CrossFit Home Office: The Value of Affiliation

20210105-cf-affiliate

Mike (00:00:02):

It’s a special edition of Two-Brain Radio. Today, Chris Cooper is chatting with CrossFit home office reps Gary Gaines, Austin Malleolo and Daniel Chaffey. Settle in as Coop asks the trio about CrossFit affiliation, the value proposition for gym owners and more.

Chris (00:00:17):

Everybody welcome to Two-Brain Radio. Today, I’m really excited to have with me Daniel Chaffey, Austin Malleolo, and Gary Gaines, all in different capacities with the affiliate side of CrossFit. So welcome guys. Daniel, we met in France, you were hosting a big summit weekend a couple of years ago when we could all travel and it was so awesome to see you in person and just see like the hundreds of affiliates who are inspired by you and your gym in France. Austin, we met a few times when I was with CrossFit media and when I was doing a CrossFit open and we were doing a team draft, you actually shot a video saying you were gonna be on our team at catalyst. So that was really awesome of you. And, you’ve made a lot of fans locally, but also worldwide and Gary, this is the first time we’ve met. I know that you’re coming from a background of soul cycle, but I’m sure the audience would just love to hear your story.

Gary (00:01:12):

Well, thanks again for having me, Chris. it’s an honor to be speaking with you over the next hour, hour and a half. And, you know, the work you’ve done for the community is impressive. So thank you, you know, on behalf of home office and the CrossFit community. So, yeah, a little bit of a bio for me. Personally, I’ve been doing CrossFit since 2008. I’m a former college athlete. I played college football, my professional career working at enterprise rent a car. I joined their management program. I was there in total for 13 years, overseeing the Northeast as a vice president. And then my final role as the vice president of Southern California, then had the opportunity to transition to Tesla, where I oversaw Northern California operation and that’s made up of the sales service delivery and energy verticals at the company, then was promoted to oversee the Eastern US and Canadian operations, and reported directly to Elon, when I had that scope.

Gary (00:02:11):

And so had the pleasure of working for somebody who has really made an impact in the world, polarizing individual. But great experience. Then transitioned to Lyft. The company was preparing to IPO and, you know, they wanted to bring in some operators that had P and L management and, you know, wasn’t afraid of answering to a board and preparing to have to report to, you know, the public, each quarter. So, that was about a nine month stint, after the IPO, I transitioned and took a role as Soul Cycle’s chief operating officer. And that was overseeing the global footprint of studios. So in totality, they had 102 studios, with a presence in Canada an, in London, you know, my personal passion for CrossFit, has always been there.

Gary (00:03:10):

And, you know, through a mentor of mine, I was introduced to Eric, you know, post transaction and had a discussion with him over the course of 30 days, and was really reluctant to join, you know, mixing passion and profession is often, tricky. And, you know, I didn’t want it to dilute my feelings towards CrossFit, cause it is my outlet. And, after, you know, discussing it with people really close to me, decided, you know, if I could positively impact a brand that’s very important to me and help them, you know, kind of, right the ship after the crisis that the company went through, it was my obligation. So, not a day day goes by that I’m not grateful I made that choice. I’ve met incredible people, I’m honored and humbled to work with a group of people that have built this incredible brand and, you know, help it continue to do what we all know it’s capable of doing. Specifically in my role, I oversee the global affiliate vertical. So, Daniel is my director for non US markets. And then Austin is the director of US gym ops. So, we’ve go, a team of about 70 people that are now supporting our affiliates globally.

Chris (00:04:21):

That’s great to hear, Gary. I think the coolest part of that story for me was that even while you were COO of Soul Cycle, you were doing CrossFit.

Gary (00:04:29):

I was, yeah. And Soul Cycle knew it. But I think for me, you know, knowing that Soul Cycle wasn’t really my modality of choice helped me be objective in the role. And so when I did take a SoulCycle class, I was there observing and really looking for operational efficiency, and member experience. And that really helped me be effective. aWhich was, you know, you know, on the flip side, it was a challenge for me when I was trying to determine whether or not it was the right move for me to come over to CrossFit. Could I be objective with something that I was so passionate about.

Chris (00:05:05):

That is such a great segue into some of the questions that we’ve had about affiliation. And honestly, I’m glad to have all three of you here, because I think that you’re probably more qualified to answer these questions than we’ve had in the past. So the first question, and I’m sure you guys are familiar with this is, you know, when I sat with Greg a few years ago and said, Greg, why would I continue to be a CrossFit affiliate? His answer was, almost like a religious leader’s answer, which was, well, you know, if I was using something that somebody else invented, I would wanna pay them for it. You know, a lot of the early affiliates, myself included, I think we’re on year 14 now. that was OK with us. Right. We were, it was almost like tithing. We were paying Greg for this great invention, and that was the value proposition then. So to start with a really general question, like, what is the value proposition for CrossFit affiliation now, you know, generally or specifically yeah,.

Gary (00:06:04):

I’ll kind of take that and then Daniel and Austin, keep me honest and or add, if you see appropriate. I think when I got here, it’s a really good question. And when I got here, Chris, I asked that exact question to a number of affiliates when I was, you know, deep diving into the opportunity and trying to determine what strategic direction we took in the vertical. And so, when you ask 10 or 20 affiliates, you get 10 or 20 different answers. The connective tissue being a part of a community, right. And that’s very magical and very strong. And so when I was developing, with a very, very close, leadership team developing kind of what we were gonna focus on my goal was to in 12 months have consistency in that answer.

Gary (00:06:55):

When you asked an affiliate. What is the value prop of being a CrossFit affiliate, and they can quickly articulate it. And that doesn’t go for just the external community that goes for our internal community as well, right? Because, there was some ambiguity, on what it meant, you know, get to participate in the open. You get discounted games tickets, you get to use brand and likeness. But outside of that, there would be a little bit of fuzziness on what it meant, all very, very powerful. And so fast forward 12 months, we’ve really focused hard on creating resources. And you may have heard this, tools over rules, for our affiliate to really dive into, to help them become operationally efficient, maintain operational efficiencies, and/or, you know, be consistent, from a success standpoint in their affiliate.

Gary (00:07:46):

And so over the course of the year, we’ve developed products that we’re very, very proud about. And I should say developing close partnership with the affiliates. And it was really important me to be able to say this was not developed and spearheaded by some home office or corporate, group of people. It was developed by the best and brightest in the affiliated ecosystem. The ideas that we had at home office were pressure tested, challenged. There were very, very tense discussion. You know, as the products evolved and what you see in the market today, and those products include the affiliate playbook, which is a consolidation of best practices. So what we did is try to reverse engineer milestones that an affiliate sees from opening, to when they’re a tenured operating affiliate.

Gary (00:08:39):

And we brought in a group of 12 really, really respected affiliates, to Boulder. You know, we weren’t able to tap the international market cause of travel restrictions, but we brought in 12 really, really well known, affiliates. And we whiteboarded and they literally helped us develop what is now the affiliate playbook. We’ve got affiliate round tables, affiliate round tables are designed to create an intimate environment with a consistent group of affiliates. We know that it’s a very, very lonely job. We know that some affiliates are reluctant to tap affiliates close to them geographically. So what we wanted to create was this outlet for affiliates to be able to share personal and professional challenges that they were navigating and really tap their colleagues and peers on what they have done to navigate those challenges. And so we have over 2,500 affiliates participating in that product.

