Last Thursday, following the Great T-shirt Slogan Debate of 2009, StuLu sent me the message below in an email—a message he was about to post late that evening. After reading it, we both thought it too valuable to risk being lost in the comments section of some day’s post.
Or, just maybe, MPH does not need a slogan, catchy t-shirt, or even a tag-line. As a marketing guy, I can tell you that tag-lines are merely a shtick. Not that a shtick is all that bad. Messages conveyed within the simplicity of half-Haiku in the “here is what we do to save your life” of corporate prose can indeed be powerful stuff. But, does it matter? And, more importantly, who gives a shit about a shocking t-shirt anymore. I can go to Urban Outfitters and choose between many examples that tout everything from sex with leprechauns all the way to the wonders of surfing in Nebraska. What does this mean? Who believes a t-shirt anyway? Surf in Nebraska?
Yes, I have come full-circle with this whole t-shirt thing. In some ways, I think that Steve said it best with “Nuff Said.” And that wasn’t even his slogan of choice! “Nuff Said” indeed.
We are witnessing history here. A revolution of sorts. What an honor it is that all of us, through the grace of coincidence, have come upon this time to be right smack here at the start. This does not come often to one’s life. And, while it is, in the context of things, of less historical importance than the discovery of penicillin (god knows my months in Bangkok can attest to that), it is still something that we can cherish as far more worthy than a one-liner on a t-shirt that becomes representative of our values to the general public.
A revolution is action upon the foundation of words, which is perhaps why I have decided that this does not feel right. Enough has been spoken. Why don’t we just do this thing? Does a revolution constitute parading through Georgetown with “Shaft Was a Pussy” on the back of our shirt?
We want to see John and Melody succeed—a given. But, we also want to see them succeed in a way that is as pure as what they give us each day. So, I have thought of alternative ways to do that; grassroots ways for us to bring more bodies to compete with, inspire us, make us laugh, and build more friendships than a t-shirt ever will—ultimately to ensure that we are not back in a year or two wasting away at Vida as we try and do “Fran” on our own.
- All of us should link each other on Facebook (the greatest niche marketing tool since the billboard) and begin to occasionally post about CrossFit MPH and some workout that kicked our ass. Our posts should be inclusive in nature. Too often we fall into the sphere of feeling we are doing something really badass, which is good in a sense (and true!), but what people really want to hear is that CrossFit MPH is welcoming to them. And, we are.
- Instead of our always telling people about how better we are than them as a result of the WOD we just crushed/survived, perhaps we could instead tell people that each day we have one hour that is an adventure in our lives…something that takes us briefly away from the crap we have to deal with on a routine basis. With that foundation, start pushing the Saturday Free Beginners‘ Workout for everyone to try so as to experience it for themselves. Ask them: is their workout an adventure? Is it really fun? If yes, okay. If not, give them the CrossFit MPH alternative.
- For as much time as we spend thinking up tag-lines (me to blame more than anyone!) we could be cruising around CrossFit and Paleo-related forums to find the proper moments to mention CrossFit MPH. Search engines pull from website forums more than anything else…get on ’em!
- As we do things a bit better, with more confidence, or faster than before, don’t just say it is a result of CrossFit alone, but instead say it is a result of the elite fitness coaching we get at CrossFit MPH. We need to distinguish ourselves from the growing mainstream of the CrossFit world in that what we have here is something really special in John and Melody. CrossFit is the brand that drives their affiliate, but the quality of training is the destination that keeps us there. If we let them become just another CrossFit affiliate in the eyes of those who have yet to experience these same unknowest (I just made that word up) might well end up in another gym doing “CrossFit Lite And Wrong” as I was for a few years. From here on I don’t Crossfit…I do CrossFit MPH.
- Whenever I go to lululemon, which is quite often, I always mention to the nice attractive ladies there (who I do admit constantly undress me with their eyes) that I love CrossFit MPH and that “they are the best thing to come to the neighborhood since my favorite lululemon underwear!” (which I really do cherish as it compliments quite nicely my pelvic region). Little things go a long way in mentions. Perhaps John can even provide us with little cards that offer the introductory session on Saturdays as what will be perceived as a special “perk” that we can give away to people we meet, coworkers, friends, or even that special person whom you might take home from a bar one night and is commenting on your amazing stamina in bed: “Well, thank you…I get my sexual drive from CrossFit MPH…would you like to try it out for free?”
- Yes, we should wear t-shirts. Which is why I guess I don’t completely oppose the process, only the intent of delivery. We should wear them to one place only: to other gyms. I do sneak into Vida on some Friday evenings and Sundays for an ad-hoc workout, and I think of this as the absolute best place to spread the brand. It is the only worthwhile location. Anywhere else and I believe the concept to be lost. Well, I take that back—they might be very effective to wear while shopping the fine wares of lululemon.
More? Sure. We all have ideas. We all have voices. Scream out loud! We must rally to achieve the status for CrossFit MPH to the point that others are making a t-shirt about all of us (god, I really hope that someone doesn’t create some random StuLu logo that becomes the smiley face of a new generation).
I would love a new CrossFit MPH t-shirt. But, do I need a catch phrase? No, not necessarily. I really just need a lululemon version with “CrossFit MPH” on it, and in a nice spandexy fabric that compliments my ring-dipped pectoral region. (Did I just say that?) I better go talk to my friends at the P St. shop to see what they can do: “CrossFit MPH=Spandex Sexy.” I Like It! I guess what I am saying is that underneath this new shirt is an emperor of change, and by golly-by gosh we should bare it.
And, in the immortal words of Steve: “Nuff Said.”