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January 16, 2017

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Garage Gym of the Week: Lupe M.

What’s your name?  Lupe Moreno

How old are you?  36

Do you have an IG handle or website you’d like linked? @lupillom

Tell us a little bit about yourself:  I am a husband, father of 5, yes FIVE kids, an Asst. Branch Mgr for Austin's largest Credit Unions, and when I am not coaching my kids in their extra curriculars, I am supporting them proudly from the stands. Part of the reason I immersed myself in training was to keep myself young and in shape to be able to keep up with our kids. That and to keep up with my beautiful wife who also trains with me daily and is as fierce in training as she is gorgeous. 

How would you describe your training style (CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, etc.)?  Definitely more on the CrossFit side. CrossFit was and still is my first love. As a newbie to anything in the workout lifestyle, I will never forget my first day at a Box back in Jan. 2013. I did not have the stength to lift and hold up a bar. But we do also like to mix in a little focus here and there on Olympic Weightlifting. My kids have taken an interest in our training and our oldest is in his 2nd year of Power Lifting for his highschool at a Senior. Our other son made it to regionals as a Varsity Wrestler his Freshman year.  So they of course like to focus on strength. After that, we also have our days when we just focus on body weight movements and stretching.

How would you describe your fitness/strength level, currently?  I am fitter and stronger in my mid 30's than I was in my early 20's.  I definitely am always looking to get better, stronger, faster.  I have been blessed with determination and a never quit mindset for as long as I can remember. So I love how as I come to terms that I am getting older, I sometimes have those little surprise myself moments left in the tank.

What are your fitness/strength goals?  Several fitness goals motivate me.  I have my 2 older sons that I need to try to stay ahead of. They have started to pass me on just a couple of Whiteboard PR's. I have to stay ahead of them as long as I can. My competitive nature just can't take me passing the torch to these young bucks just yet. I also have 2 beautiful daughters. One day sooner than I would like, I have to be ready for when they tell me they want me to meet their boyfriend. That absolutely cannot happen with me not filling out a shirt right?  I mean, I need to at least look somewhat intimidating lol!  Lastly, we have our 6 year old. 10 years from now, I still must be able to throw a ball or shoot some hoops with him. 

Describe your garage gym. The only purpose our garage serves is to be our gym. Nothing else and nothing more. I built a shed in our backyard that we transfered everything to in order to clear out the garage. It is like a "Mini-Box" now. I have rubber mats, various barbells, OFW bumper plates, a Power Cage Squat Rack, Bomba Boxes, Kettle Bells, Med Balls, Battle Ropes, Jump Ropes, Parrel Bars, Tires, Sandbags, PVC pipes, a Concept 2 Rower and a Sled.

Who works out in your garage gym? Me and my wife daily. My teenagers whenever they are free. My wife's best friend Jennifer is also a regular. I have also had the honor of having some of my CrossFit coaches come join us for a some workouts. My wife and I have some friends from work that also join us for some workouts.

Why did you build a garage gym? Anyone can imagine what mine and my wife's schedules look like with 5 kids. We are also both in Management with our FT jobs. 4 years ago, we both worked our tails off to become healthier. But as the kids and job schedule became more demanding, my biggest fear was that "we don't have the time" would have us lose everything we had worked so hard for. I figured if we had our very own gym, we would never have an excuse as to why we could not workout. I mean, it is right there, literally, 24/7. If a kid has a game or I have to stay at work late, no sweat. Well, there will be sweat, but I have the convenience of stepping out there and sweating at whatever time or day fits our schedule.

What’s your favorite piece of equipment in your garage? Hands down my Vaughn Bar.  That bar has been therapeutic on long rough days. It has been a part of me in joyous PR's. I have shed blood, sweat and tears with it. And there have been times when I have pushed myself to my limits and think I just can't squeeze anything else out of me. During those times I can look down and it is almost like the bar talks to me, "one more rep,  just open more."

What piece of equipment was a waste? I honestly can't say I have anything that is a waste. Every piece of equipment has its purpose. 

What’s the next piece of equipment you’re going to get?  Hopefully some more Kettle Bells. I want to start doubling up on equipment now that I have finally got everything I set out to get.

Any dream piece of equipment? Now that I have my Concept 2, I would say probably a GHD.

How did you build your garage gym? PIECE by PIECE. My wife and I started out with a KB each. That was it. I will never forget the day I drove home from fringe with our rubber floor mats,  our bars and a set of bumper plates. From there I have been to multiple Fringe garage sales, a few Fringe Black Friday scores, and yes, some gems have also been had on Craigslist 

Do you have any tips for anyone else looking to build a garage gym? Several. First, clear the space. You don't have to clear out the entire garage like I did, but I think for it to be ultimately beneficial to you, there at the very minimum has to be at least a space dedicated to your training.  Second, take care of your equipment. I clean my garage gym one a week. That includes the equipment. This is heavy duty stuff. Treat it right and it will last forever, no question. Third, don't  skimp or sacrifice quality. This is your body and your health. Why not provide the very best training equipment for yourself?  That being given said, by no means do you slap down a credit card and accumulate severe debt. Piece by piece remember! You would be surprised at how many beneficial movements you can do with just a plate, a slam bag or a bar. Take your time. Rome wasn't built in a day, your body goals aren't built in a day and your garage gym doesn't have to be built in a day!

January 14, 2017

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Posted in WOD


WOD of the Week: Christina

This week's WOD was submitted by Nick B. (@garageboxnick) :

This is the WOD that introduced me to @crossfitnorthwesttucson last September and whom I have been following quite a bit. Today, I re-did that memorial #wod but increased the KB weight to 70lb. Got 30 more reps in. Kept barbell at 95lb scaled. Thanks, as always, CFNWT.

What You'll Need:

The Workout:  As Many Rounds as Possible (AMRAP) in 20 minutes

  • 9 Pull-ups
  • 9 Squat Cleans (135/95 lbs)
  • 9 Kettlebell Swings (32/24kg)
  • 9 Toes-to-Bar
  • 9 Push Press (135/95 lbs)
  • 9 Burpees

Want to see your WOD in the next newsletter? Email us at team@fringesport.com - we love photos/videos of you showing us how it's done or your favorite workout pic. You can also tag us on Twitter or Instagram @fringesport

January 13, 2017

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Art Coster talks about Facebook ads, lifetime value of a customer, and customer acquisition

Peter Keller: Hey guys, this is Peter Keller from Fringe Sport and I'm on with Art Coster.

So, Art initially came to my attention because I'm in a bunch of marketing Facebook groups and I saw a really interesting post that he had made about some customer acquisition via Facebook ads for a crossfit gym, so I started messaging him on Facebook, gave him a quick call and I was really interested in some of the conversation that we had, so I thought it would be really useful to talk a bit about Facebook ads, a little bit about lifetime value of a customer, customer acquisition - a few things like that.

