CrossFit has flipped the fitness world completely on its head as the world’s leading training modality. It could very well be one of the fastest-growing sports on Earth, too. The CrossFit name is global, and it stands on much more solid ground than fad fitness movements with similar growth.
All that considered, CrossFit has done something just as remarkable with its ability to stiff-arm corporate America better than any person, place or thing we’ve ever seen. Some of the largest, most powerful businesses in America have recognized the unavoidable surge of CrossFit. As expected, these brands seek entrance to the market with big checkbooks and years of clout, only to be turned away.
“You’re not one of us.”
Even the big $150 million partnership with Reebok as the title sponsor to the CrossFit Games has the feel that CrossFit HQ wears the pants in the relationship. As I write this, CrossFit thought leaders are vocally calling out against the global shoe manufacturer.
Who doesn’t love Bob Harper? Well, when Bob first claimed his love for CrossFit, you could cut the tension with a knife around the community. CrossFitters everywhere wondered, “What’s he trying to do?” It has taken more than a year of passionate commitment, training with Brick CrossFit, and the genuine inclusion of CrossFit on The Biggest Loser for people to warm up to the guy.
CrossFit’s unwavering stance on outside influence regardless of price has made a coveted market even more desirable for hangers-on and businesses on the outside looking in. As the founder of a brand with success inside the CrossFit market (ORIGINAL Nutritionals), I see this firsthand. We are genuine, and that’s why we’re successful.
Look at the brands in CrossFit. From old mainstays like Progenex and Rogue to new success stories like Kill Cliff, the common theme is in the commitment to the community. Working from the inside out, anything is possible in this community, and that’s as it should be. I can’t help but recognize this characteristic about the CrossFit community and wish that such barriers to entry existed in other markets. Just imagine if the mass market had a BS filter as powerful as that in the CrossFit community.
Brands and business people consult me often on this topic. The funny thing about the brands that are unsuccessful in this space is that they will spend millions, commit resources, and research to try to “break the code,” but look dumbfounded when I offer my advice: “Why not join a box?”
— Logan Gelbrich