This is the stuff CrossFit box owners’ dreams are made of.
In a 3,200 square-foot garage in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, CrossFit Outbreak opened its doors to the public last Monday, October 20. Just a few days after their grand launch, they’ve already signed up more than 50 members. Their secret? Two things: 1) Location, location, location 2) out-of-the-box marketing.
On location, owners/coaches Adam Sturm and Shimi Litkowski, saw the need for a box in their area near Brooklyn Navy Yard. “There was a real need for a gym in this neighborhood,” explains Sturm, who has lived in the area for 10 years. “And when we found our location it was perfect for a CrossFit.”
But more than location, it was their aggressive and out-of-the-box marketing that attracted them a huge following. In an email interview with Burpeezoid, Sturm shares their secrets:
“My partner and I, Shimi Litkowski, currently have 61 members at CrossFit Outbreak, not counting punch cards and private clients. We have been very conscious not to put barriers in the way of membership, such as foundations or only running free classes one day a week. Anyone can join and they can take a free class at any time. This works for us because we knew that we were going to open as a ‘beginner box’ with inexperienced athletes who all needed to learn the basics. 90% of our members have never crossfitted before and the 10% that have are returning back to CrossFit from a hiatus. We are also modifying our wods for more experienced athletes so that everyone is have an authentic CrossFit experience.”
“We are offering a founders club price of $175.00 for unlimited and $165.00 for 3 days a week. We are continuing that until we get to 100 members. We opened in a neighborhood with no other boxes and only one gym. We did a good amount of marketing, window posters for stores, brochures, ‘A’ frame signs, press releases, free boot camp that we advertised on Meetup.com, and a little Facebook advertising. My partner and I have been fortunate that my family owns a commercial printing company and we have been able to buy printing at cost. The boot camp was a great way to introduce members to the intensity of CrossFit before we had our space ready – we signed 15-20 people just from that.”
Aside from marketing, CrossFit Outbreak also goes the extra mile for their members. Upon entering their box, you’ll immediately be greeted by a cozy lounge with bean bags to chill on. And if you forgot to bring a towel, no worries, they have towel services too – a practice not common in most CrossFit affiliates.
“We wanted offer our box to feel like a place that you wanted to come in early to meet your friends and stay late to compare your times and weights. It was also a way to stand out from other boxes in Brooklyn, NY and offer an upscale version of CrossFit, with the same intensity and excellent programming that most other boxes are offering. We thought we could do this and still be true to CrossFit at a reasonable price point.”
To reach their box’s full capacity (350 members), Sturm plans to enlist students, as well as family and friends of current members. “We have reached out to Brooklyn Tech to see if any students would like to take free after-school classes,” he said. “We will continue with our marketing efforts and free boot camp too. We are rolling out a referral program for our members.”
As for his advice to other box owners? “Put a marketing plan together and execute it – know you market and don’t be afraid to sell to them. The idea that ‘CrossFit sells itself’ and that ‘I don’t market” is passé.’”