So Art, what did I miss in that intro? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Art Coster: Well, I'm really appreciative and honored that you would even call me up and invite me into your crowd and your audience. I'll give you the short end of the story and try to keep it as short as possible. I've been online for about 12 years making a living. The last seven have been local marketing for local business owners to help them out - digital marketing. We originally started out as a full boutique offering everything - SEO, etc, which everyone knows about - but in the last two years, we've really focused and honed in on a couple things, and that's one: instant on a line for customers and also branding them to be a notch or two above everyone else in variations of branding. 

Now, what we really did, we moved away from the slower moving SEO and we pulled Facebook, which if anyone knows now ... Most people think of Facebook as just posting on their page and unfortunately there's only 3% of business out there that actually move towards the Facebook paid ads, which is a benefit to anyone now. Right now, the reason why we did this is it's now the most effective - cost effective, powerful and targeted platform out there, and its the most respected that's ever been out there, to this date.

Peter Keller: Let me dig into that a little bit. Why Facebook and why now? So I used to manage pay-per-click campaigns through overture way, way back in the day, through Google AdWords after that, and of course for my business at Fringe, we've done a little bit of Facebook advertising. But what is it about Facebook advertising that makes it the platform of the moment?

Art Coster: It's kind of the wild wild west golden ages, the blue ocean moment. Right now, there's only - and this is per Facebook in August, 2016 - there's only 3% of companies actually advertising on Facebook. Yes, they use Facebook pages and everything but they're not using Facebook paid ads, and I do not account - and I don't think they account - for Facebook posts as being paid ads. Even though you pay for it, they're not actively using the marketing. Because of this, you basically have the entire share to find - no one else is doing it. This is where your audience is. Your audience is on Facebook, so anyone on Facebook is going to be there and now this is the number I don't have, but there's billions - basically everyone is on Facebook everyday. So anything you get through there is going to be - well again, like I said, there's no one else doing it so you have the entire pie for doing it.

Peter Keller: I love it. And one thing to mention here - so a lot of our audience is going to be basically owners of micro-gyms, crossfit affiliates, that sort of thing. So, the key things that you're saying here kind of remind me of my marketing path - which, you know I'm still an internet marketer - where a lot of times, the platform will come out and very few people will know how to use it effectively and that's what you had said, like the blue ocean times or like the golden times. So for example, when I was initially managing pay-per-click ad campaigns in the early 2000s, it was crazy how cheap you could get traffic for. So is that what you're saying about Facebook ads right now, is that that's the time?

Art Coster: Yeah. Basically, most people don't realize how sophisticated Facebook has gotten. Yes, one, it's going to be one of the cheapest aspects that you can do to drive traffic right now, and Google is great for certain things you still need - you can't deny Google. They're equal. But if, and, or, there's surge marketing and there's interruption marketing. Facebook is a form of interruption marketing where they know they want to do something and when they see you on there and you speak to them, you are actually becoming - or they become a much easier sale because they're getting to know they can trust you right off the bat.

So yes, right now, it's probably the cheapest it's ever going to be to go ahead and get on, for you can actually collect and create a list of people that fit your exact ideal client profile. You get on there, you can actually go and take what is your current customers, dial them into Facebook, Facebook will read them, find other people like them, digest it, and then feed them back to you into your list, so that you can procure your ad out there and because it's not like a billboard, not like TV - you know, the golden age of TV where there's three channels, so everyone had to see you, as opposed to DVR now. Now you're speaking to exactly who you want to: demographic, age, likes, friends of likes, so that you don't spend money on talking to - in the terms of a gym - you're not speaking to grandma whose not going to come in, you're not speaking to a toddler, you're not speaking to someone that lives too far away. You've got three miles, eight mile radius, demographic, income and likes that you can target.

So, you're going to get 10,000 views. You can do 10,000 views to that client type that you want to bring in. So not only are you getting the cheaper amount and the views from exactly who you want, you're doing it to an audience that will buy from you, and they can reach out to you and give you their contact information so that once you're on a list, you can do so many other things. You can sell to them your gear, if you have - if you're doing that right now. You can do affiliate marketing where you advertise stuff that you want to sell or to - like, on Amazon - an they can profit from it. They don't even have to be your client to make money. So there's a lot to do with it right now.

Peter Keller: Wow. Yeah, it's definitely a lot opportunity out there. Now, in terms of narrowing this down a little bit to attracting leads or attracting someone for a gym, what does that look like? What would a typical campaign look like? How should our customers be going about constructing these?

Art Coster: In terms of creating a sales funnel online or in terms of how to do things right? Fill me in a little more on your question.

Peter Keller: Yeah, well both of those. So first of all, you said sales funnel. What is a sales funnel, for someone who doesn't know what that is?

Art Coster: Okay. A sales funnel is going to be several different parts and pieces put together. You're going to have to start with, in terms of paid ads, you're going to have to create an ad. Now when you do your ad you have to pick out a good graphic that will work and speak to your audience. You need to talk to your audience in a specific way. On Facebook, you need to pick because you're not allowed to use faces when you're doing health and fitness and gym, so you can't use before and after pictures. You have to speak to them in a certain way that says, this is what you want to do. Right now, there are several different ways. You can do images, videos, carousel ads. But again, it starts with the ad.

Then the next thing would be to do is to send it to what is called a landing page. A landing page - a squeeze page - is where you give them information and it's where you advertise a little bit more about yourself. If you've got anything going on, you would like to have a nice video about your place, and you want it to be not super professional, because people actually respond more to something that is real. We're so ad blind to commercials, that when we see something that actually says local, where we're from, and you can see that it's a real person, a business owner, you respond to that more. So when we see that it is something we would like, and that is the encouragement or enticement to give our information because you want to - on your landing page, you want to do something that entices them to come by, or gives them information. You need to give them a great amount of value right then and there because you're getting something of value in return, and that's their personal information to let you contact them anytime you want.
Now, from there, once you have their information, that allows you to email them, call them, put them in our auto responder, where you no longer have to worry about doing it. You set up a set number of emails or a soap opera sequence that speaks to them, send them more testimonials, and this is where you can get into your before and after and everything you've done, talk about your passions and really connect with them. But at the same time, in the very beginning, if you give them a good offer, you can get them to call you right then and there and book an appointment to speak with you. Once they're in your place, that's when you actually start doing your sales. So you're doing this as lead generation to get to your sales process, and that's when you talk to them.

Peter Keller: I loved that. When you talk about getting into your sales process so you can actually talk to them, do you mean physically getting them in the door to a gym, do you mean getting them on the phone, what does that look like?