Gary (00:09:35):

We also have the affiliate partnership network, which launched, what two months ago, that’s been received really well. And, you know, we sent a survey out about nine months ago that asked what affiliates wanted, and their first request was us to leverage our brand, and try and create, preferred pricing in core segments, of the business that can help them run their gym and help them access goods and services at lower expenses or lower costs. And, and so, really proud about the 20 brands that we have in that bucket for V1. Our focus in V2 is international presence. So we’ll really be working hard to get some international brands to cover the entire globe. And then, and then the last is CAP, CAP is the only paid product within that resource bundle and CAP of course is programming.

Gary (00:10:29):

And so, you know, we had all of the resources, the methodology was created under the CrossFit name. And so in close partnership with Nicole Carroll, Dave Castro and that team, we really feel strongly about the product that’s gonna go to market as a paid product in January, of course, that has been free for six months, so we can learn from our affiliates on what they feel it needs to improve on. And so, you know, I think the last thing I’ll say, I know that was a long answer, but the last thing I’ll say is, we’ve really done all of this conscious and really aware that we needed to continue to build equity within the affiliate community. You know, it’s my goal to be an unquestioned business partner.

Gary (00:11:17):

We are in service of the affiliates. The affiliates are not in service of us. And that’s very clear and often said, in our meetings. And so anything that we do needs to take that needs to take that approach. And so we did not wanna raise the affiliate fee. That was a conscious effort, throughout, and, you know, despite increasing overhead the expenses to operationalize these products, we’re really focused on making sure that we kept the affiliate fee at $3,000, USD. And so I’ll stop there. I know that was a lot, but you know, I think, in terms of value prop, we’re really trying to create a consistent answer across the globe.

Chris (00:11:59):

How do you evaluate these ideas? So, you know, if you’re looking at like, OK, we’ve got five different ideas on the whiteboard, we’re gonna pick this one, you know, what dataset or numbers are you using to pick one over the other, or prioritize one first and another second?

Gary (00:12:15):

Yep. Yep. So we have a data and analytics department, and they have a really, really consistent cadence in surveying. And so we have a number of affiliates, in the thousands that have participated in our survey. So we’ve got, been able to collect a lot of data. We also have very close partners, that have given us, an indication, obviously they don’t let us, you know, see all of the detail, through, data privacy laws, but we’ve been able to tap in and directionally understand on what we need to focus on. And our gyms tell us, you know, what my team, Daniel is in Dubai right now visiting affiliates and Austin, is always on the road, got back from Michigan, this past weekend. Our affiliates tell us, you know, we ask them candidly, be straight with us, be honest, what do we need to focus on in order, for you to see value in the affiliation? And so word of mouth has really helped guide us. But also we’ve got a really robust data set that has directionally got us, cause we wanna be able to quantify, you know, the investment and make sure that we’re spending our time in areas that will find value in the affiliate community.

Daniel (00:13:27):

And if I may as well, there’s kind of like a gut check as well because most of Gary’s team, are affiliates, you know, Austin and I being, you know, examples on this call, we’re first and foremost affiliates, and that’s what we’ve been for the best part of the last 11, 12 years. And we continue to be, so it also comes from there when we have a list of five things. It’s like, what are the things that actually jump out at me and go, oh God, yeah. You know, I want that, I want that as an affiliate. That’s probably the first thing. And just to add on to what Gary was saying, you know, another thing about the affiliation value is a lot of the comms in the past were in English, going through CrossFit HQ, channels.

Daniel (00:14:09):

So website, affiliate emails, and we realized, you know, half of the affiliates being outside of an English speaking countries, we needed to do something there. And so there was also a very conscious decision that the value proposition had to be as strong. Doesn’t matter where your affiliation is or your affiliaiate is. And so today we now have, we went from having six country managers and when we met, I was country manager for CrossFit France. and we now have 21 country managers. We were translating into five languages. We’re now translating into 15, including Arabic, Hebrew, Polish, Korean, Japanese, you know, Portuguese, Spanish, I mean all the traditional languages we’re doing, but also now we’re getting into, say, you know, traditionally smaller territories, but because we know that those are territories that traditionally don’t speak very good English, or there’s a big barrier.

Daniel (00:14:58):

And we’re making sure that essential information is given in those languages. So we’re putting that into place, with newsletters in local languages, the round tables, as Gary said, they’re in local languages, the moderators are trained in those local languages and are being trained in those local languages. And that’s gonna be rolled out as well. We haS study groups. so, you know, being part of CrossFit isyou wanna move from being a level one, you, you know, this, your box only yourself. You wanna move from level one to being level two from level two to level three, and you want all your coaches to do that as well. And that kinda stuff. So, but we want to have, we want to give that access to everybody in every language, and that’s what we’ve been working on as well.

Daniel (00:15:32):

And then, you know, we now affiliate on board. So I know that like, you know, Paul Tremblay in Canada with Austin, you know, the other day he was pumped when he came on a call with Gary, he was saying, I just came off with, you know, the new affiliates and he’s onboarding them. You know, he’s saying what’s the best practice to get the best out of your affiliate to begin with, what are are the mistakes you wanna avoid. That sort of, I’d say mentoring is, cuz some of the great stuff that you’ve been doing with Two-Brain is about mentoring, right? You know, I’ve met affiliates that are mentored by you guys and we recognize that as well. So that’s happening naturally. Now. Everywhere we have a rep, new affiliates or potential affiliates are being onboarded, they’re being handheld into the community.

Daniel (00:16:09):

And so these are things that aren’t official, I would say they’re not official value propositions, but they’re being done because Gary’s got a team that gives a shit. I’m not sure if I can swear on the call, but I just have. Right. and we care about the affiliates. And we want them to be happy and successful and that’s our goal. And then, you know, joining what Greg said a few years ago, you know, you know, if you’re gonna use CrossFit, then you should be paying for it. I understand that, you know, and my point of view is so long as I’m coaching CrossFit, I wanna be able to use the name. And so part of the value proposition is if you want to use an international brand that’s recognized.

Daniel (00:16:48):

I mean, everywhere I go, people are talking about CrossFit, people know CrossFit. And so if you wanna to use that name, but not only use it, but use it how you want to, as in I run my business, I run my box like I wanna run my box, you run your gym like you wanna run your gym I don’t know, another international brand that lets you do that for 3000 us dollars a year. And for me that’s a value proposition in itself that is quite amazing, and I’m like you Chris, every year, you know, the affiliation comes around and you sign the renewal document, you’re going well, $3,000, you know, is there value in it? And, you know, for me, it’s a no brainer for me, it’s an absolute no brainer. But that’s my own personal point of view for my three gyms. And I can understand if other people have doubts, but if they do, they should reach out to us. And, and, you know, we’ll sweep those doubts away.

Gary (00:17:39):

I think, Chris, if I could add onto that, we don’t have all the answers and we know that and the community’s gonna dictate what we focus on, to your point earlier, on how we prioritize. One important point that Daniel had is that I’ve purposely surrounded myself with affiliate owners. I’ve gotten experience in operations, and, you know, personally have really been involved in CrossFit for some time, but I’ve never run a gym. And, I admit that, I’m open to it. And so when I start to ideate and brainstorm with my team, they challenge. And we’ve got very, very healthy tension on our calls and our meeting rooms. But when we hang up those phones, you know, now that we have to work remotely, we are aligned as a unit. And I trust my team. I’ve got Austin, Daniel, Danielle Hale. Who’s been in the community for 12 years. You know, games athletes, running CAP, Alyssa Shower, Tremblay, you know, all of these individuals have given their lives to CrossFit. And so, you know, these decisions to invest our time and resources are really put through the ringer, before they are prioritized and resourced.

