Negotiations to extend Reebok’s contract as a sponsor of the CrossFit Games ended abruptly in response to CrossFit founder Greg Glassman’s racial remarks. Reebok’s 10-year exclusive contact as title sponsor of the CrossFit Games and sole licensee of CrossFit apparel and shoes is set to expire sometime after this summer’s games.
- “Our partnership with CrossFit HQ comes to an end later this year. Recently, we have been in discussions regarding a new agreement, however, in light of recent events, we have made the decision to end our partnership with CrossFit HQ.
- “We will fulfill our remaining contractual obligations in 2020. We owe this to the CrossFit Games competitors, fans and the community.”
- “What doesn’t change is our commitment and dedication to CrossFitters and the passionate CrossFit community. We’re so thankful for the strong bonds we’ve created with coaches, box owners and athletes around the world over the past 10 years.”
One big thing: The contract isn’t just to be the title sponsor of the CrossFit Games but also gives Reebok exclusive rights to produce CrossFit apparel. The end of that contract will also end Reebok’s production of exclusively CrossFit shoes and clothing.
Why it matters: Reebok’s exodus puts future CrossFit Games in jeopardy. On top of the multi-million dollar prize purse Reebok contributes each year, the royalty payments from licensing the CrossFit trademark amount to millions for CrossFit. On top of putting pressure on other brands and sponsors to distance themselves from the brand, this will make it harder to find a replacement sponsor for future Games.
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