Marketing: Strategies, Techniques and How-Tos

Marketing strategies for your Box.



Shane GriffithWhat: Using a member and Coach referral program for new members. Who: Shane Griffith, the co-owner of CrossFit Notorious. Where: Chicago, Illinois. How: When a member refers a friend and he or she signs up for an unlimited membership, the member will get $50 towards his or her membership. When a Coach brings someone in, they get perpetuity as long as the member stays.

Why: Member appreciation: “The members really appreciate the fact that it’s there … It’s gotten positive payback for us from that respect.” Targeting the right audience: “[It’s] a way for members to bring in their friends and family, which tends to be the most ideal candidates for us anyway, as members, because they have somebody there that it makes it more sticky for them to stay and to fit in with the community.” Coaches are focused on member retention and acquisition.



David TaoWhat: Using photos and video in marketing your Box. Who: David Tao, the chief marketing officer/creative rhino of RhinoCo Fitness. Where: Boxes in Miami, Maryland, New York and Dubai. How: Partnering with videographers and photographers, as well as using its own in-house media team, Tao explained RhinoCo’s Boxes work to give people a sense of what it looks and feels like before they even step inside.

Why: Preparing people: “We want people to walk in and understand what they’re getting ahead of time.” Showing the quality of the coaching: “Ultimately, what’s going to sell someone on a CrossFit membership at a particular Box, and what’s going to determine the majority of their experience, is going to be the coaching. It’s going to be the people they interact with when they walk in the Box.” Exposure to more people.



Chris Welch HeadshotWhat: Partnering with local companies. Who: Chris Welch, the co-owner of CrossFit Five Plus. Where: Beverly, Massachusetts. How: By having relationships with various companies, CrossFit Five Plus offers to match up to $30 when an employer supplements a portion of an employee’s membership to the Box. Welch also explained they have set up wellness workshops in various company spaces and have brought in specialists to the Box on topics about recovery and physical ailments.

Why: Easier for people to access CrossFit: “If one of the main problems people have about taking the leap to try CrossFit is the price, we wanted to get rid of that as much as we could of being an issue.” Numbers have grown due to people talking: “If two people in the office are talking about the workout they just had or the results that they’re seeing, chances are that more people might jump in.” Natural fit: “Know who you are and try to find people who, maybe in different fields, that share that same vision, and when that happens, the partnerships will be a very natural occurrence that just makes sense. There’s no forcing it.”



ChadWhat: Signs on the front of the building, 60 by 48-inch collages of members inside of the Box, feather banners for competitions and beach events. Who: Chad Warren, the owner of Space Coast CrossFit Where: Melbourne, Florida.

Why: Necessary. “Signage is a necessity, especially on your building so people do know that you’re there. It’s definitely not how you start, but it may be a way for you to grow, to let people know that you’re there.” Celebrating members: “The collages are a ‘celebration of our athletes.’ Even the banners stuck in the sand look to ‘celebrate what we’re doing.’” Differentiate: “By design, all those efforts are really for one thing and it’s to really separate ourselves from everyone else”

Photo by Thomas Hilt Photography



Jason LeydonWhat: A person in your Box who can operate your marketing. Who: Jason Leydon, the founder of CrossFit Milford. Where: Milford, Connecticut. How: Leydon’s marketing consultant was a member of the Box. He said when she approached him about the idea, it was helpful that she already knew the community. From there, he would tell her what he felt was lacking or what needed to grow from a business perspective, and then she would draw up a plan of attack.

Why: You don’t have enough time. “For awhile I’d always have these marketing ideas and I’d try to do the marketing ideas by myself, or I’d pass them off to other people and they wouldn’t get done and they wouldn’t get done to the fashion that I’d want them to get done.” They know! “I think the biggest key point is that they know exactly what they’re doing to get results.” One less thing to stress about: “It takes a stressor off my plate to put my emphasis and energy toward something I want to put it toward.”

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at