Austin (00:19:06):

Yeah. To that question of like, you know, how does an idea start from an idea to now, like, you know, where we have these tools and resources, and I will say like, you know, as when like last weekend sitting in front of 60 affiliates and, you know, and it’s open dialogue and conversation and affiliates always will let you know, as we all know, what they want, what they’d like to see, and, you know, in a perfect world, the answer is, yes, we’re gonna do it all tomorrow. Right. So we’re never short of like, man, this is a great idea. And then I think, you know, from there, I just think about like, I’ve had the opportunity to, you know, do 400 seminars around the world.

Austin (00:19:49):

And with that, listen, you know, drop into all sorts of gyms from, you know, the smallest gym, you know, CrossFit Himalaya, which is a little gym just outside of Delhi, right. In, you know, to CrossFit Louvre, which has had over a thousand members, which is just mind blowing to me and to my gym in Massachusetts. And what’s the thread that can add value today across the board. And knowing that our goal is to support the whole community and then how does that ramp up and scale to other things that we can do with a little more time and I think that’s, it’s just for me as an affiliate owner, as someone that, you know, loves to be able to just get things done right away. But knowing that some of this stuff just takes time to do well to operationalize across the world, as Daniel highlighted some of the intricacies with the internationalization of things, but it never falls short on us, how to actually do it right.

Austin (00:20:49):

And I think that’s something that’s really important is if we’re gonna do something, we have, CrossFit has a standard. And what I mean by that is, you know, I just go back to the level one, obviously I’m biased, I’ve done a lot of them, but, you know, there’s not a person that leaves a level one that isn’t inspired that isn’t fired up. I mean, it, you talk to, I mean, it’s a life changing event for people, and that’s a really special kernel. And I look at that as everything we do needs to be done with that level of excellence and that level of impact, which is a challenge, for sure. But it’s definitely a standard that we hold ourselves to. So the playbook, as an example, you know, I hold the playbook close to my heart.

Austin (00:21:28):

Cause I, you know, sat in that meeting in February and whiteboarded with all the affiliates and, you know, and now we have this thing, and this is something that, you know, you look at and most OGs will say, yeah, this would’ve been awesome. You know, key, would’ve been awesome, right. When, you know, X amount of years ago. And that’s kind of the goal of that is lay this foundation, this tool, this resource, just like the level one manual, if you will, where, you know, yeah. If you’re a 10 year veteran, you’re probably not cracking open the level one manual a lot. But if, and when you do, you’re probably gonna refresh something, get inspired and maybe remember something that you might not have for, you know, you shouldn’t have forgotten, but maybe did and you know, that’s really what that looks like. So that’s a little insight to, you know, something like the playbook, which gives us a foundation to build off of for the future, which is important. We have to start there and then grow. So I do get excited about that.

Chris (00:22:22):

Thanks guys. How do you evaluate like the outcomes of these tools? You know, so for example, I mean, there was a program called OnRamp and it was being rolled out to be tested for a few months, and now we don’t hear about it. So my assumption is like, OK, whatever metric that you were using to determine success, maybe wasn’t met and maybe that’s the wrong impression, but is there a mechanism to determine like the efficacy of these tools that you’re putting out or to measure ROI or anything like that and like what’s the metric.

Gary (00:22:54):

Yeah. It, a really good question. I think your observation is the right one with OnRamp, right? We came out with it, we marketed it, and then it quickly went away. I think we learned really fast that the problem we were trying to solve the use case we were using was approached incorrectly. And again we’re not afraid to admit when we do things that we may have wished we we’d done differently. And so there is a home for on-ramp, it’s a very, very well made product. I mean, the education and training department invested a significant amount of time in the product is very powerful. And so you will see it come back, over the next few months.

Gary (00:23:43):

But the use case we’re trying to solve maybe different. Is this a member generation tool for gyms is the question we started to ask versus, an intro to CrossFit as it was previously advertised. And so we learned a lot, during our beta testing period. We also were a very young team, right. I think professionally, majority of us had a significant amount of experience outside of CrossFit. You know, Dave and Nicole, obviously being the outliers there having, you know, for the most part built this brand. And so we have ideas and threw them out there and some stuck and some haven’t, and so we learn as we go. And we’re lucky to have a very vocal community that shares feedback with us. And so, all that’s saying is it’s back it’s back our hands at HQ, we’re really trying to refine the product, and define exactly what problem we’re trying to solve.

Gary (00:24:41):

But you will see it over the next few months without a question. In terms, of how we quantify and determine ROI at a higher level. We have a very, very strong data and analytics team, as I mentioned, FP and A, they’re our finance partners, are very, very close now, in modeling out different sensitivity outcomes. And so again, the guiding principle being like, is this going to add value to our affiliates? And so, we’ve built a number of, a significant amount of infrastructure to help us have visibility into the products that we’ve operationalized. APN is an example, how much money have we been able to save the affiliates? It’s been operating for a month and a half. We’ve gotten reporting back from half of our partners, and with half of our partners at a month and a half, and only being in the US, we’ve saved affiliates a hundred thousand dollars.

Gary (00:25:39):

You annualize that by the affiliates that are opted into the program, and that’s a $2,400 savings. And so those are the powerful numbers that help us continue to invest resource, and reach out to our partners. We’ve generated $150,000 in sales to our partners. And again, it’s a very small segment being that we’re only, able to be accessed by our US affiliates. And so, those I pay very, very close attention to. On the playbook side, it’s downloads, you know, what pages are people gravitating to? How long are they spending viewing those pages? And that determines what we continue to evolve and focus on. In terms of round tables, we’ve got a cadence of surveys that are going out. Our moderators are also affiliate owners. So moderators are trained, extensively to be able to navigate those conversations, cause they do get, very intimate, within those, groups.

Gary (00:26:38):

And so, we’re always on the phone with our moderators, Danielle Hale leads that strategy. And she’s got a a very structured process on generating feedback. So we kno, if the product is resonating with the community, and then cap, I mean, we’ve got a significant amount of data points that we look to, it’s active users, it’s downloads it’s, you know, how many individuals have interacted with our partners, on the platform, SugarWOD and Beyond the Whiteboard. And so they obviously share data with us. And so we’re very close from a data standpoint. But I can’t overemphasize it’s the feel and the feedback that we get from community, which helps inspire and motivate us to keep going and resourcing these products.

Gary (00:27:30):

And we’re always asking for feedback, we’re always asking questions. We’re not afraid to get challenged. In fact, Cap has course corrected, we sent out an update halfway through its pilot and we received feedback and that influenced how we were programming the workouts. And so, yeah, it’s a lot of different datasets, but again, we’re trying to maintain the magic that is CrossFit. When you walk into a CrossFit gym, that feeling you get, it’s, you can’t mimic it. And if we maintain that and provide resources for these affiliates to continue to be successful, and take feedback along the way and shape and recraft those products, I think we’re gonna be in a very good situation as a community.