Art Coster: Well there's going to be variations on how far you get them through a marketing funnel because a marketing funnel and a sale funnel are two different things. In terms of my job and your job or the gym owner's job or any business owner's job, I get them to contact you or give you the information to contact them. There comes a clear line where you have to have a sales process in place to do what you do, and that's make them a customer. So, we have multiple variations on that. One is we try as hard as we can to get them to contact you because that's the warmest lead ever. They call up and say, hand up, I like what you're offering, can I try it, can I come by? But that doesn't always work. There are people who are on the phone, they're at work, they're surfing at work and shouldn't be doing what they're doing, so that might not happen, but now you have their telephone number and you have their email and you have the opportunity because you said in the process of the ad - text them and say, hey we're going to contact you in 10 minutes. When they first contact you, that is going to be the hottest moment ever to get them in your door.

Peter Keller: So, Art, that all sounds great. One of the really interesting things that you and I were talking about earlier was how to think about the lifetime value, or from a marketing perspective, LTD; lifetime value of a customer. So for a gym, how do you think about lifetime value of a customer?

Art Coster: Yeah you bring up a point the multiple business owners have a hard time digesting and sometimes they get starry-eyed or something if someone offers them a raise, a spot, or a TV commercial, or a billboard, and ya know they have a hard time realizing what they can do. But with ads you can go ahead and track everything. What most business owners don't understand or have a hard time, and I understand that from their perspective as well, is they spend money and they want to see money back instantly. In terms of a gym, especially in crossfit where you're talking anywhere from 120 to 200 dollars for a membership per month, so in terms of ad spend if they spend 1,000 or 2,000 dollars and maybe they lose, well they don't lose, but they gain, lets see the customer is 150 bucks or wanting you to... tell me are you 100 bucks for even numbers, or what, 200 bucks?

Peter Keller: Lets just use 100 bucks for even numbers.

Art Coster: Even number. Okay, so we'll put that in as if they spent, well my front value, how long is that customer going to be with you, right? So let's go with that. Customer generally will [inaudible 00:02:29] gym, especially cross, it's a very loyal following. I hear two year, 18 months. That's what I typically hear when I'm speaking with a crossfit owner. Speaking with typical gyms, they say it's more of ten months so you know just going the lowest end numbers and make everything simple to follow math wise we'll use 100 dollar membership fee in ten months, that means a customer is worth 1,000 dollars when they walk in the door and sign up. Make sense?

Peter Keller: Yeah absolutely, so it would be 100 dollars for the first month but over the anticipated lifetime of what that customer is going to pay a gym it's going to be one month times ten or lifetime; so 100 times ten, a thousand dollars.

Art Coster: Correct. So if you spent 100 dollars to bring in one client, but he's worth ten times that, that means you're making ten dollars for every one dollar you spend. We both know that in the gym atmosphere with classes and challenges, gym owners have a set overhead that doesn't really change. Whether nobody comes or everybody comes, there's a set overhead. Filling the classes is what's going to make them the most profit. It's not like the service industry where you've got to go and serve more people at once, and it takes more time and effort, the coach has to be there. Correct?

Peter Keller: Yeah, so fundamentally what you're saying is; let's say you can put 15 people in a class, so whether you have one person or 15 people in a class the fixed costs for the gym are essentially the same. Now if you go to 16 people and have to add an additional class then you have to change a little bit. Let's say 1-15 people or whatever it's essentially the same fixed cost.

Art Coster: Well right I'm saying if you have your gym open, you have one person that's your client or your member, you have to show up. Now that you can max out your class at 15, 20, 30, it's the same cost to you but everything above that is monetary and profit too.

So in terms of lifetime value you have to think about all of that; it's not just the cost to get in, it's how much after that becomes a snowball effect of each month after that. So if you spent 100 dollars to collect that client first month and they gave you 100 dollars right back for the rest of that month you do not make a profit, it's breaking even.

However you are doing two things: one you have a member that is just going to be shared profit month after month after month. If you do the same advertising this month you gain ten clients, you gain ten clients next month, that means you have twenty new clients the next month. The first ten are all profit. You break even on your advertising to bring in a new client or member.

Next month again that person doesn't profit, the next month you have 30 people and the next month you have 40 people, but you're spending the same amount. You are snowballing your profit level. While your retention levels should be the same should be as well, but that is where you're generating a lifetime value, and generating increased profits.

Now you have a full gym, now you're getting people who are actually waiting to be in your gym. You can actually raise your prices because you are now a sought after entity in a local market, because all the advertising that's happening is creating a large amount of branding for you as well.

Peter Keller: I love it. One of the things I wanted to drill into on this is from marketing perspective we think of what's customer acquisition cost or CAC. Essentially what you're advocating is that when you're as a business deciding what you're comfortable with, like you're a gym, you're deciding what you're comfortable with to spend to acquire one customer. If that customer is gonna pay you 100 dollars a month you should be comfortable potentially spending more than 100 dollars to get that new customer in and make them loyal because while they'll only be giving you 100 dollars the first month, they will actually be giving you that same 100 dollars month after month for ten or possibly even 20 or whatever months as is the lifetime. Is that what you're advocating?

Art Coster: Correct, correct. Some in history have even and they will spend money, actually in most businesses outside of local, they will spend money to get someone in. McDonalds, and this is back in the day now that they don't charge a dollar anymore, but I think it was a dollar twenty five is what the cost of a double cheeseburger was. They would sell them for a dollar because they know once you get there, and this goes above and beyond the lifetime client value of a core membership, there are other things that you can add on.

You can add on nutrition plans, you can add on personal training, you can add on challenges, once they're a customer they become much easier to sell to and that's all the backend; the backend is exponentially more profitable than even the front end. Yes, the customer acquisition cost you need to think of it as: if you lost money and got them in in the first month, you are still making money by year end, way before year end. By the second month your profiting off that person coming in.

If you're breaking even or making money right up front you are winning. You are extremely winning because you have just created a profit flow for yourself and a list that you can actually use as an ATM to go ahead and market to anytime you want. Even talk with other similar companies that you think people would like and do what is called joint ventures and cross-market so that you can actually split profit in terms of that. Once you have a list you have so many different things you can do to make money beyond just having them as a member. From the core essential of a gym owner or a local business owner you're breaking even on your advertising and its tracked, you are going to be well ahead in the long term.

Peter Keller: Art I love it. Unfortunately we're a little bit tight for time right now, you've given a ton of really great information here and it's going to take even me a little while to digest it; but if somebody owns a gym, they like what you've been saying and they want to talk with you about working with you and you potentially running some of this for them what's the best way for them to contact you?

Art Coster: You can go ahead and reach me at (614) 321-5055. Probably one of the easiest ways is if you're actually on Facebook is just to look up Arthur Koster.

Peter Keller: Cool!

Art Coster:  I do have an older website that's from my time of doing an agency it's called AJKmedia.com, and what I'm gonna do as well is I'm going to put together a list of free tools that your subscribers can go to so they can do this themselves and create a little cheat sheet for them as well.

Peter Keller: Man that would be fantastic. Well Art it's been a pleasure, is there anything else you'd like to mention to our audience?

