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The Founder’s Views Part 3: The Business of CrossFit by Greg Glassman - CrossFit Journal

In Affiliation, CrossFit, HD Videos

August 03, 2012

Video Article

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.”

5min 34sec

HD file size: 126 MB
SD wmv file size: 67 MB
SD mov file size: 32 MB

Please note: These files are larger than normal Journal videos. For smoother viewing, please download the entire file to your hard drive before watching it (right-click and choose Save Link As...).

Additional reading: The Garage Gym by Greg Glassman, published Sept. 1, 2002.

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21 Comments on “The Founder’s Views Part 3: The Business of CrossFit”


wrote …

How do you not love this guy.


wrote …

Thank you so much for having these videos posted for us. This really makes me love Coach Glassman more and more. I am beyond honored to have this man at the helm of our ship. It takes a bold and passionate man to deny that kind of money to keep something alive. Thank you Coach Glassman...thank you so much.


wrote …

This is super comforting, FYI. Thanks coach!


Luke Davis wrote …

Seriously, makes me love CrossFit even more to know that my thoughts are the same as the man who created it!


wrote …

Having never met Coach Glassman, if he is as sincere as he appears. I am thrilled to be part of his organization. I love CrossFit as an athlete, as a coach, and because of Greg Glassman as an affiliate owner. Thanks Coach!


wrote …

Love you coach, thank you so much. We. Are all in debt to you... Even though that's not what ou want.


Jeri Mcmaster wrote …

Thanks Coach, and all of HQ, for fighting to keep the dream alive.


wrote …

The world needs more Greg GlassmanĀ“s. The real beauty of CrossFit is the camraderie i brings to us all. That is what changes the world. Great job Coach!


wrote …

Just one more reason, at the tender age of 59, I love Crossfit! Thanks Coach!!


Paul Southern wrote …

CrossFit has been and continues to be successful because of Greg's altruistic direction. As Marcus Aurelius was to Rome, Greg is the philosopher king of CrossFit. He leads because he has a singular uncorrupted vision of how this society should ideally exist. He leads because no one else is fit for this idealogical responsibilty. Similar to the constituiton of the United States, these ideals (laid down in early CrossFit Journal articles and often articulated by Greg) are the solid foundation to an enduring community.

Presently we see the looters trying to infiltrate this community we have built. A typical human leader would slowly become corrupt at this level of success and bargain away his beliefs for the looter's tainted contracts. I have heard many members of this community ascribe ill intent to Greg's actions because they are ignorant to his guiding principles and juxtapose their own selfish desires. The deal with Reebok did not represent a massive amount of cash for Greg's pocket, but instead represented an agreement to allow Reebok to associate with our games, athletes, & affiliates in exchange for them carrying the burden of our marketing, gathering, and Games expenses.

Coach is primarily concerned with guiding and fostering this revolution. His intent is not to ensnare millions of people into his database for material exploitation. Although our collective cynicism expects this kind of common outcome. This video series is important to give clarity to those that don't get it. Some of us get it.

Thank you coach. I appreciate you.


replied to comment from Paul Southern

This is a awesome reply well put and written Paul!

"As Marcus Aurelius was to Rome, Greg is the philosopher king of CrossFit."


"Similar to the constituiton of the United States, these ideals are the solid foundation to an enduring community."

These two sentences really embody the commanding respect this community has for Mr. Glassman. Compairing his life's work to The Constitution of the United States, and his Leadership to Marcus Aurelius.

Don't get much better than that. Coach reading this should have that "warm and fussy" feeling right about now.

Love this guy and the community he established.
Thanks Coach


wrote …

This is exactly why traditional martial arts are dying. The feudal economic structure completely corrupts the relationship with the small schools, who are barely getting by in the first place.


wrote …

Way to be! It would beyond sad to let the idealism of Crossfit dye as a result of greed. We each take care of one another from WOD to WOD and beyond. Lets not let that go.


replied to comment from Paul Southern

Mr. Southern,

I could Never Imagine someone articulating coaches views in such a way that Leaves me with such a profound Respect for the Leaders of this COMMUNITY!! Thank You!

We Are CrossFit!!


wrote …

I agree with all the sentiments expressed above. Thanks Coach Glassman and the rest of HQ for the transparency. It is refreshing and deepens my affinity for CF. Rock on.


wrote …

Greg's the man!


Dale Saran wrote …

You know, I was in the room and part of the conversation - and watching it now, it's more profound the second time. Seriously - I was really paying attention then and now watching it I'm struck by how much "stuff" is in this. Man, that's good.


replied to comment from Les Porter

Les, he is. But don't take my word for it. There's a track record - look at the quality of people that have stayed as the core of CFHQ. Look at the efforts that CF supports - St Jude, ISR, Operation Phoenix, and others. Look at the price of the cert - still $1000, but the value has increased significantly over the years. No advertisement on or the CFJ. Deliberate choices about how to make money and pay a staff in un-encumbering ways that avoid conflicts of interest. From my admittedly biased view, the commitment is neither new nor unclear. I join your enthusiasm.


wrote …

I have been doing CrossFit since 2006, and I have never felt better about CrossFit or Coach Glassman than I do after watching this video. I know he will lead us through this storm. Thank you for your Vision and loyalty to it.

Cory Worf
CrossFit Weddington


wrote …

Untill I witness and receive confirmation that Bryan Kelly and His "INVESTORS" attempt FRAN RX...then maybe, I will start to Consider Showing them ANY kind of RESPECT!! For Now...they can ALL Lick my Almondbuttered UP NUTTZ!!

WE ARE CrossFit!


replied to comment from William Houghton


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