Daniel (00:28:17):

Chris, the following question I would have after the question that you just asked is, you know, what do we do with the feedback we get? And, I’ll be very honest, I’ve never worked with a team that has such candid discussions as we have, and we’re very different characters. And I mean, you can probably tell from this podcast already, right? We’re very different characters, but we have very candid conversations and there’s no ego involved, our loyalty is to CrossFit. It’s not to a person, it’s not to an ego. It’s not to a position it’s not to a, and that’s credit to Gary as our leader in the team, that we have an environment where we can take feedback, even if it’s like, oh, wow.

Daniel (00:29:03):

You know, there’s significant resource put into this and it’s not working, you know, and it, and it’s, you know, been someone’s baby for six months, they’ve lived and they’ve dreamt about this and they’ve eaten it for six months, we’ll tell them it’s not working, you know, because the affiliates are telling us it’s not working. And so we have an obligation to stay very close to the pulse. And that’s why, you know, Austin mentioned about being in front of 60 affiliates. Today I visited out here in, you know, out here in the middle east, I visited four affiliates and I trained in two and I had coffee in all four, thankfully.

Gary (00:29:36):

Who was watching your reps, Daniel?

Daniel (00:29:39):

Someone needs to watch my reps mate, but I don’t need knee sleeves to do air squats. So I’m OK.

Chris (00:29:44):

I’m more interested in the coffee, Gary, but yeah, carry on Daniel.

Daniel (00:29:49):

I think the feedback from the affiliates is really important. And so when they get the census or they get surveys and stuff, the more they participate and the more candid they are with this, the better it is. That was my first point. My second point is, you know, you began the question with saying, you know, that you personally, as an affiliate owner, you question, periodically, you know, your affiliation and, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you twice. I don’t know if you remember the second time, but I’ve had the pleasure of meeting you twice. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing you present. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing some of your team up in Sweden present a couple of years ago at the Coaches Congress, which is a great event, and we’ll be back there in end of Jan.

Daniel (00:30:28):

And I think the, you know, speaking very honest, I think Two-Brain have a great place and a great role play. You give great support to the affiliates that you’re supporting, and it would be a loss for the ecosystem, it’d be a loss for affiliates, if you weren’t affiliated, that’s my own personal opinion, and you can take it for what it’s worth, but, I think you’ve done some great stuff. I know personally affiliates in France that follow your mentorship program and they give great value to it. So I would be personally very upset if you did question your role and your position. I think, when we have a role like you do, or like, I do or like Austin does, we have a right to question it, we have the right right to question our affiliation, but we have a responsibility as well to those that follow us or those that we influence.

Daniel (00:31:11):

And, I think we have to take that very seriously. And I know I do, and I know you do as well, because you wouldn’t give so much of your life to helping others develop success and be happy. Right. I just wanted to put that across there. I think, you know, you’ve done some great stuff, and I think you have a, you know, huge value for the affiliate community that you support. And, I hope it continues for many years to come.

Chris (00:31:32):

Thanks, Daniel. So just so the listeners know, before we got on, Gary brought up a screenshot of a comment that I had made about the value of CrossFit affiliation, but the reality is that whenever you’re getting feedback like that, it’s usually coming from, somebody who really just wants to make sure that they’re heard. So nine tenths of the stuff that Two-Brain puts out is very pro CrossFit. And 95% of my time in these conversations is spent defending the value of affiliation. So, Daniel, I really appreciate you, man, but, yeah, there’s less to worry about than you might think.

Daniel (00:32:12):

I’m not worried cause I know you’re a smart guy.

Chris (00:32:16):

Well, thanks for worrying about me anyway.

Daniel (00:32:21):

The future of CrossFit is bright. I mean, and CrossFit is resilient and it’s sustainable and, you know, COVID, and you know, the tweet and the change of ownership has just proven that even more, you know, and it’ll be sustainable and robust with or without me with or without Gary with or without you and with or without Austin, but it’ll be better and richer for us. I’m pretty sure, you know.

Chris (00:32:43):

Yeah. So I mean, Gary, if you can’t answer this, that’s fine, man. But like, you know, you’re coming out of an environment, a franchise environment with SoulCycle. But even deeper than that, like, I didn’t know about your enterprise history. And I know personally exactly how deep they go with metrics and tracking and changing their operations based on like, customer surveys, right. To the point where it’s so dialed that like a lot of rental agents, will even coach their clients on what to say in case they’re called for a survey.

Gary (00:33:17):

You know it well.

Chris (00:33:21):

So, you know, going from that environment to, to having like every little tiny bit of data to going to mostly relying on feedback and survey data. It must be a challenge. Is there any plan to actually get like, gym metrics from them?

Gary (00:33:41):

I’ll answer the question for sure. Let me comment on kinda my experience. The reason I’m here, is because I spent so long in that structured environment. And, you know, for me, having the same experience coast to coast in the businesses that I’ve led was the goal. And for me, you lose, a significant amount of magic. When you do that, now you also, have a risk right in quality. And so we’re combating that as you know, every single day is how how do we maintain a high level of standard, but allow people to, take advantage of their entrepreneurial spirit and make it their own. But that’s why I left that world. And for me, there’s an art and a science and you need to balance both.

Gary (00:34:37):

And that gut feel that you have, about a decision is something that I’ll take almost all the time versus being influenced in giving a set of numbers. And I may make the wrong decision, but I’m OK with it, because if in my heart, I know that it’s the right thing to do based on feedback from my team. Then I’m gonna make that decision. And so, I’m grateful for my past. I think it’s given me the foundation that I need in order to help develop my team. I think development for me is my number one priority. And I want my team to be an extension of me when I’m not in the room. And you do that through really, really, focusing on development as you know, right.

Gary (00:35:25):

You have led the mentoring program, the Two-Brain mentoring program, for some time. And so in terms of, operationalizing and making sure that, there’s some set of standards maintained, I don’t think that that’s ever gonna be a part of our life. I think that’s, anti to CrossFit, I think, you know, once you take away the creative control from our operators, you take away the magic. And so, you know, I love CrossFit for what it is. I’ve been very clear about that, in meetings, that’s not to say it’s not discussed, right. And, you know, I think, everything needs to be discussed, but we as a team are committed to taking this model, continuing to evolve it and build on what’s already been created and providing the tools, and really empowering our affiliate leaders to do what we all know that they can do. And that’s impact a hundred million lives through CrossFit.

Chris (00:36:24):

Really cool guys, thank you. I’ve got a number of questions here, but I think honestly, Gary, like you just addressed the root fear of it. Like is home office, like a big brother that’s going to come in and say, you need to use software. You need to report your metrics. You know what I mean?

Gary (00:36:42):

Yeah. I think, you know, listen, gym software is obviously a huge opportunity for us. W are, you know, similar, in training and education, and providing programming, gym software and the operation side of it would be a huge value add in my opinion. But take it or don’t, right. And I think that is the key part of this is that we’re never gonna mandate anything. And I can confidently say that, you know, we work tirelessly to represent affiliates at the table and with the board. And we’ve, I think done a really good job on communicating what CrossFit is about. Cause it is a unique model. And if you are not involved in the community, you can’t quite understand it. But when walk into a gym, the strip CrossFit in Vegas, and you have a different experience than CrossFit Urban Box in Madrid.