Art Coster: No that's it except for I really appreciate you inviting me to speak with you, you've been a phenomenal host and you've walked me through your worst interview ever.

Peter Keller: Hardly, hardly. Thanks a lot Art.

 

January 06, 2017

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WOD of the Week: 8-Min Round Speed & Agility

This week's WOD was submitted by Esia R. (@footdoctor_ecrperformance) :

No excuses, just work. "I do today what others won't, so I can do tomorrow what others can't"

A video posted by Esia Rivera- Central Texas (@footdoctor_ecrperformance) on

 

What You Need:

  • Kettlebell
  • Flat Bench
  • Mini Strength Bands
  • Battle Ropes

The Workout:  8 Minute Round of Speed and Agility

  • 4 Minute Round of Circuit Work
    • Goblet Squats × 8
    • Incline Push-Ups x 8
    • Leg Raises x 8 
  • 2 Minute Round - Bunny Hops 
  • 2 Minute Round - Kettlebell Swings
  • 1 minute rest
  • 8 Minute Round - Battle Ropes
  • 1 minute of rest

Want to see your WOD in the next newsletter? Email us at team@fringesport.com - we love photos/videos of you showing us how it's done or your favorite workout pic.
December 31, 2016

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WOD of the Week: Aloha Gains

This week's WOD was submitted by Ryan N.:

This was my very first WOD. Everything was going amazing until the GHD situps...brutal.

What You'll Need:

The Workout:  All done for time. 

Workout A

  • 500m Row
  • 10 Bench Press @ 185lb
  • 1000m Row
  • 15 Bench Press @ 155lb
  • 1500m Row
  • 20 Bench Press @ 135lb
Workout B
  • 50 Strict Press @ 75lb
  • 20 GHD Sit Ups

Want to see your WOD in the next newsletter? Email us at team@fringesport.com - we love photos/videos of you showing us how it's done or your favorite workout pic.

December 30, 2016

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Gary Griffiths of G'Day Mate Marketing talks lead generation and Facebook ads for boxes and small gyms.

Peter: Hey guys, Peter from FringeSport here again. And I've got a really interesting gentleman on the other line named Gary Griffiths from ‎G'Day Mate Marketing. So I first ran into Gary at SumoCon in Austin, Texas in 2016 and he really impressed me with what he knew about lead generation and Facebook ads and different things like that for boxes and other small gyms and we chatted a little bit. I kind of fell out of the picture for a little while and then I reconnected with him on Facebook recently and I thought that he had a lot that he could really teach to a lot of our box costumers at Fringe. So Gary, how are you doing this morning?

Gary: Good. I'm doing great. I'm excited we got to catch up.

Peter: Absolutely. I am too. So what did I miss in that intro? Tell us a little bit about yourself and tell us about what you do at G'Day Mate Marketing.

Gary: Sure. So at G'Day Mate we help gyms, fitness centers, boxes all over the world ultimately attract new members to join them. And we've got clients on just about every continent, except for Africa and despite my Australian accent I actually live in the US which is where most of our customers are but my staff are also all over the world because we pretty much have a 24/7 business.

We only started the business G'Day Mate in March this year and it sort of came out of my full service marketing agency that I had at the time serving a whole bunch of different types of clients. And I really wasn't satisfied in a lot of ways with the business that I had at the time and I was looking for something that had more of an aspirational – or a way that I could better impact the world, I guess you'd call it because at the time at my agency we were working with lawyers and dentists and authors, a range of people, but I really wanted to improve the impact I was having on the world in a more positive way I guess.

And the way I thought about it at the time was if I can help gyms and fitness centers and boxes attract more people to come and join them, work out and get healthier then I could see our business having this sort of amplification effect around the world. If I can help 200, 500 or 1,000 different gyms attract 100 new members, 200 new members then I'm helping sort of tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of people around the world start to live a healthier lifestyle. And that's why we got into this business and sort of pivoted out of that full service agency that we had.

Peter: I love it, man. And it actually reminds me a lot of why I initially founded Fringe back in the day. I came from an e-commerce and internet marketing background and I just wanted to help people and I felt like what I was doing before the products I was selling – well, I loved that company and that company is great, I just didn't feel like it was helping make people's lives better and healthier, which is really what I wanted to do. So that's really interesting. So you said you started in March of this year, March of 2016, is that right?

Gary: We officially launched G'Day Mate in March this year, yeah. Yeah.

Peter: Awesome. And you mentioned that a lot of your clients are here in the US, is that correct?

Gary: Yeah, probably about 80% of our clients are here but we've also got clients in Canada, Mexico, UK, France, Portugal, Australia and I think that's about it at the moment and they make up the other 20% of our clients at the moment. But we've been growing really, really quickly and we have over a couple of hundred clients now around the world.

Peter: Awesome. So what specifically do you do? You kind of talked about it a little bit and I touched upon it a little bit. So specially for a box or a small gym or a cross fit box what are you going to do for them?

Gary: Sure. So ultimately we help them attract new members. And the way that we do that is primarily using Facebook ads initially to attract leads. So we'll promote an offer that the box has to their local community and we’ll get people to sort of raise their hand on Facebook and tell us if they're interested in that offer. And then we'll also help the box get those people, motivate those people to actually come in and speak to the owner or speak to the manager and to talk to them about the offer and then sign up when they come in.

We use Facebook ads to sort of generate the leads and then we have this model that we call lead conversion which is we help the box take those people that have raised their hand and turn them into paying members. And we use Facebook ads to also do that so we retarget people reminding them to come in and see the box owner about their free 2 week pass or the 6 week challenge that they signed up for or whatever the offer might be. And that's in a nutshell what we do.

Peter: Awesome. Well, we'll return to that in a little bit. One question that I have and something that you had mentioned to me before we started recording was Facebook ads and chatting a little bit about Facebook ads. So I see a lot of gyms, a lot of gym owners talking about using Facebook ads but I think a lot of people don't actually really know how to use them or how to use them well. Is that something you can share with us and kind of help our audience to understand a little better?

Gary: Yeah, sure. So look, I mean a lot of people when they start out with Facebook ads, one, it can be a little technically challenging if they're not used to the Facebook platform to build their ads and run them in their market but assuming they can work that side of things out, a lot of people still take the approach of they run an ad which basically says here is my box, here is who we are, can you come in and give me some money, right? And that style of advertising, that approach just doesn't work in the market, right? That's the old school way of putting an ad in the yellow pages and saying here we are, give us a call and so we can take your money. And that's not how you get the best result possible out of Facebook.

So that's sort of the biggest problem I see with a lot of box owners is they run that ad and they try and sell people too quickly. Really the approach they should be taking is more of a lighter approach and you can think of it in the context of dating. You don't just walk up to the attractive person in the bar and say “Hey, will you marry me?” You know, there's a whole process. There's flirting, you might ask them to go on a date, you're going to go on a few more dates, you get engaged and then you get married.

