In this episode, the guys chat about the recent racist comments of the founder of Crossfit and how systemic racism negatively effects marketing within the fitness community. Chad names his favorite weightlifting movement, and Nico geeks out on gamification.

CrossFit’s founder, Greg Glassman, announced his retirement Tuesday evening after big backlash caused by his offensive remarks on Twitter, Zoom calls and email communication. Nico and Chad take a closer look at this incident and how it was received by both the CrossFit fanatics and everyone else. 

CrossFit was formally established in 2000. The company’s first affiliate was CrossFit North in Seattle. By 2005, there were 13 affiliates. In 2012, a mere dozen years after the company started, there are 3,400 affiliates worldwide. So how is it that this brand grew so quickly?

The guys discuss how the CrossFit brand is supposed to be very inclusive. The “box” should be a place where people of all ages, races, religions, sex etc should feel confident and comfortable and put their focus on leading a healhty lifestyle. Unfortunately, that isn’t really the case. Your average CrossFit box will consist of mostly caucasion, high income members – very inclusive right?!

CrossFit has a history of erratic behavior, poor communication, and controversy. They shut down their social media accounts in 2019 shortly after announcing major changes to the games format without warning. So what happened? Take a closer look at the timeline here. 

The guys end the show off by discussing what Marketing lessons we can take from what happened with Greg Glassman:

  1. What CEO’s say or tweet – matters and people take note
  2. Don’t allow your brand to be in a position where a single person can hijack it
  3. Be consistent and transparent in communications
  4. Look for contradictions in your brand and actively work on solving them
  5. Consider the opinions of not just your current customer base, but also your target customers (they were trying to globally and ethnically expand)
  6. Nothing is private anymore. Text messages, zoom calls, internal company meetings. You should always conduct yourself under the assumption that private conversations will be made public 

One thing to remember is that NOTHING is private anymore. Conduct yourself and your business as if everything you say or do will be made public.

Enjoy the show!

We speak about:

  • [00:20] Snatch, or clean and jerk?
  • [01:20] Greg Glassman racist comments.
  • [03:40] Introduction to CrossFit.
  • [06:20] The history of CrossFit.
  • [09:00] The numbers in CrossFit – is it inclusive?
  • [10:50] Why is CrossFit so expensive?
  • [11:50] How big is CrossFit?
  • [14:00] How did it get so big?
  • [17:20] Shutting down their social media.
  • [19:10] Tone-deaf communication from CrossFit CEO
  • [29:50] Lessons to be learned



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Lisa Gail Shimotakahara
June 20, 2020 11:22 am

As former loyalists of CrossFit, Nico and Chad grapple with the ugly Greg Glassman debacle and ask some hard questions, for which they don’t pretend have the answers: How does a company divorce itself from its founding father? How do CrossFit members move forward in the aftermath? And what does the aftermath really look like, not just for the brand, but for all of us?