Gary (00:37:42):

But the end result is you patting the back of the person that you partnered with, questioning your life a little bit because of the workout you just did, then going out and having a drink or socializing, there’s no better feeling. And we will never, ever jeopardize that, as a home office, but again, if we’re viewed as an unquestioned business partner, then we’ve done our job because that’ll allow people to uplift the experience for their members, grow and retain them. And that’s ultimately what we wanna do. So the affiliate owner’s making more money, and can stay in business longer.

Chris (00:38:20):

So, maybe what I’ll do is that, that gives me a good opportunity to pivot to a question that somebody asked about the CrossFit mission. And I know in the last few years, like CrossFit, and even Eric personally have really tried to tackle everything, right? Like, and when you guys, or in the last year and a half, it’s not just been, let’s improve the business. It’s also been, let’s improve the business while paying attention to this social movement and being sensitive to that worldwide phenomenon. So I’m sure it hasn’t been easy. In all of that, has the mission against, or the fight against like big soda, are we backing off that now? Or what should affiliates expect on that front? Yeah,

Gary (00:39:06):

I think we’re a principled company. We have and always will be. I think there are certain things, that the previous ownership group was much more vocal about, and obviously big soda being one of them, to the extent we think, you know, big soda is a major issue. I can’t speak on behalf of Eric, but I’ll tell you sugar is not something that we, celebrate. And we often talk about that. You’ll see that reflected all throughout nutrition course that Nicole and her team, just launched. And I think, you know, words for us, we’re a much quieter group and right wrong or indifferent. We want our products and what we roll out to do our talking for us. And so, yes, we are still committed to that mission and making sure that we stand against what they represent, but in terms of vocalizing it, you’ll probably see less and less and you’ll see it through our products. you know, obviously there was, there was the sponsorship over the summer, with monster energy drink, which counters that, and I’ll get ahead of that. and even if you weren’t gonna ask it, you know, I think it’s appropriate to address it.

Chris (00:40:23):

I honestly forgot about it, but I’m glad you didn’t.

Gary (00:40:26):

Yeah, no, no, no, no worries, man. No worries. I always make my job harder. We’ve got sponsors and partners, and I think, the individuals that sponsor the games, as an activation, as a public product, are gonna be different than ones we sign the dotted line with in partnership over a long period of time. And again, feedback from the community is very, very important to us. And so, not knowing how the community was gonna react, maybe that was, you know, us being, naive or, or really, focused on, executing or not. W learned something there. But again, partnership and sponsors are gonna be treated much differently, but a partnership is us committing to the mission statement and the value of that brand and saying we align, as CrossFit sponsorship, you know, supporting our event, at the games. We view as a different approach, not to say that we won’t change our approach, but we’re all committed. I Zone, I’m actually crazy about it. That’s cause I’m calling Austin, I’m asking him questions every single day. It’s like I found it’s, you know, 15 years too late, but yeah, again, Chris, we’re always getting feedback and we’ll use that to change, how we approach things in the future.

Chris (00:41:56):

My favorite part of Gary so far is, Gary saying we tried this, it didn’t work. Daniel, Austin. Can you imagine that ever happening two years ago?

Chris (00:42:12):

No. Yeah. I’ll no.

Daniel (00:42:17):

I mean, with me you’re talking, I was close to Greg and what Greg did for me, you know, is, he was super generous with his time, his money, his knowledge, changed my life. And I, I don’t think I would be here in the shape I am now if, and with the quality of life I have, if he hadn’t done everything he’s done over the last few years. So I will never, I’ll never talk badly about Greg. But did he have his, yeah, he has an ego of course. And was he as easy to, to talk to as Gary. No, not at all. You know, Greg had this presence, which is quite intimidating.

Daniel (00:43:05):

And even some people that were, that were close to him, didn’t feel the ability to, you know, the CEO complex, right. This guy had laid these amazing foundations of this methodology. And, you know, everyone was just saying yes, and nodding, and that was, that was difficult, I think. And it was unfair Greg, because then, you know, if no one’s questioning you or having a frank conversation, it’s very hard. And, you know, Gary’s been very careful not, to develop that sort of atmosphere or culture in the company, you know, we’ve had, I’ve had, conversations with Gary, like as if I’m, you know, with a member of my family, you know, we we’re, you know, half joking, half punching, you know, when you do the play fight, but then you’re not quite playing so much.

Gary (00:43:56):

I’m like, I think we just fought. I’m not sure, but.

Daniel (00:44:00):

And, yeah. And then you hug at the end and, you know, you go and share a beer or have a workout and stuff. So, so the vibe is the vibe is a very good one within the team. And it’s a very honest one. So, yeah, it’s changed dramatically, Chris, you know, and if we, it’s funny, cuz we are, you know, you who moved my cheese, Spencer Johnson, you’ve read that book. Right. You know, about change management. And it was one that I asked the country managers to reread because, the amount of change that CrossFit has been in the last 18 months is just, I mean, I’ve been in this business like you for decades, you know, I’ve been in the fitness industry for decades and I’ve never been through two years as hard or as fast moving.

Daniel (00:44:40):

As the past two, you know, switching from running your box to online in a flash of a hat and renting equipment to, you know, doing online memberships or freezing memberships. And, you know, we’ve had so much change that I think we we’re damn lucky to have Dave and Nicole and they have their characters and they’re defenders with the realm, defenders of the faith and, you know, with Greg no longer within the company, they guaranteed that continuity. And then, I was sitting back and watching who was coming in saying, will I stay within the comp, I mean, Gary knows this, you know, sat back and said, you know, as a country manager, will I stay, will I go?

Daniel (00:45:25):

I’m not too sure. Let’s see what happens, you know? And then Gary comes in and, Gary is who he is. Right. And he’s like, this doesn’t work or this, I was like, oh my God, who’s this dude. Never takes his cap off. Cause he’s got a bald patch that he doesn’t wanna show us. And he wears knee sleeves doing air squats. I was like, what’s this going about? He won me over. And, Gary mate, bald or with hair, love him dearly. And, we’re a hardworking team. He keeps our noses to the grindstone, I think, is the American expression or the, the north American seeing as we’ve got aCanadian on the call.

Daniel (00:46:04):

Yeah. The vibe is very different. With Greg, there were no goals. There were no projects. It wa just, you know, yeah, just maintain, you know, keep things going as they are. And, you know, if someone likes the methodology, they’ll come in and if they don’t like the methodology, well, then, you know, don’t come in. And that was it. And here it’s like, you know, the methodology is golden. You know, these are like these golden nuggets now, you know, Gary and the team come in and it’s, we’ve watched really smart people saying, what can we do with these gold nuggets? How can we support affiliates to make, you know, to multiply this and make them more happy and successful. And I think it was the right time. And I miss Greg dearly, but I think the change now with hindsight, is a super positive one. That’s a long answer to a very short question, but, yeah, very, very different, but it’s not worse. It’s very different. I miss Greg dearly, but I’m happy for where we are today.

Austin (00:46:57):

On that note, you know, standing in front of the affiliates this past weekend, you know, I think it’s what I always try to remember and tell everyone is that it’s from the, like from the bottom of my heart, with the people I work with on this call and within the walls is you’re gonna be hard pressed to find a group of people that actually care about our affiliates more than this group and because it’s, I’ve, whether it’s literally 4:00 AM or 10 at night, I can get ahold of the team because we heard something that we need to clean up or fix, or we have to get to work. And it’s always, it’s about our community. If we hear something or what it, it’s always about them. And a little example of this, where just makes me happy to think of is we got an email from an affiliate,you know, we were reaching out to a lot of gyms that either were unsigned or they had, you know, departed or de affiliated.

