CrossFit HQ’s Former Director of Marketing Opens New Affiliate 

By Presser
February 22, 2024
4 min read

Keith Knapp and his wife Julianne found the perfect spot to open a small CrossFit box in their town of Fairfield, OH. Two weeks later, CrossFit HQ eliminated Keith’s job.

The pair wanted to open a gym in addition to their full-time jobs. Still, when Knapp learned that his role as director of marketing was being eliminated, he immediately pivoted to spearhead the construction of the gym.

“At a certain point, I have to just accept reality and move on and do the best that I can to continue to pour myself into promoting the [CrossFit] methodology, which I’ve believed in for 16 years now,” Knapp tells the Morning Chalk Up. 

The gym, CrossFit Fairfield, will officially launch on Saturday, February 24.

  • “I’m living and breathing everything about the role that I have and the methodology that we’re trying to promote. And then the role that I had gets eliminated, and so I’m like, ‘Well, wait a minute, this feels a little bit interesting,’” Knapp says.
  • “There’s CrossFit HQ the company, and there is CrossFit the methodology, and I don’t necessarily have to support CrossFit HQ the company. But that being said, I do believe that all the things that they’re currently doing are the right things to do.”

[Related: The Guide to CrossFit Gym Etiquette: It’s More Than Just Lifting]

Knapp was in his role as director of marketing at CrossFit for 19 months, but he adds that he has no animosity for HQ’s decisions and is instead taking this as an opportunity to focus on the gym and his family.

  • “[CrossFit is] trying to support affiliates and [make] them better businesses. They’re trying to promote the leveling up of coaches, which I think is really important. They’re trying to make sure that the experience inside of CrossFit affiliates is better than it has been universally across the board,” Knapp says. 
  • “They are trying to point more people to CrossFit gyms near them, which I think is really important. So all the things that they’re currently doing, I agree with, so I don’t have to do a lot of stretching to find a reason to support the company because I believe in what they’re doing.” 

For the time being, Knapp will coach the morning and youth classes at his gym until he figures out his next steps professionally. He originally trained, and had an affiliate going, in his garage where he’d host kids’ classes. 

The new gym is just an extension of what Knapp’s already built, but it opens it up to more of his community and brings on other coaches in the area.

  • “We’ve got an office. We have a small lobby area that we call our family room that has a couch and a TV and a bunch of kids’ toys. And we’ve got a little play set out there for kids because a lot of our members are parents,” Knapp says. 
  • “We’ve got five [part-time coaches] now who all have multiple kids. And so family is a huge part of what we’re trying to do because [my wife and I] have four kids. Family is everything to us, so we wanted to make sure that our community could support that kind of a clientele.” 
  • “People from all ends of the CrossFit world have been incredibly kind to me and to my family during this time. So having that support from literally everyone has been really cool. And that support honestly is coming from inside HQ too.” 

When something major happens, like the loss of a job, it can be easy to dwell on the “why?” and the “what if?” But Knapp says those questions don’t help anything.

“The best question that I can ask is ‘What’s the best next step?’” Knapp says. “That’s the question I’ve been asking myself every morning when I wake up and every move that I’m making currently, whether that’s a move that I’m making to continue to build a network inside this ecosystem or moves that I’m making to open the gym to build relationships with business owners in my own community, those are the next steps that I can take.” 

The details: The gym’s grand opening will feature giveaways, food and drinks, and a chance to meet the coaching staff. Those in the area looking to sign up can do so here. Or visit the gym’s new website to check them out.

Featured image: Keith Knapp

The post CrossFit HQ’s Former Director of Marketing Opens New Affiliate  appeared first on BarBend.

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