Key Takeaways from the 10 Year Affiliate Summit

Sep 26, 2019 by

Last weekend, nearly 200 affiliate owners and guests gathered in Whistler for a two-day event. Top brass from CrossFit HQ joined Greg Glassman to sit down with affiliate owners of gyms open for 10 years and longer to answer any questions they have and discuss the current direction of the company. 

A couple of key stats:

  • 193 total affiliates in the room. 
  • 18 different countries. 
  • 804 total 10-year affiliates worldwide today. 
  • 1300 10-year affiliates by next year; 1900 by 2021. 
  • Oldest affiliate at the gathering: Kurtis Bowler, opened Rainier CrossFit in July 2004, 15 years ago. 

One big thing: When asked, affiliate owners gave a resounding yes to whether they’d like to have more of these gatherings, even opening them up to newer affiliates especially for the international community where gyms haven’t been affiliated as long. Affiliate owners are geographically spread out. Outside of the CrossFit Games, there are not a lot of opportunities to network and talk face-to-face. 

  • The last time there was an official affiliate gathering was in 2013 in Big Sky, Montana.
  • The CrossFit affiliate community has more than doubled in size since the last gathering to roughly 15,000+ globally.
  • The 10+ year community is a unique group of owners who have really seen a lot since they affiliated over a decade ago. Many owners expressed gratitude that they had time to network and talk to one another, sharing stories and memories.

Glassman’s mission and priority are health and underserved populations. He believes that CrossFit is the cure for chronic disease and he spoke at length about ways the company is working to reach those underserved populations.

  • CrossFit Underserved, a weekly WOD at CrossFit HQ specifically designed for overweight and unlikely adopters of CrossFit. Glassman cited multiple athletes who have now lost 100+ pounds.
  • CrossFit.com in its current form will continue to be arming affiliate owners — specifically 10+ affiliates — with education tools necessary to become better trainers for more diverse populations.
  • Glassman believes whole-heartedly that the affiliates are the place to make a significant dent in reversing chronic diseases brought on by sedentary lifestyle and high-carb diets.

CrossFit’s battles: Most of the affiliate owners in the room probably hadn’t heard about another important element to what HQ does: defending the brand in the courts. CrossFit’s most publicized court case — the NSCA lawsuit — is only the tip of the spear.

  • CrossFit’s website has an entire section dedicated to highlighting how they’re defending the brand.
  • Glassman explained to owners how some of their legal battles are aimed at preventing “slip-and-fall” type lawsuits from creating a cottage industry milking affiliates for $10,000 settlements.
  • CrossFit will continue to expose the evils of big soda and its influence in health, beverage and nutrition.
  • CrossFit will continue to protect the trademark against genericization, which protects affiliate owners from anyone calling their program “CrossFit”.

The CrossFit Games: Glassman expressed that overall he was pleased with how they played out, especially in the international community. He also expressed that CrossFit has no interest in being in the apparel business once the Reebok contract lapses.


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