Austin (00:47:55):

And, we were reaching out and we reached out to, to all of them in the past. And, he wrote back and he said, I’m always, you know, I’m always here. You can always just call me. Right. And it was a short email. That was it. And it was their phone number. And this was a Saturday at four. So I called him at like, within a minute of that, that email. And I called him and, you know, had a half an hour conversation chatted about the business, the struggles where we’ve all been in the past two years and, you know, they’re back in our community. And it’s those types. And just one example of something that all of our team has done over the past two years. And that, to me, if, you know, wwhen we think about what we are doing for our community, it’s almost not like it’s not a product.

Austin (00:48:42):

It’s not a tool, it’s who we are, and we’re always there for our community. And one thing that I want all of our affiliates to be able to say is if I need to reach out and talk to at CrossFit, I got ’em and, and I can talk to ’em. And, that’s something that I know that the entire team is committed to. And that’s something that I, as an affiliate owner, as a part of the community, really hold on to cause you know, in doing seminars, I know of the importance of just talking to someone from CrossFit. You know, for me, it changed my life. When I saw people that worked at CrossFit had no idea what they did. They just worked at CrossFit and for me that was life changing and being able to connect with them throughout my career was really powerful. And that’s something that we wanna be able to create. And I’m confident in that we are doing that. So those are things that are less objective in nature, but very tangible in, you know, as we start to grow and for our community specifically. Yeah.

Gary (00:49:41):

The one thing I’ll add quickly is, we’re not nearly close to being where we need to be as a team. And, you know, I say we’ve got to attack each day with productive paranoia because that’s what LORs are doing. The industry of the member, the consumer, changing. People want diversity, they’re looking for different modalities each day. And so we need to constantly be focused on how we evolve our value prop to our affiliates, a 14 year affiliate. Like I’m writing a ton of notes right now, Chris, it’s like, we’ve got work to do with a 14 year affiliate. Clearly. Right? Like what is the value prop for a 14 year affiliate? So I can clearly answer the question when you ask me. I think we’ve done a nice job with new, early stage affiliate. You know, this, partnership network, I think has a lot of, opportunity to benefit tenured affiliates. But that said, I think, as a team, we need to be productively paranoid, and we always, have to prove to the customer, which is the affiliate, that we are willing to evolve, and help with the shifting dynamics of the industry.

Chris (00:51:02):

That’s great, Gary, and actually that just segues nicely into a question that an affiliate asked this morning and I said, I’d pass on if an opportunity arose and it has. So right now, 18% of CrossFit affiliates have a nutrition program up from 17 last percent last year, but it only accounts for about 4% of their revenue. And some of that is to do with the legalities and stuff. But what this affiliate asked this morning is, does CrossFit intend to continue to deliver direct to consumer products and bypass affiliates such as the nutrition course over the last two years? And he also wanted me to say that personally, he has no problem, but he is just interested.

Gary (00:51:44):

Yeah. So in terms of the nutrition course, I think our education department has a lot of pride and has created best in class material that we think can help further our mission on creating, healthy and high performing, people. And so, we will always, I think have that, vertical that is producing courses, providing it to the community, in terms of, precision care. I don’t know if that was brought up.

Chris (00:52:15):

The impression that I had there was he was really talking about precision care.

Gary (00:52:18):

Yeah, yeah. So precision care, in the spirit of being transparent, we launched a product, and we didn’t do our due diligence in identifying, all of the people that we were going to potentially impact. Right. And when you look at the ecosystem, not many affiliates have the product that you just described, but there are somes that some that do. And, are you competing, you know, are you going to impact the performance of their in-house nutrition program? We didn’t quite walk through that and have honest conversations about what the end result, would be. And so, thanks to somebody in the community that was consistently vocal, and, really providing feedback, objective and subjective, on the launch of that program.

Gary (00:53:14):

And it being in pilot phase, what you see when that’s operationalized will look much different than what was launched. I will say that and, you know, we should never be competing with our affiliates. That’s not to say that there won’t be a digital product, that leverages the CrossFit brand, in garage gyms or, you know, outside of individuals that are going to affiliates, that that’s, you know, far down the roadmap, but to directly compete with affiliates that that’s not our goal. And it never will be.

Daniel (00:53:50):

Yeah. And just for clarity, the nutrition course that Gary mentioned is a nutrition course that was developed by the education team and obviously Nicole Carroll, it’s a brilliant tool for coaches. It doesn’t replace what we do in boxes at all. It actually just supports the coaches that are doing it in boxes. So, yeah, it was actually developed with that in mind. It wasn’t anything else. Yeah.

Chris (00:54:14):

Yeah. I think the individual was referring to the precision care thing. But maybe not.

Gary (00:54:20):

The idea in business, consistently business is beta stuff to get real time feedback. Yeah. And I know that it’s kind of a new strategy that CrossFit is undertaking. But that’s really how you learn. And it’s polarizing at times, right? Because you’ll launch a product that will get a reaction. But that’s by design, you know, we want to make sure that the product when it’s at full capacity, is one that a majority, if not all, of its end users support or see value in. And so, CAP’s bet has been incredibly powerful, and successful. And so when we launch our paid product in January, that will reflect the feedback that we got. And again, with precision care, we’ve gotten so much feedback, we’ve taken it, brought it to the stakeholders involved, in creating that product. And it I’m confident it will look and feel much different than what was rolled out.

Chris (00:55:24):

Oh, that’s really cool. OK. So I had people actually ask a specific question for Daniel and a specific question for Austin. So, this one comes from Richard in Germany, Daniel, and he said, Daniel talked to me about CrossFit getting licensed as a health provider in a European union. And in this way, making CrossFit an essential business, did CrossFit lobby anything in Brussels to make that closer to be true? And this was the first I’d heard of it. So,

Daniel (00:55:53):

Yeah, this is going back to the first closure for COVID. So yeah, Richard, I know him fairly well and, yeah, we did, we did lobbying, we had a professional lobbyist in the US who supported our actions, writing various emails and letters. We lobbied direct national governments. SO when I say national governments in the European union, that means like the French government, for example, the Belgium government, the Dutch government, we lobbied them directly. And we wrote to, MEPS, MEPS are European members of parliament, or members of the European parliament. So we did, we did do lobbying, we did physical lobbying as well. So, for example, in France, I actually went to the center, which is, like the Senate or a watered down version of your Congress and sat with elected officials.

Daniel (00:56:49):

And, I got very disheartened personally. Lobbying is a profession. And, I realized that you can lobby with a really good idea and something that really stands the test of time or whatever test you wanna give it. But, I’ll be very frank. I think lobbying is a financial endeavor. It’s not an endeavor about the truth. It’s not an endeavor about doing what’s right. Unfortunately. I was in front of a representative for the minister of health and for the minister of education in France. And we’re talking about how the 700 affiliates in France could support, improving the health of school children in France, for example, and that it would be quite simple to give the addresses and the names of all the box owners of France to the local schools, for us to create a connection.

Daniel (00:57:44):

And it would be as simple as that. And the answer to me was it’s a great project, but it won’t happen. And I was, why not? And they turned to a table around me, said, well, they’re lobbying too. They’re lobbying for something else. And they come with something other than a good idea. So lobbying is, we have an expression in English. I won’t use it because it revolves about doing something in the wind and getting wet shoes. And yes, we did try. And I know that that letters got read because we received, some feedback through the press whereby for example, the French minister for sport and the French minister for health, in certain interviews spoke about health clubs and CrossFit boxes. So for the very first time, instead of just being lumped in with the fitness industry, it was health club and CrossFit boxes.