And when you are trying to attract new members to your box you've got to take that same approach to your marketing. And so then the way that might look is you take some video footage of people working out and having a good time in your box. And you promote that video on Facebook to people in your community. And you can use your iPhone to do this.

Take some testimonials of people after they finished their workout about why they love coming into your box and what they get out of it and what impact it has had on their lives? And post those videos to Facebook and promote them so that people in the community are seeing the changes and impact that you're having on people's lives, they can see them working out and having a good time.

You could take video footage on your phone of social events when you catch up for a barbecue which is very common with a lot of boxes in Australia. Healthy barbecue of course. And so you promote that sort of content and then you can what's called retarget those people that watch the video, that engage with the video on Facebook with an offer of some sort. And that offer needs to be really enticing to someone to get them to want come in and see you in your box. And you know, the types of offers that we see work really, really well are things like a 6 week challenge or a 8 week challenge or a 30 day challenge, depending on your market, a 2 week free pass or a 3 day free pass.

Now I know that a lot of box owners are allergic to the word “free”. But the way that I encourage people to think about this offer, whatever it might be, is one, you need an offer that converts. So it's got to be attractive and compelling to people. And two, it's simply a member acquisition tool. It's not devaluing your brand. I mean people know that you're going to charge them a fee every month to work out in your box and come along to your classes but you are giving them a low risk way to come in and try your box, meet your members, meet the trainers and get to fall in love with what you can offer them.

So whatever that offer is purely look at it as a member acquisition tool. And then when you get those folks to come in and they fall in love with your box, your workouts, the community, the comradery then they more easily convert into longer term members. And the people that you bring through, I mean in the marketing world we call it a sales funnel, right?

But the more people that you bring through in that sort of manner – and I'll go back to the dating and marriage analogy – you promote those videos which is your version of flirting and then you have this amazing offer that lets you go on a few dates together and then you can propose marriage which is when they sign up for your membership, those people will turn into your longest term members and your best members because you've taken them through that approach. And by the time they get to the point of signing up for your membership, they are so in love with what you offer, your community and coming along and working out every day.

And it's the antithesis to just running an ad and saying hey, here is my box, why don't you come in and have a free class? And people have never heard of you before, they don't know, like or trust you and then people wonder why no one is responding to the ad. Or when they come in to the free class they don't join up after. There's a better way to do this. And that's the way I've just laid out.

Peter: I love it. So I've got a few clarifying questions. So the first question is let's zoom all the way back. Why Facebook ads? Why not running and ad in a newspaper? Why not running Google AdWords? Why are you focusing on Facebook?

Gary: So at the moment Facebook is the best return on investment that I've seen for the fitness industry. In terms of the cost to acquire a new member is exceptionally low if you do it the right way. The other great thing about Facebook is the tracking and visibility around how your ads are performing. I mean one of the problems with the yellow pages is you'll spend a couple of grand, you'll have the ad there, people will call up, you'll probably forget to ask how they heard about you and you'll have no idea whether that ad is generating new members for you or not.

Whereas with Facebook you can track people the entire way to see did they engaged with my video, did they sign up for my offer, did they come in and start working out with this and did they ultimately become a member. I mean you can track that end to end which is ultimately how you should be making any investment decision for your box is the ROI that you're going to generate. That's why I love it.

Peter: I love it. So another question based on what you had mentioned and this is going to be kind of a silly question and you answered it a little bit but if a box owner said to you okay, we're going to invest time or money in creating a video on the front end and then we're going to be running ads to that video that actually doesn't have any like conversion or real call to action from that video, if they just get scared of kind of spending money without a clear, immediate path to becoming a lead or becoming a conversion, how do you make them comfortable with that?

Gary: Sure so one, we actually do offer people an opportunity to sign up for the offer when they see the video. And so we will have a link in the copy or the text that we put above the video to a landing page where they can sign up for the offer. Now, that's only because when people see that video there might be a small percentage that are interested in signing up for an offer right there and then and you don't want to stop those people from having the ability to sign up. So you will get potentially a little bit of an ROI there but that is not the main goal.

The main goal is building know, like and trust, building awareness in the market and starting to build a relationship with people in your market that are going to be interested in the workouts that you're offering and the testimonials that you're providing. And so the other side of that is for most people we're talking only investing $10 to maybe $20 a day initially in that video and I always tell my clients to start small when it comes to Facebook. Because you should only be increasing your investment based on the ROI.

And so you start small with say $10 a day and when you see that $10 is turning into a $100 membership then you might move it to $20 a day and you'll see that you're now generating $200 in memberships based off that $20 investment. And you can just continually ratchet up your investment of what you spend in Facebook as long as you're tracking it to what the ROI is for the box.

Peter: Yeah, I love it. So another few clarifying questions here. You had mentioned sending leads from that video to a landing page. So what is a landing page and why should box owners learn what that one is and then construct one?

Gary: The reason you should learn what a landing page is is because it's a really important tool for you acquiring new members for your box. And so what a landing page is? It's basically a single web page, it has a single focus on promoting the offer, the special offer that you're putting out there to the community with all the value, all the benefits, some testimonials and sharing with people all the reasons why they would be crazy not to sign up for your special offer.

On Facebook when they see the video you need to have a link in the text that is just above that video so that for people that do want to find out more very early on in your relationship they can click on it, they'll come to your landing page and they'll see all the amazing benefits of what you have to offer if they sign up for your 6 week challenge or your 30 day challenge.

And so it's singular and focused. It's all about getting them to claim the offer, to raise their hand and say hey, I'm Gary Griffiths and I want to sign up for this 6 week challenge. And so you just ask them to enter their name, email and phone number as their form of raising their virtual hand. And you know, there's lots of tools out there that make it really, really easy to build these landing pages. There's ClickFunnels, there's LeadPages, there's OptimizePress and there's so many more than that. I mean there's amazing tools out there that allow non-technical people to design and build these landing pages that people can click on your ad on Facebook and then come over and visit and then sign up.

Peter: I love it. Thank you very much. So a couple of other questions now. We talked about sales funnels before. And we talked about doing a lot of this stuff on Facebook. So when a client actually makes that leap to come in the door, to a box, what does that look like when they've come off of the Facebook offer? How does the gym owner handle them at that point?

Gary: So the best approach that I've seen is having – you could call it an orientation session or I think of it as a meet & greet so the person has signed up for the offer, they've actually physically come into the box to meet with you, you should have a scheduled appointment with them for that and that's where you sit down with them – I mean you can offer them a free workout after the orientation or meet & greet if that's what you want to do as well but really the meet & greet is about talking to them about what their goals are, what are their aspirations, why are they looking to make a change to their lifestyle, what attracted them to come along to the box and don't be scared that you're going to lose people by asking them these questions. I mean you'd need these insights so that you can share with them your story and how you're going to be able to help them achieve their goals.

