Crossfit Community Strategizes through Covid-19
O2 Blog

Crossfit Community Strategizes through Covid-19

In the first few weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses had to get creative to survive. O2 was no exception. Historically, much of O2’s revenue came from wholesaling to gyms, and almost overnight those gyms were forced to shut down. So O2 did what it does best: hustle hard and get scrappy to help its community. O2’s “Community Coalition” gave 50% of profits from O2 and partner brands’ online sales right back to the gyms in March and April. To cap it off, the “Stay for May” campaign gave all of the members who stuck kept their membership active for the month of May a $100 gift cards to O2 and partner brands’ websites. How’d that go? Hear it from the gyms themselves.


Derby City CrossFit members build off of each other 


Owner and coach Slater Coe takes his community seriously. When the “Stay for May” campaign took off, Coe was eager to team up, and so were his members. So much so that members spread the code to their friends outside of their immediate circle. 


“It was the first time I've seen a major CrossFit vendor actually try and help the boxes and not just in some publicity stunt. They were putting real revenue back in our pockets to help us try and weather the storm,” owner Slater Coe said. 


Before the shutdown, Derby City CrossFit hosted social events every month. “We always say, ‘It’s hard as hell to make friends as an adult’,” said Coe. This Saturday, they will have their first social event in a parking lot under tents. They will have spacing in place, set up corn-hole, and other drinking games, O2s in hand to mitigate the morning after.


Loyalty is valued and reciprocated at CrossFit Scioto 


When the gym shutdown was announced, owner Jason Feinstein had about 36 hours to decide what to do. 


“I'm a firm believer in situations like this, you give three or four times before you ask for something in return,” Feinstein said.


For the first month, some people volunteered to help out the gym in any way they could, while the gym continued to push out virtual content. A number of members paid for their memberships through April, even though the gym didn’t necessarily hold people to it. By the end of the month, the gym decided that it was their time to ask for something in return.


CrossFit Scioto asked their members to pay for their memberships for May. The “Stay For May” campaign came at a great time to offset the gym’s “ask” with a gift card. The project also gave the community something else to talk about amongst each other. Feinstein differentiates their gym from the common “transactional” gyms where people flow in and out without getting to know each other. Feinstein’s coaches reached out to each member on a daily basis to check in and see how they were doing during quarantine. Now as their doors open again, the first thing that members see is the large refrigerator, stock full of drinks with O2 at eye-level. 


“We want to reward the companies that have stuck with us and helped us get through that when people didn’t have to pay us.”


CrossFit 740's determination overcomes fear 


CrossFit 740 was fortunate to have a supportive team of members who nearly all stayed through the shutdown. But around April, the owner Dustin Lansing felt that fear was settling in as a business or gym owner. With tensions and stresses rising for all families dealing with the pandemic, he saw more reason for members to pause their memberships. 


“I think the ‘Stay for May’ initiative gave them a sense of appreciation, like, ‘Hey, we are supporting our gym and it feels good that these companies are acknowledging that and giving us a kickback for doing it,’” Lansing said.


Lansing saw a huge positive response from members in May, and no one ended up pausing their membership. Lansing was equally committed to rewarding his members’ trust, and he took careful measures to maintain a clean and sanitized environment for each athlete.


With some clever adjustments to their norm, this community is continuing to stay tight knit. Last week, the gym hosted a free workout in the park, with 40 members spread across a huge field. A couple of weeks ago, they did a rucksack workout, and this coming week they are doing a hike up a mountain to do their workout at the top. 

CrossFit 740 adapts to a new system for their athletes.


Muskegon CrossFit embraces the outdoor gym


In Michigan, one of the strictest states around Covid precautions, this CrossFit gym is still awaiting an opening date after four months of closed doors. Workouts have moved outside, battling some unpredictable rains and high winds which add a challenge to the athletes. 


When the “Stay for May” campaign came about two months into the shutdown, it eased the members’ minds who were continuing to pay dues for virtual classes. 


The gym has been looking outside the box to keep the momentum going with their members. They hosted an event last weekend called the “Fresh Coast Games,” sponsored by O2. They sported and handed out some of the brand’s swag and were stocked up with cases of the recovery drink as part of the VIP program. 


“The wholesale program is super cool because they really support the people who support them,” Owner Russell Mock said.


Mock’s mother Connie, far right, alongside Robin, far left, and Reed, middle, worked Crossfit Muskegon’s shop all week long. 


CrossFit Delaware Valley stays committed to their tribe


“We were really pinned to the wall at that time,” Owner Rob Miller said when he joined in on the May Initiative with long-time friend Dave Collina, “We had very few ways to service our customers.”


Miller took the dues that the members paid during lockdown as gifts. The gym is figuring out a way to keep their dues alive and lights on in the gym. When the “Stay For May” gift cards were sent out, appreciation appeared in Miller’s email inbox. Their gym is not trying to be anything glamorous. With around 200 people as members in a large garage-like space, they really emphasize treating people like people. 


“Dave is like the human embodiment of that. He's a very giving person and he's willing to take a loss to help somebody out and also to just further the long term," Miller said.


Zoom didn’t end up being a hit with their group, so Crossfit DelVal made custom workouts for each member, curated for each member’s individual environment and equipment. Miller was the only one who was always at the gym during the lockdown, ready to lend out equipment until they were back on-site. 


Two huge garage doors line the one side of the building, opening up the space. Now that classes are back, they are actually getting more members to join the gym because of how open the set-up is. 


“We’re in it for the long haul,” said Miller, “This is what we do.”

Delaware Valley Coach Jackie jumps right back in to lead her athletes social distance style.