Daniel (00:58:40):

So we’d put across the fact that boxes were very different, that we could control who coming in. Because you book a session, we could clean and individualize and personalize equipment. We could dictate spaces that you would go into and not go out of. We could open doors and all this kind of stuff. We’d lobbied all of that to all the different members of parliament. And so it obviously hit the ground somewhere, but it didn’t create a change in legislation and does that mean we’ve given up? Personally, I’m not lobbying. I know that we have, a professional lobbyist working on the books for home office, focusing mainly in the US, but did support the efforts in thein Europe. So Richard, we did follow through mate.

Daniel (00:59:23):

You owe me a beer by the way, just I mentioned that, I haven’t forgotten that. So if Richard is listening to this, yes, we, we did. Are we anywhere closer to becoming an essential business? I don’t believe so. I sound like the prophet of doom, but the trade unions that represent in Europe anyhow, that represent the fitness industry, are politicized. And I don’t think that they have truly the best interests of our boxes at heart. And so I think it will have to come from the bottom up, not from the top down, you know, we’re gonna have to force change by the work that the boxes do for governments to recognize that there’s value in this. And, I have more faith in that happening in my lifetime than the other way around. Unfortunately,

Chris (01:00:17):

It was interesting that they weren’t the only to specifically name CrossFit and health clubs or CrossFit and gyms like New York did it. I know that we did it in Ontario and in Paul T’s home province in Quebec also. Yeah, it is interesting to see that the governments are making a distinction, even if that distinction doesn’t necessarily benefit anyone yet. So it is progress. So, Austin, I had a question for you from a gym owner also named rich in Massachusetts, and he asked, will there be an affiliate gathering? Can we get some hyperlocal or regional marketing from HQ? Can we have more regional events not related to competition? Yeah,

Austin (01:00:55):

So I think I know rich, I think I was able to see him at a local gathering, that we had a couple months back, so I think the short answer to all, all of those questions is yes, in the generalist of terms, but I know that, so our goal for this year was to get these district gatherings, you know, within the US. When we realized we could, right. Travel and gatherings at the beginning of the year, were a huge question, mark if it could happen at all, as we realized we could do it, we were able to make it happen. And that was, you know, to, Danielle Hale our community engagement, you know, manager, she made that happen real fast, right.

Austin (01:01:41):

I mean, that was pretty wild, how quick we were able to do it all over the country. and, and I just, like I said, I just came from one in, Michigan, and there’s no doubt that, you know, me personally love them and love just to be in them. Within the states a lot, you know, we have, like, we have these game centric events where in the past it was really just the games where you’re gonna see we’ll have the semi-finals, we’ll have sanctioned events where we’ll be there for yes. You know, trust me the competition’s cool and sexy, but we’re just, we’re gonna be there for our affiliate owners where, you know, it’s an easy place to, you know, congregate because there’s something happening.

Austin (01:02:21):

So we’re gonna be present there. And then from the marketing perspective, that’s something that we’re definitely drilling down on internally is how do we support our, you know, not only from a macro level, from, you know, the global brand, but drilling down for the affiliates and providing resources for them to leverage in their market for them. That’s at the top of our list. So like, Chris, when you talk about like, how do we stack rank, right. That’s we we’ve heard this, we know it, and now for us it’s how do we do it right. How do we roll it out and add value to all of the affiliates? So, you know, you know, Rich is definitely, you know, tapping on the heartstrings of things that we’ve heard from others.

Austin (01:03:01):

So, and quite frankly, the ease for us to travel around next year, we’re excited about it. and that’s certainly in the states, something that is a huge focus for us is to get out there and, you know, to make sure that we’re just with our community. Cause that’s what is important and special about CrossFit is virtual is great. Listen, we, two years, we’ve done some unbelievable pivoting allowing this type of stuff to happen, but we are an in person touch and feel type of community where, you know, that’s from a coaching perspective, we know that that’s where we can make the biggest impact. And from an affiliate perspective it’s no different. So

Gary (01:03:39):

I will emphatically say yes, to to Rich’s question. We will be out, more frequent, more visible. I think Austin hit the nail on the head and said, once travel restrictions were lifted, and lightened, Danielle Hale activated. And we had 16 district events across the country over the past three months, Daniel’s team has led, probably 10 to 15 different gatherings in addition to the 11 day tour that Eric, myself and Jason, the new president, participated in. That’s what we’re all about. Put the data side. That’s what we’re all about, listening and learning. And I’ll give you one output oof those conversations. Albeit in a really small one, but important one was, somebody who was using CAP in Europe and they’re like, no kilogram?. And we’re like, wait, what?

Gary (01:04:33):

you know, and, and that US kind of arrogance, comes up and Eric just glares at me. And I was like, OK, I got it. You know, I, so we go right back, Chris and we start working on, a solution. And so we’re happy to report that in towards the end of the year, maybe the beginning, that option will be available in CAP. And so, it’s just those little things that you don’t think about when you’re really immersed and scoping a product that’s brought up in these in-person events. And you’re just like, how did I miss that? So, yes, we will be out, there will be a US, tour we’ll announce it. It won’t be paired with events. It be strictly for affiliates, for us to listen and learn.

Chris (01:05:17):

Great. So maybe Gary, you know, maybe we want to end with kind of a future view of like, what is on the roadmap right now, and whatever you can share, if there’s a timeline attached to any of it, or if it’s still just kind of in the ideation phase, you know, we’d love to hear it.

Gary (01:05:32):

Yeah. Yeah. So, this business, resource opportunity I think is a significant one. So we have the playbook and when I look at the playbook, I see the beginning stages of what somebody can use as a roadmap, to have consistent sustained success. And so we wanna double click on each of those milestones, and really solve two different problems. The first is how do you onboard an affiliate and help them get to and maintain profitability quicker, right? And then, create best practices within the affiliate that help them have long term success. And then how do you take that, initial, business resourcing, and go to the next level and create leaders, how do you, really empower people to create staff that, as I mentioned earlier, is an extension of themselves business acumen, financial literacy, all of these things, are super important.

Gary (01:06:29):

And so you’ll see a very clear, product come out that targets both of those opportunities, one, the new affiliate, and then also how do we uplift our current affiliates and really create leaders, within the community and get them from coaching the classes from doing the blocking and tackling, but empowering their people to be the best version of themselves. So that that’s one thing. Austin also mentioned, the idea of a marketing toolkit, how do we repurpose the powerful assets that CrossFit and the community has created over the years really cater it to a local market, and create a really turnkey approach on how you activate that within your own channels, within the affiliate, and try to build your community, retain your community, et cetera. Soyou’ll see that. And then we’re just defining the products where, you know, CAP is as an example, we’re transitioning to paid.

Gary (01:07:21):

That is a major, major, focus for us. We have never had a consumer facing product in this department. And so we’re trying to create the infrastructure to make sure that we can handle it. And so that that’s underway. But this business resourcing is incredibly important. The community has been very vocal about that. So the front half of, 2022 will really be focused on creating a robust resourcing, suite of products where you can tap into as an affiliate, whether you are a new affiliate or one that’s existing, to up level your gym.