And a lot of people are going to tell you that “Hey, look, I'm 40 now and I'm just not as fit as I used to be, I've got young kids and I want to make sure that I can keep going out on weekends and in the afternoons and play with my kids and so then you can link back that “Oh, you know, we've got so many other parents in the gym that are working out for that exact same reason and they come along to the box and they love the classes and you'll get to meet them and make more friends.”

So you're having this sort of meet & greet to get them to understand what their goals and aspirations are and then explain how you as the box owner what you offer is going to help them achieve those goals and those aspirations. And then you might offer them a free class or you might get them to sign on the dotted line for the special offer that you've promoted to them. And that's sort of the nuts and bolts of what happens.

Peter: Now, if they're doing a special offer and so you as the gym owner have gotten them to convert on let's say a 6 week challenge. I presume you treat them at least somewhat differently than your rank and file box members who are there month in month out. Is that correct? I mean don't you need to convert them again at the end of the 6 weeks?

Gary: Yes. And there's a couple of different methods to doing that. My favorite method is – well, I've got two favorite methods. One is where they pay a sort of fixed fee to be a part of the 6 week challenge. And the 6 week challenge is 6 weeks of workouts, meal plans, maybe a nutrition consultation if you've got a nutritionist in the team. Some of my clients even give them shopping lists, grocery lists for the local supermarket and they tell them what to stay away from and these are the exact items I want you to be buying. And they'll even give them recipes of when you buy these ingredients here are the meals I want you to prepare.

And so there's a lot of value that you can provide the people through something like a 6 week challenge. And then as they're coming towards the end of the challenge that is the best time to then convert them into an ongoing membership. Because when someone has come along for 5 out of those 6 weeks and they've been working out and they've been making these lifestyle changes they're going to feel bloody awesome about where they're at, how much they've achieved and they're going to want to continue on that journey. I mean there's very few people that are going to go through that entire 6 week program and walk out the door and you'll never see them again.

So they are going to be – it should be very, very easy for you to convert into an ongoing membership program. And so the two sort of financial models for running a challenge that I've seen work really, really well is a nominal fee to participate in the challenge. Something like $297 or $397 which is just a one-time fee to participate.

The other one that I've seen is what a lot of gyms will market as a free challenge. And it genuinely is free but when you come in for the orientation they ask for a commitment deposit. And the reason they ask for a commitment deposit is to make sure that people have skin in the game and turn up for all the workouts and do the hard yards when it comes to sticking to the meal plan and following the nutritional advice. And at the end of the 6 weeks as long as they've followed through on their commitment to complete the challenge they get that money back.

But what every gym – and I mean that scares a lot of gym owners when they hear it for the first time. But here is the magic in it is at the end of 6 weeks you might have taken a commitment deposit of $297, right? And so you can say “Hey, Pete, I'm so proud, man. You've crushed it these last 6 weeks. You've totally earned your commitment deposit back and I've got a check for you in the office but if you want our 6 months membership is normally $600 and what I could do is if you want to roll that commitment deposit into your membership, if you just pay an extra $150 I'll give you a 6 month membership to the box.”

And so not only do you get to keep the commitment deposit that you paid but you get an incremental fee out of them and you've got someone that is absolutely in love with working out at your box. And so then you've got these people that are loving it, that will bring you referrals or introduce you to their family members, their friends and family will say “How have you done this change in their lifestyle? This is amazing.” They'll have their friends coming in, I mean it's just a virtual cycle of attracting more and more people into your box and having them remain members for longer and longer.

Peter: Awesome. I love it. So where do you find the biggest areas where boxes who are trying to run Facebook ads or trying something like this, where do they fail?

Gary: Look, one of the biggest areas is what I mentioned initially where they just turn on an ad that says hey, I've got my box here, come along and check this out. Or come along and come and join up. Or come and have a free workout even. And you know, that style of advertising just doesn't really cut it in today's age.

Another challenge I see is just trying to work out the back end of Facebook and building the ads and running them and understanding how to performance manage them, which ones are performing and making sure it's all being tracked effectively.

That can be a lot of work and very distracting for a box owner that has other things they need to be focusing on. You know, they've got members to be out there and loving it, they've got staff to look after and manage, they've got equipment that they need to be making sure gets delivered and all the rest of it, right? They've got a lot of balls in the air for their business. And so just having the time to dedicate to generating leads and the expertise. I mean look, the reason we do this full time is because it is full time. Facebook is always changing.

But all that said, I do think there is a lot of value in box owners understanding these principles of marketing and understanding how it all comes together for them on Facebook, with their landing pages and so forth. And the reason I think that's so important is because if and when they decide to work with someone else to do this for them to help them out they need that understanding to manage that relationship effectively.

And sadly what I've seen happen too many times in this industry is there are people less than ethical taking advantage of box owners, taking their money and not delivering on their promises or commitments. And it can be one of the mechanisms for a box owner to stay on top of that and making sure that they're working with someone that is ethical and doing the right thing is for them to understand that themselves.

Peter: I love it, man. I love it. So what do you do? Do you do everything from soup to nuts from helping them set up those videos on Facebook at the very top of the funnel to consulting with them, with the box owner on what happens when that person walks in the door and then how to convert them again after 6 weeks or... Give us a quick sales pitch?

Gary: Sure. So we help gyms acquire new members, full stop. And then there are two services that we offer to help them do that. So we offer a lead generation service and then a lead conversion service where we help those boxes turn those leads into new members. And so what that looks like is from a lead generation perspective? You know, we ask for a raw video footage from the box owner.

So we ask them to take video footage of people working out and we ask them to take video footage of people providing a testimonial. And we'll even give them the questions that they should ask people to get the sort of answers that we want. I have full time videographers on staff, that – or video editing staff that take that video footage mash it together into a beautiful video that we will then promote for the box on Facebook to their local community.

We then build their Facebook ads that are generating the actual leads for them. We also build the landing pages for them and design as landing pages. The only thing really that the boxes need to give us to work with us is the video footage and we ask them for images. And even then they often don't have to lift a finger because we go and get them from their social assets. Most boxes will have videos and photos on their Facebook page, on their Instagram and so we just grab those things from their social assets and we go and make the magic happen as one of my clients likes to call it.

So we run those ads, we build those landing pages and we collect those leads. And so we will then hand those leads over to the box which is where sort of our lead generation service ends. If a box is working with us around lead conversion then we're also doing things like building an online calendar so that people can automatically schedule in their appointment with the box owner to come in for that meet & greet or for that orientation.

And it's all automated so when they sign up for the offer, say the 6 week challenge they come along to the thank you page, on the thank you page might be a video for the box owner congratulating them on signing up for the challenge and letting them know there's a calendar right below on that page and to book in their session right there and then.

