In this special interview filmed July 5, CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman talks about “money left on the table” because CrossFit doesn’t insert itself in the businesses of its affiliates.
In Coach Glassman’s view, that supposed lost revenue isn’t left on the table at all. It’s actually seed capital for affiliates to grow, it’s opportunity for outside gear and equipment suppliers to help the affiliate community, and it’s a college savings plan for affiliate owners and their trainers. Far from left on the table, the money is actually reinvested in the community by the affiliates, which perpetuates the CrossFit movement.
“We control a very, very small percent of the CrossFit financial ecosystem—and that’s by design,” Coach Glassman explains.
He continues: “If we start to see the affiliates as an economic opportunity for rent extraction, we have to alter our relationship with them, and we abandon this covenant, this charter that’s sacred to all of us, and we kill the very thing that’s making this revolution possible.”
Venture capitalists and investors regularly make offers motivated by misperceptions of CrossFit, but those offers are based on viewing the 4,000 affiliates as points of sale, not as friends.
“I could for millions of dollars, tens of millions, sell my relationship with the affiliates, their business potential and my life’s purpose,” Coach Glassman says. “I could get rid of all of that for probably $50 million. What would I do? Then what? It’s unthinkable to me.
“I’m 55 years old, about to turn 56, and if I could do anything in the world, I would try and create a global network of close friends that were truly making this a better world. We have that right here, right now—and it’s not for sale.”
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SD wmv file size: 67 MB
SD mov file size: 32 MB
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Additional reading: The Garage Gym by Greg Glassman, published Sept. 1, 2002.