CrossFit wihout CrossFit

Posted by Rollo
5 minutes
CrossFit wihout CrossFit

Can CrossFit be offered without CrossFit? Or rather, is it possible to follow the same training philosophy without paying the affiliation? The answer is yes and no at the same time and as usual it depends on various factors. 

On the affiliation discourse yes, affiliation no, we have already talked about it in the past and this time we deepen. But let's go in order.

The choice of CrossFit Copenhagen and the other 26 Boxes of the group

It is news of these days, released by Morning Chalk Up that CrossFIt Copenhagen with its 27 Boxes has decided not to renew the affiliation to CrossFit by changing the name of the whole chain. This fact has created a certain turmoil among Box Owners divided between maintaining the affiliation or not renewing it at the next round.

According to the online magazine, the reason for this choice is that: “Over the past 12 years we have moved further and further away from the basic idea of ​​CrossFit. We are now where it makes sense to detach and build our functional training brand . "

In fact, nothing will change except that the gyms will be called "ARCA" instead of CrossFit. This is a strategic choice which, if well thought out and planned, could give the group a great opportunity for growth and further expansion.

The strategy of CrossFit Inc, Vs, that of the affiliates

In the first years of its appearance, CrossFit Inc, was able to position itself very well, becoming synonymous with functional training. In reality, nothing particularly innovative except the fact of having first created and occupied a niche in the fitness market that was discovered at that time.

The initial strategy of CrossFit was, as we all know, to focus on the Elite of Fitness, through a campaign aimed at a well-defined audience that was not satisfied with the offer of traditional gyms. The novelty was to bring a sport-like formula to a commercial gym contest.

CrossFit Inc has therefore worked since then on the creation of the brand, so much so that while all the resources relating to the training methodologies and the basic philosophy have always been open source, the company has focused on creating value around its brand with the goal of licensing its use to affiliates. 

Unlike a franchise, CrossFit has never imposed rules and regulations on the management of their businesses on franchisees, leaving freedom to entrepreneurial initiatives of all kinds. It is the same principle by which a company that produces barbells aims to sell them but not to explain how to use it to its customers who are assumed to already know.

The business model of CrossFit Inc is in fact to license the use of its name / brand to anyone who requests it on condition that it is in possession of an L1, which in turn falls within the company's revenue streams. Furthermore, each affiliate becomes in turn a vehicle for promoting the brand because through its use it makes it known to other people who in turn often open their own Box. 

The business model of a Box is instead that of providing a service to the end user using also, but not exclusively, the CrossFit methodology and the related brand which, however, are two distinct things. The provision of the service implies that the, let's call it “core” constituted by the CrossFit methodology, is completed by a series of services to the user ranging from reception to complementary classes (Yoga, WL, Calisthenics. Etc. etc.). These last “toppings” constitute the true creation of value by the Box.

A Box Owner who is able to plan a strategy that places his Box on a different level from that of CrossFit Inc, while using the very same methodology, has the same chance of success as an affiliated Box but, there is always a but, it is very important that it has its own well-designed strategic plan.

Affiliation yes, affiliation no

The open source model of CrossFit Inc, has shown some flaws when the freedom left to the various Box Owners has led to the creation of many Boxes where the level of service is poor and inadequate, where the CrossFit philosophy has often been misrepresented with an overall image damage to the brand itself which has caused a loss of affiliates.

This resulted in the recent repositioning of CrossFit Inc. and the adoption of a number of suggestions, through the Journal, with the aim of eliminating the negative effects of an out-of-control exposure of the brand. The idea is that it's better to lose those affiliates who don't fully embrace the CrossFit philosophy than to lose valuable reputation. A normal repositioning strategy already implemented in the past by many growing companies.

In other cases, such as in the Danish one, an evolution of the concept of Box has been reached which in any case no longer responds to the foundations outlined by CrossFit Inc and therefore the detachment from a brand that is no longer aligned what the evolution of these group of Box represent.

Affiliation to CrossFit Inc, with what follows should therefore be a strategic choice that is based on the intention or not to adapt to the CrossFit philosophy which is not so much the training methodology but the public it is intended for, that is everyone. 

If a Box Owner turns up his nose at the idea of ​​having to admit people with serious motor problems to the Box, then he should consider not joining and finding an audience among those who want to train at the highest levels without having to pull back "ballast". It is a choice like any other that if well considered can lead to interesting results even without being affiliated.

The important thing is to have a well thought-out plan and a precise direction based on the knowledge of the market. And all this regardless of the choices that can be made. Furthermore, as always, an idea does not necessarily work just because it looks good on paper, so even a good dose of experimentation is absolutely to be taken into account, whatever the choice.

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