There's one place where CrossFit Boxes compete against each other: the Games. That's it.
Before you think I'm being naive, consider this: the most likely business you'll find next to a car dealership is another car dealership. Auto sales across brand lines benefit when the showrooms are neighbours. They build beside one another for a reason.
Cafes, too, benefit when several are grouped together (what's the French word for 'group' again?) If you're headed downtown for lunch, and Cafe Camille is jammed, you simply walk next door to Cafe Michelle. Their businesses thrive on the 'Cafe Block' model.
There's a fear among veteran Affiliates that the 'new kids' will undercut their price; will tempt with novelty; will have nicer bathrooms and startup funding that we didn't have. They'll have sponsorships and painted walls and an appetite for cannibalism. They'll "dilute the brand," whatever that means.
Here's a story. I'm sharing it not to beat my own drum, but to share what's more likely to happen in the long term:
At the start of this month (June 2012,) a Personal Training studio closed its doors across town. Its owner opened a new "urban gym" about a block from us. We paid little notice until Friday, when two of their members called to inquire about packages. Then, at 7pm, one of their coaches signed up for a CrossFit membership.
None of our members have gone over. Without trying, we're +3 and ecstatic about it. I wish the 'urban gym' the best of luck - owning a gym ain't easy - and hope they'll stay friendly.
A final note: if you're thinking of starting a CrossFit gym, good. If you're building your business model around taking current CrossFitters from other CrossFit gyms, we need to talk. Lower prices and snappy graffiti won't trump a good social contract.