What to Know in Disaffiliating

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Due to the controversial email and tweet in early June by CrossFit’s former CEO Greg Glassman, numerous Affiliates are considering, or have voiced their plans for, disaffiliating from the brand.

However, disaffiliating from CrossFit isn’t simple. There are several areas to think about, as shared by Iron Roots Athlete on its Instagram:

  • Certifications: If no longer an Affiliate, you will need to consider other certificates/certifications to give your Coaches credibility. Not only is it a hard decision to make, but Iron Roots made a note many certifications are funded by Big Soda and teach/promote practices that are discredited. Plus, to recert all your Coaches is a large expense, which you probably don’t want after the COVID-19 shutdown.
  • Insurance: If you are in the Affiliate Risk Retention Group and unaffiliate, you will have to switch your insurance. It takes time and effort to not only price out the cancelation, but also find matching coverage you can afford. UPDATE: Check out these resources for insurance.
  • Branding: Anything, from murals to swag, referencing CrossFit will have to be removed. There is a cost to that. Whether it’s repainting, purchasing new apparel or goods sold, or even a potential small renovation, there’s a lot to consider.

In fact, branding is one of the largest pieces of the disaffiliating puzzle. Gyms need to ask if they’ve built a brand that can stand on its own

According to dailymail.com, in January 2020 CrossFit was one of the top searched New Year’s resolutions on Google. That matters, explained Blake Ruff of LASSO, a sales and marketing company, when it comes to changing your business’ name. “Gyms will no longer have an SEO advantage and will be bundled into ‘gym near me,’” he shared.

And, Sherman Merricks of LASSO said the biggest question facing Affiliate owners now is how are they going to differentiate in one of the busiest markets?

It comes down to your website and if it speaks to your potential customer. Plus, you need an advertising strategy and a way to compete with the larger franchises, like Orangetheory Fitness.

Ruff said you must ask if your website does three things:

  1. Does it talk to the customer’s problem?
  2. Does it have a clear call to action?
  3. Is it clear the customer is the hero of your brand?

Merricks also suggested picking up a copy of “Marketing Made Simple” to help develop a sales funnel.

All in all, these are uncertain times. And every owner is asking the same question only they can answer for their brand. “Many gyms are at a pivotal point they never imagined would happen,” said Merricks. “The uncertainty of dropping the CrossFit brand, the foundation of their business — almost every gym owner is struggling with the idea of, ‘Should I separate from CrossFit?’”

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at heather@peakemedia.com.