that attend different classes