In Affiliation

September 27, 2009

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CrossFit Central is a great success story, with membership over 500 and revenue approaching $100,000 per month. Jeremy Thiel explains how he was able to use passion, commitment and great service to create a profitable business—and a community.

I founded CrossFit Central along with my sister, Carey Kepler, back in 2006. We were the 150th affiliate, and we were starting from scratch—no clients, no box and no credibility. But we had a mission: to build a fit community and affect people’s lives.

Since affiliating in 2006, CrossFit Central has grown from zero paying clients to over 500. We are profitable and remain debt-free in a time when our economy is failing. We have 22 coaches and a staff of four people earning incomes ranging from $35,000 to $85,000. On average, 20-30 new people sign up each month, and we are changing lives daily.

Is it hard starting an affiliate? Yes, it’s tough. But gives us a vehicle to promote what we do, and without it I wouldn’t have as much credibility as I do now. Greg and Lauren Glassman gave me the confidence to take people to the trough. I put my belief in the community as opposed to me being the go-to expert. is the expert, and I lead my clients there.

I don’t believe there’s only one right way to run and operate a CrossFit affiliate, and that’s the beauty of this business. The systems we’ve developed work and are the best for us and our clients. That said, our route to success might help you find your own.

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11 Comments on “The Story Behind the Success”


wrote …

Great article Jeremy. I've followed your affiliate's progress for some time and it's amazing how much you've grown from when you first started out. No doubt your enthusiasm for Crossfit and determination to make this community a better one has been a key factor in your success. You have been a blessing and continue to be a blessing in so many people’s lives and for that you have had favor in your business and in your life. You have been a great leader and example to this wonderful community and I hope people will see that and follow your lead. Keep doing what you’re doing and I guarantee the best is yet to come. God bless!


wrote …

Great Article, Jeremy: what a gift to the CrossFit community. CrossFit Central should be the yardstick that all affiliates seek to measure up to, not necessarily in size and scope, rather, in service, outreach, and inclusivity.

CrossFit San Elijo


Webster Smith wrote …

CF Central could very well be used as an MBA case study in entrepreneurship. Their passion for CrossFit is magnetic. Great coaches, enthusiastic clients, great friends.

Web and Linds


Webster Smith wrote …

Great article J.T. Our love for CrossFit Central and the community you and your coaches have created only increases with every trip we make to Austin. Keep up the good work!



wrote …

Wonderful article. Jeremy, Carey, and all the trainers at CC have been great, and Austin is blessed to have CC. Best of luck and success in your CONTINUED growth! JJ


Tom Seryak wrote …


I like your concept of the "closed class". What do you do when say someone signs up to take one of the 18 spots for a closed class and doesn't show? Is there a waiting list? Is the person penalized? Or, do you simply not have this problem with your clientele?



wrote …

Man, I miss Austin and that early morning boot camp with Jeremy (plus all the cool competitions and contests). It really was a good community, and Jeremy's enthusiasm is infectious and second to none. If I ever move back to Austin, I know I'll sign up there again.


Edward R. Kennelly wrote …

Great article, thanks. You are successful because you took the essential steps of having a "vision" and "plan" for your business, and then executed upon them. Congratulations on your success.

Ed Kennelly


wrote …

I think CC is more than just a community. In many ways, it's a large, extended family. I train with another Thiel, Jeremy's older brother Zachary, and can tell you that CrossFit and the CC coaches are changing my life in ways I couldn't have imagined just a year ago.

The funny thing about this "little" 500 member gym, is that I think the buzz is just now getting started, and that their growth is limited only by their imagination and desire to grow it bigger.


wrote …

Great article. Continue to consider affiliate ownership one day and appreciate detailed, quality testimonials from those who are doing it well.


wrote …

Great read as i am now making my journey as a new affiliate CrossFit 12-12-12 and the only one in the English speaking Caribbean ,i will need all the support the CrossFit community can give me . Thanks CrossFit central your article makes me feel READY.

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