Now, for the people that don't book in the orientation session right there and then we are retargeting those folks with ads on Facebook letting them know that they're so close to changing their life and click here to book in your orientation session. We also send out automated SMS-es for our clients that are personalized.

So Pete, say you come along to one of our ads, you click on the ad, you come along to the landing page and you sign up for the 6 week challenge. You'll get an SMS that says “Hey Pete, Gary here from Connecticut's Best Box, so excited you signed up for the 6 week challenge. Click on this link to schedule in your orientation.” So not only will you see the same message on the thank you page, you'll get an SMS from us reminding you to sign up and book in that appointment.

And then when you book in the appointment you'll then get reminder SMS-es from us that are personalized. “Hey Pete, so excited you’ve signed up for tomorrow. As a reminder, Thursday 5 o'clock and here's our address.” And then 3 hours before your meet & greet appointment, we'll send you another SMS saying “Hey Pete, looking forward to catching up in 3 hours, here's our address again.” And then maybe 1 hour again before the appointment we'll send you another SMS.

So they're the sorts of things that we're doing to help get those people that have put their hand up for your offer to actually come in to the box and sit down with you for that meet & greet. And then we also do help box owners with sort of the flow and the things they should be covering off and saying to people in that meet & greet.

Now, it's going to be a little bit different for everyone because it needs to be obviously genuine, in their voice and you need to be completely comfortable with what you're saying to those folks that come in. But ultimately the basic formula in that conversation is just understanding why they signed up for the offer, what their goals are and then tying in what you offer as a box owner that's going to help them achieve all those goals and then getting them to sign on the dotted line for the challenge. Explaining what the commitment deposit or the non-refundable payment that you charge for the challenge.

Peter: I love it. Cool. Well, that's about the time that we've got. So I'm on your website right now which is https://gdaymatemarketing.com/ If somebody wants to get ahold of you and I think a lot of people will, is that the best way just come to the website?

Gary: You can come to the website and we have a contact form on there. Feel free to email me, it's just gary@gdaymatemarketing.com. Gary with one R. And you can also find me on Facebook. I'm Gary Griffiths. Look me up, send me a message using messenger and that's another easy way to get ahold of me.

Peter: Sounds great, man. And we'll link all that up on the blog. Awesome Gary. Any last comments?

Gary: Look, even if you've got questions about or advice, you know, you need help – you’re not sure why this landing page is not converting or you've got some troubles with the ad hit me up. I'm always open and happy to just help people out. Again, it's not about me just growing my business. It's that mission of helping gym owners attract more people to help them start to live a healthier lifestyle. And so you don't need to be a client for me to want to help you do that, right? So any questions hit me up.

Peter: I love it. Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Gary. This has been great.

Gary: Thanks, Pete. I loved it mate.

December 23, 2016

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David from Formula O2 talks about his hustle to launch his product and how CrossFit has had an impact in and out of the gym.

Peter: Hey, this is Peter from Fringe Sport again, and I’m privileged today to be talking with Dave Colina, the founder and president of Formula O2. I call it a natural recovery beverage. Is that what you call it, Dave?

David: Yeah. That works for sure.

Peter: Can you tell me a bit about yourself? What did I miss in that short intro?

David: Sure. Well, let’s see. I’m a Scorpio, I enjoy long walks on the beach, candlelight dinners are great. We’re based out of Columbus, Ohio, and I grew up in Ohio. I’ve been here for 33 years now. I’ve been in Columbus since 2002. I went to school at Ohio state and graduated in ’06. And when I graduated, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I went to OSU, straight into business school there, their business program, so I made the decision when I was a senior in high school to study business, which, in retrospect, who knows what they want to do at 18, much less 22. But I knew I wanted to do something cool where I could leave an impact, leave my mark. A little dent in the universe kind of thing.

So after I graduated college, I looked for the best job where I could learn a lot really quickly. And I was given the opportunity to work at Nationwide Insurance. I was in their corporate strategy group for about two-and-a-half years and I learned a lot there that really helped me advance my career quickly, and also think about problems and what I wanted to do, and more importantly, what I didn’t want to do as I developed my career. After I did my stint there, I started to work in marketing. So I had the best, coolest job at the company, at 27, making a pretty solid living, and I found myself really unhappy. That was mainly because I felt that I had spent all this time developing this skill set in strategy and marketing that I was using to sell a product I wasn’t passionate about. It’s hard to get passionate about insurance. It’s a product people have to have but it isn’t tangible and it’s a pain in the butt.

I started to think about what I could do. I’m a cocky 27-year-old, I have 5 years under my belt, and I’m making a good amount of money. What can I start to play around with? I was working long hours, it was pretty demanding, and I was working out a lot in around 2009, 2010. I wasn’t doing CrossFit yet, but I was doing the higher intensity interval training and I was eating clean. I had this robust and active social life and I was fueling it with Red Bull and Gatorade. I was doing this non-profit project in the evening with some friends. One of the guys I met in this project was a doctor. We became close friends quickly and I asked him what he would drink. And he said he also drank a lot of Red Bull and Gatorade. We both found ourselves in this unique situation where we had this problem we needed to solve but we didn’t know what we wanted to solve it with. Dan and I started talking about what we could drink instead of all this stuff. We both drink coffee, and I still drink coffee, but I drink it in the mornings. And coconut water is great in theory but I’ve never had a taste for it. We thought why not try and make things for ourselves, something all natural, tastes really good, and serves these functions. So fast-forward about 4 years and we launched FormulaO2 in February 2014 and we’ve been at it ever since. So that’s the origin story. Turns out it’s not that easy to make a drink that are those exact specifications we wanted. But we’ve been really pleased with where we netted out.

Peter: One thing I want to mention here, you and I had connected through a mutual acquaintance and friend, and he sent me some of the Formula O2. We had it in the office and we were trying it, and we were all surprised at the drinkability. It was funny—I was used to some of the other beverages in this market, a lot of carbonated beverages and things like that. And I was really surprised that it takes very drinkable water with a little flavor to it. So that was kind of interesting.

David: It took us a long time to get that taste where we wanted it. That was another thing. Before I left my 6-figure job in corporate America, I wanted to make sure I was leaving it for the right reasons, and I wanted to be sure I could put my name behind a product that was the best possible product it could be. The formulation is what took the bulk of the four years, but the taste testing itself, we spent a good 9 months of perfecting the taste of the two products we have now. That’s not an easy task. There’s so much garbage out there now and there are so many too, that we said from the outset that we’re only going to do something that’s really good and really different. So that’s what we’ve been after ever since. So it’s always really gratifying to hear that sort of reaction to it, so thank you.

Peter: We chatted a bit about this before we started recording: it’s got 20 calories per 16oz. can. But one thing that was a little bit confusing in our office is that it’s got 19 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of sugar, but then 20 calories. That didn’t really seem to add up so walk me through that.

