CrossFit CEO Roza ‘Viewed Favorably’ by 85% of U.S. CrossFitters, Nationwide Poll Shows

December 3, 2020 by
Photo credit: CrossFit LLC
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Newly minted CEO Eric Roza is enjoying widespread favorability in the CrossFit community in his first fourth months according to the first nationwide poll of CrossFit athletes powered by Morning Chalk Up, Triib and TrueCoach and conducted by 0ptimus Analytics, a Washington D.C.-based political data firm, from September 18 — October 19, 2020. 

  • 85% of U.S.-based CrossFitters have a “favorable view”; 61% have a “strongly favorable” view.
  • Roza’s unfavorables are virtually non-existent, with less than 1.5% having an unfavorable opinion. 
  • 14.2% didn’t have an opinion. 

One big thing: Roza acquired CrossFit and stepped into the CEO role in a tumultuous moment as the community was reeling from controversial statements by and revelations about founder Greg Glassman. Immediately upon taking the reins, it felt like Roza was able to instill confidence and goodwill among affiliate owners, gym members, athletes and other stakeholders in the CrossFit ecosystem. The results of this survey provide quantitative evidence for that feeling. 

Going deeper: When asked about their perception of CrossFit’s future “given the changes in CrossFit ownership and leadership,” respondents answered even more strongly — 92% expressed a positive view, including 63% who have a “strongly positive” view.

  • On the issue of inclusivity, 53.7% answered “very inclusive” to the question, “How inclusive of all genders, races, and backgrounds do you consider the CrossFit community to be?” An additional 29.1% answered “somewhat inclusive”, while 10% answered “somewhat not inclusive,” and 3.6% “not inclusive at all.”
  • Respondents are optimistic about inclusivity in CrossFit going forward. Given the new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives, including the CrossFit Diversity Program, 80.1% believe that the future of CrossFit to be either “strongly” (34.3%) or “somewhat” (45.8%) more inclusive. Importantly, 17.8% responded that they were “unsure,” while “1.5%” answered “somewhat less inclusive.”
  • It’s worth noting that, among the respondents, there were no noticeable differences of opinion between those who identified as “white” and “Hispanic,” but those who identified as “other” were slightly less optimistic on these questions.
  • On the question of gym affiliation, 73.3% answered that it is “very important” (31.1%) or “somewhat important” (42.2%) for their gym to be a CrossFit affiliate. Just over a quarter, 26.7% find it unimportant. 

The Open: In 2019, CrossFit moved the Open to October to facilitate the changes related to the Sanctionals season. One of Eric Roza’s early announcements after taking ownership of the company was that the Open would move back to its original calendar slot in February/March.

  • Respondents were generally very supportive of moving the CrossFit Open back to its traditional timeframe. More than 3/4ths, 76% stated that they “strongly” or “somewhat” supported the change. Only 1.4% disapproved, while 23% had no opinion.    

Why it matters: To say that CrossFit LLC had a tumultuous year would be an understatement. For the first time in its history, the company changed ownership and while the CEO role had changed hands previously, the company saw 3 people in that role over the course of just a few weeks last summer. At the end of all of this, though, our data suggests that the future is bright and the community holds the new leadership and some of its initial decisions in very high regard.

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