How to Use the Open to Your Advantage

Can you benefit from the Open? Courtesy of ShutterStock.comWith all the excitement over the Open I started thinking: Just how good is the Open for your business?

The everyday person tends to take three things away from CrossFit: it will get you in great shape, it’s hard and it might hurt you. For some reason, the third aspect seems to stay with people for long periods of time. When we analyze the Open, positioned as a first step to reach the Games, that can be a deterrent to non-CrossFit members.

From time to time you’re going to have those people come into your Box that have seen the Games on ESPN and think they can make it to the Games simply based on athletic prowess. However, I’d make a guess that for every one of those, which is rare, you’re going to have 20 more that see the Games on TV and are scared away from even walking through the doors.

Likewise, as CrossFitters we see the Open coming and we get excited, the non-CrossFit, non-athletic community sees these posts coming from Facebook and Twitter and they get scared away. These people see Rich Froning saying, “I compete in the Open.” Translation: People like him compete in the Open; I’m not like him so I will get crushed.

CrossFit has also done a relatively good job at showcasing the everyday athlete competing in the Open. For example, I saw a video over the weekend of several disabled athletes discussing the Open. At first I thought this is really good for CrossFit. Well done, this will hopefully inspire people to get through the doors. But, as the video played on it showcased each of those athletes in competition doing things that even regular folks can’t do. Now your slightly inspired person is disgruntled once more.

In fitness marketing it’s all about making the outsider feel excited and motivated to get in your gym. You can use the community, the atmosphere or the training methods. But, if I was doing marketing at your facility, I’d market a place for everyone:

“Sure, at Box Blue we practice CrossFit methodology, we tackle the Open WODs, but we also practice safe cardiovascular and strength training. We aren’t your typical gym, we have top-of-the-line Coaches ready to help you in your fitness journey. We don’t just open the doors and hope it works out for you. We walk you in and help you grow and develop as the inner athlete we all have inside us.”

Bring a message of growth around the Open. Yes, the Open is a fantastic time for CrossFit athletes around the world. But, it can also be a deterrent for your business. Consider how to use its power for good in your gym’s growth by showcasing your own members learning and growing with the Open. Showcase your great Coaches working with newbies and getting them through WODs. This is a time to lean on the marketing of CrossFit with your own message.

The Open is out there … the Open is coming … but the question is, can your Box benefit from its message?

Tyler is a former editor of Box Pro Magazine.