A major opportunity for Bellator and the MMA industry is the recent explosion of popularity in yet untapped markets of South America and Europe. In South America, Mexico and Brazil represents significant opportunities due to the high number of athletes originating in these countries and the little number of promotions. In Europe and specifically the United Kingdom, MMA has become one of the most popular sports for millennials. With only local organisations and international promotions holding few events, this is a prime opportunity for Bellator who are trying to build brand recognition in a market already over saturated with MMA promotions in the United States.
Another opportunity Bellator is poised to take advantage of is the rise in online streaming. While the traditional platform has been pay-per-view model, trends have been shown that, especially with the younger generation, online streaming is becoming a more used platform. This is due to its convenience , it's 24-hour access and the high prices that most MMA promotions charge for live events.
Currently the global MMA industry is a multibillion dollar market however, this is mostly due to the UFC which is valued at $4.2 billion.
There are two financing options that the new strategy seeks to utilise.
1. Being a subsidiary of Viacom Bellator has access to huge amounts of capital as Viacom is one of the world’s largest corporations.
2. The second financing option is in the proposed consortium, where multiple firms will pool capital together for combined growth.
Current Financial Situation
Currently Bellator is valued at $100 million after its acquisition by Viacom.
Competition with UFC
A major challenge facing Bellator is the size and scope of its largest competitor, the UFC. If the UFC decides to start buying smaller firms this could cause a near monopoly in the market. If this is done the UFC could come close to owning 49% of the MMA market and place barriers of entry for other firms.
Another challenge facing the MMA industry is the legal restrictions it constantly faces from multiple governments both in the United States and some European countries. While there has been some success in this area with recent lifting of sanctions in New York, France has introduced a full country wide ban. This could pose a serious problem for any MMA promotion seeking to enter new markets or risks of existing markets.