A lot of talk in the community lately is surrounding CrossFit affiliates dropping their affiliate tag. If you don't know what this means basically, CrossFit affiliates pay a set fee every year to use the word CrossFit in their brand name. These are called affiliate fees they are different for every affiliate based on when their affiliate started. Originally $500 grew to $1000 then grew to $2000 and it has been at $3000 for about five years now.
While there are a few reasons out there why people are dropping their affiliates. The most noticeable one is the stigma that people are intimidated or hesitant to start CrossFit. And there is a stereotype around the people that do join a CrossFit gym.
This is where the separation begins for me. It's like oil and water, you have to decide what kind of gym you want to be because the two won't mix. From the beginning my main desire was for our gym to be a place I wanted to be at every day and I wanted the members to share that feeling. But at the right price, meaning this wasn't going to be a place that lied to them and told them things just to make them feel better. It was going to be a place for real Growth, an honest approach with short and long-term goals, and a plan to get there. See to me it doesn't make much sense to drop my Affiliate. Our people look forward to the open. It comes once a year and it's the only time during the year that the whole CrossFit community gets to join in and do the same thing once a week. That means something to them, we set goals, we make them measurable and this is one pivotal time of the year that we get to see how they compare in a process that isn't just bias to your gym. The open alone is a good enough reason for me to never consider dropping my affiliation. In my estimation the people dropping their affiliates must not consider the open to be important for them or their members. It obviously does not play a pivotal role in their community. I couldn't imagine having to video everyone's work out to submit or having to tell my members to go to another gym specifically a CrossFit gym so they can do their workout under a valid CrossFit affiliate.
Sure people out there are going to say they can make more money or have more members if they abandon their affiliate. But tell me what kind of member you are attracting without the CrossFit name. Obviously there are plenty of great people out there, with fear and intimidation of starting at a CrossFit gym or any gym. I strongly believe it's something people have to get over. The people I like are the ones that are willing to walk through the doors because that is the hardest part. I want those people as members, I want the ones that are willing to take a risk to trust us and give it a chance. They are the kind of people that will last, they are the kind of people who really care, they are the kind of people that will make your community strong, and they are the kind of people that make this job worth doing.
So for all you Gyms out there dropping your affiliates I say, Thank You. This is where the separation truly begins. You can take all the thin skin, scared, disloyal, and easily persuaded people. You can keep your walls closed and not compare yourself to others, you can create a culture of mediocrity, and your people will never know the better. Many others and myself will be on the other side helping people embrace the challenge because I didn't get into this business for money or to find something easy, I do this because I love it, I do this because I couldn't see myself doing anything else, And I do this because I know I'm making a difference. So make a choice which one are you oil or water?