In an exclusive interview with Armen Hammer TV, Greg Glassman revealed that the years-long rule barring athletes from wearing footwear other than Reebok has been lifted and athletes can wear whatever shoes they want at the 2019 CrossFit Games.
- Translation: NIKE, NOBULL, Under Armour, inov-8, Adidas and any other shoe an athlete prefers to wear will be allowed.
- The shoe restrictions were never part of the original contract with Reebok. They were implemented in 2014. Reebok began providing athletes a broad spectrum of footwear for the competition: Nanos, cleated boots, Olympic lifters, Speed TR, and others.
- To be clear, this does not include apparel. Athletes will still be wearing Reebok supplied clothing.
Why this matters. Footwear companies have long expressed frustration that their athletes couldn’t wear their shoes on the biggest stage of their sport — the CrossFit Games. This amounts to a huge missed opportunity for companies like NIKE and NOBULL from marketing their product.
- Viewership by the numbers: According to Facebook, 10.8 million viewers tuned in to watch the CrossFit Games season on Facebook. While some of those numbers include the Open and Regionals, brands are still missing the biggest event which draws millions of viewers.
- With this change, athletes can hopefully negotiate shoe deals that better support them financially.
- Don’t expect to see NIKE and NOBULL in vendor village though. As the title sponsor of the CrossFit Games, Reebok is entitled to protections against direct competitors. That’s not going to change until the contract is up.
Who you can expect to see rocking non-Reebok footwear at the 2019 CrossFit Games so far:
- For NIKE: Sara Sigmundsdottir, Mathew Fraser, Laura Horvath, Lukas Högberg, Jacob Heppner, CrossFit Invictus, Cole Sager, Sam Kwant and Travis Mayer.
- For NOBULL: Kristi Eramo and Brooke Wells.
- For Under Armour: James Newbury.
- For inov-8: Dani Speegle.