Things are soon getting really interesting for US app developer Bitzio, one of our trading ideas. In co-operation with the NFL Players association, Bitzio will publish its “Pigskins Football Player Trivia Game”. The app is set to be launched in December, in-time for the important Christmas business. (visit the app’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pigskins?filter=3)
At a recent investor conference in California, Bitzio’s CEO Peter Henricsson gave the audience a sneak preview of the game, which you can watch yourself on youtube. We think the game makes a very good first impression and the graphics hold a high standard. Remains to be seen how the gameplay works out. Given the large fan base of the NFL, we believe the app has the potential to be a real hit for the company.
Watch the preview of Bitzio’s Pigskins Football Player Trivia Game here:
In early December, Bitzio announced two additional co-operation deals within its strategy to focus on developing and monetizing fan-based apps in the sports and entertainment markets. The first is with Dr. Laura Berman, a renowned sex and relationship expert for over 20 years who is considered a thought leader and innovator in her field. She is a part of the EveryDayHealth Network, which receives more than 28 million unique monthly visitors. Her television show, In The Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman, recently had its season premier the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Dr. Berman is a regular guest on The Dr. Oz Show, The Steve Harvey Show, and Access Hollywood Live, as well as a New York Times best-selling author and weekly columnist for the Chicago Sun Times.
Bitzio will begin development of five apps, in cooperation with Dr. Berman, which will be focused on bringing couples closer together in a meaningful way. The apps will deliver customized and fun relationship advice on a range of topics, from exciting ways to energize date night and get conversation going away from the same-old-same-old, to targeted advice for women going through menopause. There will even be practical, transformational relationship advice from Dr. Berman for men hoping to get closer to their significant other (for example, daily tips tied to her astrological forecast of your romantic and sexual life). The apps are planned for release into Apple’s iTunes Store and the Android Marketplace in Q1 of 2013. Revenue generated through in-app purchases and advertising will be shared between Dr. Berman and Bitzio.
The second co-operation sound even more exciting. Bitzio partnered with IMX, the joint-venture between EBX Group and IMG Worldwide. Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, IMX represents several major international sports and celebrity brands. We note that the upcoming Brazilian soccer star Neymar is one of IMX’s clients. Neymar has been rumoured to transfer to one of the big European soccer clubs (amongst others FC Barcelona) for quite some time and a transfer would naturally extend its fan base from South America to basically around the world. This could become an interesting deal for Bitzio, in our opinion.
Bitzio and IMX will jointly develop a mobile game based on IMX content. The partners plan to officially announce the content when the game is released as scheduled in the first quarter of 2013 for the iOS, Windows and Android platforms.
IMX has four key areas of business: Events (creation, production and promotion of sports events and live entertainment), Services (talent management, sports marketing consultancy and Hospitality), Digital (Ticketing and content distribution) and Venues (management and operation of stadiums, arenas and other events venues). The partnership with Cirque du Soleil, under the new entity IMX Arts, will bring to South America the best of Cirque du Soleil live content and leverage the goodwill and value of the Cirque du Soleil”s brand in the territory. In Sports events, the portfolio of IMX includes projects such as UFC (MMA), Volvo Ocean Race (sailing), Megarampa (skate), LPGA Brazil Cup (golf), FootVolley Competition 4×4, Travessia dos Fortes (marathon swimming), Vert Jam (radical sports), FMX (motocross), Escape to Rio (triathlon), among other
According to Jorge Reis, COO of IMX Digital, “Given their capabilities and our preview of Bitzio”s upcoming NFL Players trivia app, we’re confident Bitzio is the perfect partner as we look to reach and engage our clients’ fan base through new and innovative ways.”
We continue to see Bitzio as a high risk – high reward investment on the globally growing app market, driven by rapid smartphone and tablet expansion. The current market cap of USD <10m does, in our opinion, not give any credit to the ongoing project with the NFL. If executed successfully, we believe this high profile app could be able to generate multi-million dollars in revenues. Also, we consider it highly likely that there will be many more apps under this co-operation and the recent partnership announcements have generated a nice line-up of new apps for Q1 2013 already. Financing has been secured for the coming quarters and expected cash flow from the NFL app as of December/January should limit the risk for a new share issue near-term (taking aside potential acquisitions).