David: We use an all-natural plant and fruit based sweetener system that is composed of organic sugar, erythritol, stevia, and monk fruit. Most people are familiar with stevia, some are familiar with monk fruit, everybody is familiar with organic sugar, but a lot of people aren’t familiar with erythritol. Erythritol is a really cool ingredient because it’s one of very few sweeteners that is really good for diabetics because it doesn’t spike your insulin. So you use erythritol as a part of other flavorings and in our case, we use about 14 grams of erythritol. But erythritol is unique in that it doesn’t have the same traditional carb to calorie ratio that most of us are accustomed to. Most of us are accustomed to 1 carb equalling 4 calories, whereas with erythritol, one carb equals .2 calories. So we have a good amount of erythritol we have to list on the carbohydrate side of the equation on the nutrition facts panel, but erythritol only contributes a calorie or two to our calorie count. The rest of the calories are coming from the organic sugar and then the flavorings.

Peter: Cool. That does make sense. Just out of curiosity, what kind of insulin response is that going to have? Is that something you’re knowledgeable about?

David: It doesn’t have one. I’m not a doctor, but it’s not a sweetener that spikes insulin, which is why it’s good for diabetics.

Peter: Awesome. Cool. Talk to me about how you launched the product. You talked a bit about why you developed the product—but one other thing, you mentioned this 6-figure job working in marketing—are you full time on Formula O2 now? And how long have you been full time?

David: Oh yeah. I’ve been full time on O2 for about 4 years now. I left my marketing job at the end of 2011. New Year’s Eve was officially my last day. 2012, I was pretty much on my own. I saved up a decent amount of money but the beverage industry is really capital intensive. So a lot of that, I had saved up to get O2 off the ground, so I didn’t have a lot to live off of. As a result, I ended up doing some freelance work and I was teaching martial arts on the side, which got me into CrossFit, and I started coaching CrossFit as well. I was buying stuff on clearance at Target and selling it on Amazon. I was doing what I could to stay afloat, but I started to make a salary from O2 in late 2013. So I guess you could consider me full-time, 100% focused on O2 since it started paying my bills, in 2013.

Peter: Awesome. Tell us a bit about the launch and who your best customers are, that sort of thing.

David: We have found a really solid set of customers in CrossFit gyms and the types of folks who shop at Whole Foods stores. I would love to tell you that was the plan from the outset but we really just fell into that. So when we launched, I mentioned I had been coaching martial arts, and as part of that, I had people in Columbus who owned gyms and were connected into that community. Well, when we first did our production run, it was late January, early February of 2014. That timing is important because every year, in late February, early March, about 250,000 people come to Columbus for the Arnold Sports Festival. It’s a huge fitness and sports and nutrition industry event. As fate would have it, I have been a judge for the CrossFit portion of that event for a few years now, and I had been at the time as well. In fact, I was signed up to be a judge in that year, 2014. The timing worked out as such that we were getting our shipment of O2 in right around that same time.

So if you’re familiar with the Arnold, the booth costs are outrageously high, like 5 to $10,000 if you want a booth to launch a product there. We didn’t have that laying around, so I asked my buddy who was putting on the CrossFit portion of the event if I could bribe him with some free cases he could give to his athletes who were finishing on the podium in return for sneaking us in to set up a booth at the Arnold. And that’s exactly what we did. So our first official launch day was the first day of the Arnold in 2014. So I always joke that I’m sure I was the worst judge there because the entire time, I kept looking at our booth to see if people liked our drink. This was the first time anybody outside of our friends and family had tried it. You really don’t know until you’re in the market with something, how people are going to react to it. Your friends and family are going to tell you it tasted great no matter what. So we got to a point where it was go time and I had my girlfriend manning the booth at the time, and we were flying through product at such a rate that we ended up going through our entire weekend’s supply in the first four hours of the event. And that largely set the pace of us for the year, as well as the next few years as well.

One of the things I did when starting to launch O2, I was selling to anybody who would buy it. It was me driving around Ohio in my Prius, pitching it to anyone who would listen to me and selling cases to anyone who would buy it. I quickly realized these CrossFit gyms—we had I think 5 of the 6 that received O2 as a prize—they contacted me the next week to start carrying O2 at the gym. CrossFit became one of our first customers. So as I’m driving around, pitching to mom and pop gyms and more traditional gyms and convenience stores, I’m also seeing how much CrossFit gyms were selling and it was outrageous. We would have CrossFit selling 2, 3, 4, 5 times as much as a small grocery store. It would take me just as much time to drop off their order as it would to drop off to a convenience store, but the CrossFit gym would sell a bunch more and I was only one guy, so I had to focus on the channels that would drive the most revenue. So our launch was let’s throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks, and it quickly became apparent that CrossFit stuck and store like Whole Foods as well. That one, I planned for. I hoped for that one.

When we were making it, I wanted to sell at Whole Foods, so the first store it was sold at was right down the street from our office, which was the closest to where I lived at the time. I went in there with a backpack of O2 in the summer of 2014 and asked to talk to somebody I could pitch. A couple months later, we were in that store and approved in the entire mid-Atlantic region.

Peter: I love that hustle. So from an entrepreneurial standpoint and pushing the brand, what do the next 5 years look like for you guys?

David: 5 years sounds like a heck of a long time. I can tell you what next year and the year after looks like. We have so much upside to achieve just within CrossFit and Whole Foods, that that is where we’re going to double down. We’re in a few CrossFit boxes right now and as you know there are 8,000 in the US alone. We’re in 15 to 20 Whole Foods stores, of about 500 in the US. We haven’t even scratched the surface of our potential, so we’re going to continue to focus on those two channels, while exploring some other channels, like other fitness outlets and other brick and mortar outlets, and also online is going to be a big push for us as well. We’ve had a great response with some online initiatives we’ve been doing, business to consumer, and that’s something we’re going to really explore in 2017. Then after that, 2017-18, your guess is as good as mine.

Peter: You’re taking over the world. Cool. If people want to find our more, your website is DrinkO2.com. Who do you think is the best person to go there? Someone who owns a box and is looking at distributing, someone wanting to try the beverage? Who do you recommend? Or just everybody?

David: Somebody who is tired of the norm when it comes to energy, sports, and recovery drinks, and is looking for something new and healthy. Box owners are a huge focus of ours. I like to think we have the best customer service in the industry and know our box owners better than most out there, and can serve them better than most as a result. We always welcome box owners, but also people who are working out at home, or people trying to kick their Monster habit, or looking for a change from Gatorade. There’s a big market out there for a drink that’s clean, healthy, non-carbonated, and has a good dose of caffeine. That’s who we’re trying to deal to.

Peter: Awesome. I love it. That’s about what we’ve got time for. Is there anything else you’d like to say?

David: This has been a lot of fun and I look forward to getting to know you and your audience a little bit more and we’re excited to what that brings in ’17.

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