CrossFit Games

SugarWOD, Zen Planner, UpLaunch Working Together to Create Seamless Open Experience at Affiliates

March 10, 2022 by
In Partnership With
Enjoying Morning Chalk Up? Access additional exclusive interviews, analyses, and stories with an Rx membership.

Remember CrossFit circa 2011? When you had some members texting, others emailing and still others Facebook messaging you to sign up for their Open heat time? All the while, you were actively chasing three members down for new credit card numbers and building a spreadsheet to keep track of everyone’s Open scores?

When it comes to streamlining systems and processes, affiliate owners have come a long way in the last decade, partly because, “There’s an app for that.”

That being said, if your apps don’t integrate with each other, you’ll likely still have an efficiency problem, hindered by a clusterfuck of apps populating your phone: one app for client management, one for group class workout-tracking, one for delivering individualized programs, one for marketing and communicating with existing members and on and on..

“Over 2,000 Athletes were able to book workouts throughout the entire CrossFit Games weekend, with over 160 classes available.”

This problem is one that three well-known software companies—SugarWOD (workout tracking and community building tool), Zen Planner (gym management software), and UpLaunch (marketing automation and lead generation software)—are actively solving for affiliate owners by seamlessly integrating with each other for a better client, coach, and business experience. 

“We first beta-tested the integration at the 2021 CrossFit Games…to great success. Over 2,000 Athletes were able to book workouts throughout the entire CrossFit Games weekend, with over 160 classes available,” explained Courtney Prentice, SugarWOD’s Marketing Brand Manager. “SugarWOD provides an excellent user experience…while Zen Planner does the heavy lifting behind the scenes.”

Never has this integration been more useful for clients and affiliate owners alike as during the always stressful, always somewhat chaotic Open season. 

In New Jersey: Mike Jones is one of the owners of CrossFit Waldwick in NJ, a gym he has been running since 2017. His entire gym is currently doing the CrossFit Open, and he says Zen Planner, in conjunction with SugarWOD, has helped things run a lot more smoothly. 

  • Smith admitted he has tried a few different client management systems, but switched to Zen Planner when he found out they had partnered with SugarWOD, as it just made sense to him. His clients are now able to use just one app to both sign up for classes or the Open workout and log their score.
  • “Communication-wise, it’s the best experience I have had, and I have used a lot of platforms. It’s just one app you have to use, as opposed to having multiple apps. Now when you go to Zen Planner, everything is there,” he said. “It’s really, really easy, really simple,” added Jones, who also just started using UpLaunch, which allows him to email campaigns for different types of prospects. 
  • “You can set up campaigns to go out to different groups of people, like existing members or past members, or new leads….Recently, since COVID, some people got away from the gym and we had lost touch,” he said. As a result, one campaign helped him bring back six clients who had fallen off during the pandemic. 
  • And like SugarWOD, UpLaunch integrates with Zen Planner, allowing him to use just one platform for multiple tasks. “I don’t have to do it manually anymore. Both systems integrate to capture new business,” he said. 
Photo credit: SugarWOD

In Las Vegas: CrossFit Social City in Las Vegas, NV is also programming the Open workout on Friday nights this month, and owner Omar Foster said having these software systems in place has made the experience less stressful.

  • “We have continued to use Zen Planner for class reservations (during the Open) so coaches have a good idea of how many members to expect in their classes.…SugarWOD has been great with loading the Open workout in the system, so that we can just drag and drop into the Whiteboard programming,” Foster said.

And in Colorado: Finally, Amy Smith, the General Manager of CrossFit Roots in Boulder, CO, who has 149 members doing the Open this year, said the Zen Planner, SugarWOD and UpLaunch partnership is critical for her community, especially during the Open.

  • “Class sign-ups and waitlists are managed by Zen Planner. We use UpLaunch to send out mass communication to individuals who have signed up for the Open. It’s helpful to be able to separate this group from the entire member base,” she said, adding that SugarWOD has also been a great community-building tool. 
  • “Our intramural teams have team logos and members temporarily change their profile picture to represent their team in SugarWOD as a form of team spirit,” she explained.

The big picture: During CrossFit LLC’s first Town Hall in August 2020, CrossFit owner Eric Roza talked about the importance of more tools and systems, such as app and software companies, in order for coaches and gym owners to waste less time on administrative work and more time doing what they love: coaching. 

  • “The more entrepreneurs and businesses that are built on our platform, the more there are going to be opportunities for the people who are the best at what they do in our ecosystem to make their living doing CrossFit-related stuff…The best coaches are not at all necessarily the best entrepreneurs. We need to have entrepreneurs find ways to leverage their talents more,” he said.

And it seems that the partnership between SugarWOD, Zen Planner, and Uplaunch is taking a step in providing exactly this. 

Get the Newsletter

For a daily digest of all things CrossFit. Community, Competitions, Athletes, Tips, Recipes, Deals and more.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.