Daniel (01:07:58):

Can I add one thing as well? I may sound like the Grim Reaper, but people can decide not to not to re affiliate that’s their choice, but then if they do not re affiliate, they have to take down the brand. And so one of the things we are also looking at is working hand in hand with the legal department and our chief council and his team to make sure that those that have that have not re affiliated, but are still operating, are not using the brand. Why? Because if they do use the brand it’s unfair on those that are affiliated. And so, in our search for equity and justice, you know, we’re gonna be reaching out to all those that are still using the brand, without being affiliated. even if it’s just one per country, they will be getting a knock on the door from us. And we’ll be inviting them back in, to the community. If they wanna use the brand, it means they see value in it. So then come back in, come back on board. And if you don’t see value in it, take it down. And so that’s another, it’s not as positive as all things that Gary mentioned, but I think that for an affiliate who’s paying his affiliation, it’s right that they know that,

Gary (01:09:01):

Very important though.

Daniel (01:09:02):

We do have a very strong plan on that. And, we have a very good legal team. And if they’re listening to this, cause I know that I know a couple of ’em actually do follow you cuz a couple on the legal team are affiliates and they do actually follow Two-Brain, thank you for your work. And yeah,

Chris (01:09:18):

Yeah. Maybe they follow Two-Brain because we’re an affiliate.

Gary (01:09:21):

Also Chris it’s worth mentioning that, it is a goal. It is a goal of us, to uplift, members of our community that have created third party products that we really believe in. You know, I think you, as an example, have done a really, really nice job, creating this mentoring business. And so how do we fit that in to our roadmap? Because listen, we’re not going to be the only option we’ve been explicit in saying that particularly in programming, right? The segment is saturated. There are a lot of options. We’re just trying to solve a need for our affiliates that we think we should solve. But if more apt to go towards mayhem or other of these providers, do it, you know, and how do we uplift those other companies and third party providers, either through the affiliate partnership network, or by endorsing it, in our gatherings and whatnot, there’s room for all of us. And so how do we all work together collectively to create the best version that CrossFit can have.

Chris (01:10:30):

Sounds good. So there is a legal team actively protecting the brand. I mean, that is a big, concern that I’ve heard from some very long term affiliates it’s that, the trademark just went without having a legal team to back it up for a few months. And I don’t know if there’s any truth to those rumors, honestly, and I had forgotten about it until you brought it up Daniel, but, so you know, you guys are saying that there is a legal team protecting the trademark and the brand, and now they’re actively seeking out people who are using it inappropriately again.

Daniel (01:11:00):

Yeah. There always has been and it’s been reinforced. Traditionally when I hear that, cause it’s something that I, I obviously, you know, I, hear the same feedback as you do when we visit different countries. Traditionally there are two issues. One is, that either they see an infringement and they expect, the legal team to know about it by magic. And that doesn’t happen, you know, it’s not big brother. We do actually need help in knowing where these infringements are happening. So there’s a document on the website it’s called IP theft. You can log an IP theft. And it goes to our legal team and they deal with every single case log. They will deal with it. And then sometimes traditionally there was, there were cases that were logged and they were dealt with, but there wasn’t feedback to the person that’d logged them. So that’s being corrected as well. When you log an IP theft case, you will get, a recognition that it’s been taken into consideration it’s being dealt with. So those are the two traditionally the two, the two hiccups when someone says, oh, you know, it’s not being protected. it’s a, maybe we don’t know about it, so please make sure we know about it. And then when we do know about it, we’ll let you know that we know about it. If that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah.

Chris (01:12:09):

  1. That’s great. Thanks Daniel. So Austin, you mentioned, if somebody wants to get a hold of the affiliate team, now they can do that. What is the best pathway for them? If they have questions that we didn’t cover here?

Austin (01:12:20):

Yeah, that’s great. So I think, you know, the catchall to make sure that it’s always received is affiliatesupport@crossfit.com. That’s gonna be the one that no matter what will always be channeled appropriately, whether it is to just the support, country managers, or regional managers in the states. and then cause we can appropriately handle that at a, at a pretty, pretty high speed. and, and Daniel, I don’t know if you have anything on your side that you want beyond that?

Daniel (01:12:50):

Well there are a lot of questions that can be dealt with locally as well. So where you have a local rep or you have boots on the ground, you know, if it’s a fast question, yeah, very often it doesn’t need to be accelerated all the way back up to for support either. So, you know, and we are working hard to make sure that we are going towards the affiliates. But if, you know, one of our team haven’t yet reached out to you as an affiliate, please feel free to reach out to them. They would love to hear from you and create that first contact, save their number, save their Instagram address, WhatsApp, slack, whatever it is you use in your part of the world, the idea is to have a communication channel that’s fast that there’s someone there, you know, as Austin said, most of our team, you know, it’s seven days a week, 52 weeks of the year. And, yeah, we wanna be here to serve.

Chris (01:13:38):

If I can just add something to that for the listeners. If you have brought something up to somebody at your L one an instructor at your L one, or maybe you sent an email a year ago and you didn’t hear anything back, I really encourage you to try again. CrossFit Inc. Is huge. Like how many, how many staff are there?

Austin (01:13:58):

I think we’ve got close to 300 now that doesn’t include seminar staff.

Chris (01:14:04):

Yeah, so it’s a many tentacled octopus. And if you have mentioned something to someone at a seminar and didn’t hear anything back, like try again. And, I will say like, these guys are pretty responsive and home office is actually structured to deal with this now. Having worked for CrossFit media in the past, that structure really didn’t exist. And if a phone rang anywhere in the building, people were shocked, but now it’s a quite a different animal. So thanks to the three of you guys for coming on. Is there anything else that you wanted to share while I have you?

Gary (01:14:37):

I think I’m good. I just, really appreciate the opportunity, Chris. It’s been great getting to know you and yeah. To the community that you serve. Thank you for all that you do. And, you know, we’re really excited for the next year that we have together and beyond.

Daniel (01:14:51):

Next time I see you, Chris, you gotta sign the copy of the book you gave me last time.

Chris (01:14:54):

What was the book?

Daniel (01:14:57):

Your book.

Chris (01:14:57):

Oh, I’ll just bring you all the new books. Lockdown has been.

Gary (01:15:03):

Yeah, I would love them too.

Chris (01:15:05):

Yeah, well, we’ve got a few new ones and actually in the Start a Gym book, it says like CrossFit affiliation is one of the best investments you can make at startup. So hopefully somebody screenshots that and sends it to you too. But it is in there.

Gary (01:15:18):

You know how that game works.

Chris (01:15:21):

I know exactly how that game works. Yeah. Well guys, thanks a lot.

Mike (01:15:26):

Two-Brain Radio airs twice a week and features all the info you need to run a successful fitness business. Subscribe so you don’t miss a show. Now here’s Coop one more time.

Chris (01:15:36):

Thanks for listening to Two-Brain Radio. If you aren’t in the Gym Owners United group on Facebook, this is my personal invitation to join. It’s the only public Facebook group that I participate in. And I’m there all the time with tips, tactics, and free resources. I’d love to network with you and help you grow your business. Join Gym Owners United on Facebook.

 

Thanks for listening!

On Monday, Two-Brain Radio presents marketing tips and success stories. Chris Cooper delivers the best of the business world on Two-Brain Radio every Thursday. 

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