A CrossFit Media Tale

Our resident grinder goes behind the scenes of CrossFit Media.
By Jamie Toland, CF-L1 ,

Image of CrossFit Media photographer Dave Re from Fstoppers

If you’ve ever clicked on the games.crossfit.com link and watched the broadcast of the Open Announcements or any of the Regionals, you might not truly realize what all goes into making that happen. I know that before 2013, I didn’t. To me, it all just magically appeared on the screen.

But the reality is that it’s the culmination of hours of hard work by dedicated media teams around the world. My journey to becoming a piece of this elaborate puzzle is something I get asked about quite a bit. I think people just believe I sent an email to CrossFit and asked if I could fly around the country and world and work on the Regional and CrossFit Games broadcasts, and they were just like, “Sure.”

Here is how I got to this point.

In 2013, I was a paid writer for the CrossFit Games site for the North Central Media team during the Open. The Games only paid for one media “head writer” for each Regional at that time, so my friend Nicole got the spot over me (deservingly so). Because of this, I was out of an official job for the event. Our editor/RMD (Regional media director) Alex suggested that I try to work a position called the local “CrossFit expert” and work with the director and producer to help give information and serve as a spotter during the competition. I had NO idea what I was doing, but I got better as the weekend went on and, most important, made a good impression on the director and producer who I worked with at the time.

At which point, I returned to my teaching and freelance writing jobs thinking that was the end of my foray into video media work. I returned, though, and worked at the 2014 North Central Regional as a paid head writer.

Once the North Central wrapped, I assumed that was it for me. Then, later that spring, I got a call from the director I had worked with and he asked if I’d come to the CrossFit Games and work in the graphics department as a “font coordinator.” Although I had no idea what the job entailed, I agreed. Since that time, I’ve worked the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games, three Regionals in 2015, the 2015 Games and three more Regionals this spring. I’m also contracted to work again this summer for the 2016 Games.

What I’ve learned is that there is an army of paid media people who leave their other jobs and families to make these productions happen. Everyone from cameramen to graphics to the director and producer to the audio and replay people are brought in specifically to make sure these events are presented to the CrossFit community in the most professional manner possible. Even though this is mostly an online broadcast, its work, expectations and money committed to these broadcasts are of the highest quality.

Similarly to making it to Regionals or to the Games, working in media for CrossFit is not just something they hand out. Scores of volunteers work tirelessly to make the plans function, but to be someone who CrossFit sees as an integral piece of the media puzzle takes years of dedication. You must pay your dues along the way.

From my beginnings as a paying fan to media volunteer to paid writer to media spotter to a full member of the media team, I always take time to thank everyone along the way and don’t take for granted the awesome opportunity I have, which is to work alongside these incredibly talented and often unsung heroes.

What are your favorite parts of the Regional broadcasts? What are you looking forward to at the Games this summer?

Stay on the grind.

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