“We took $150,000 from a supplement company. Is that a bad thing?” CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman asks.
Supplements fall outside the CrossFit program, but Glassman doesn’t believe that a supplement company can’t advertise at the CrossFit Games. Allowing someone to put up some signs and feature products in the vendor tents certainly doesn’t mean CrossFit endorses those products. Coors Lite is the official beer sponsor of the Super Bowl—but does every player and executive in the NFL drink it?
“It’s like advertising,” Glassman says of Games sponsorship. “They gave me money and I put their banner up. You tell me if it’s good or not. I’m not going to be endorsing Mercedes-Benz or Rolex or Progenex, but I’ll take sponsorship from all of them.”
The CrossFit Games are a monumental undertaking, and funding them is a huge challenge. Instead of passing the costs along to the spectators and athletes, CrossFit HQ has chosen to let sponsors advertise, which will help keep admission and registration costs down, stream the Games live on the Internet for free, and give $25,000 cash to the winners.
Companies who support the Games are also free to make their cases to the CrossFit community about the efficacy and validity of their products and services. CrossFitters, after all, are encouraged to determine what produces the best performances.
“We’ve got nothing to fear, and there’s no ego any of this—but I’m going to get my Games funded,” Glassman asserts.
Video by CrossFit Films by Jordan Gravatt.
Additional reading: Let the 2009 CrossFit Games Begin by Mike Warkentin, published July 4, 2007.