CrossFit Media Hire Signals Shift In Content Approach
The CrossFit media approach for the 2021 season is slowly coming into focus, as a recent media team hire of a former employee gives clues to a more committed approach to content output coming from CrossFit HQ.
Nikolaj Ronnow, a longtime videographer in the CrossFit space and former contractor and employee for CrossFit starting in 2012 announced via Instagram that he has been hired to produce content throughout the season on behalf of the CrossFit Games through the company Hamilton Road Productions.
Why this matters: Hamilton Road Productions is a production company based in Santa Cruz, CA that has been contracted by CrossFit LLC to produce content around the sport for the 2021 season.
- The company is owned and run by former HQ employee Charlie Dube, who during his tenure at CrossFit was in charge of producing studio and livestream content surrounding the CrossFit Games including the CrossFit Games Update show, live open announcements, live Regional coverage, and live and post-production coverage of the CrossFit Games on ESPN and CBS.
- Since the media purge of 2018, Dube and Hamilton Road Productions have stayed busy in the CrossFit space, assisting in the production of the Rogue Invitational, the Rogue Iron Game show, the Mayhem Classic, Open announcement 20.1, and Rogue’s coverage of the 2020 CrossFit Games.
The move is a good sign for anyone in the community hoping that under a new ownership group CrossFit can return to its former state of consistently producing high quality content around the sport and greater community for the benefit of the entire ecosystem.
- Hamilton Road has already employed roughly a dozen former CrossFit employees and contractors to assist with production, and considering that CrossFit is still using the Scotts Valley, California office where most of the media team previously operated out of, many of the pieces are already in place to resume production in time for the kick off of the season in March.
The big picture: The new CrossFit ownership began laying the groundwork for this shift towards an expanded media output back in September and October with the added coverage of stage one and two of the 2020 CrossFit Games.
- Stage one included livestream coverage and analysis from some familiar faces in the space, including former employees and contractors like Sean Woodland, Niki Brazier, and Annie Sakamoto.
- Stage two parlayed that coverage into a wider platform through a broadcast deal with CBS, wall-to-wall livestream coverage similar to the years prior to the 2018 purge, and longer form documentary coverage through a partnership with former employees Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers, also known as The Buttery Bros.
The new ownership has repeatedly stated that they want to repair and rebuild the relationships between CrossFit and the community at large. Media and content creation is a significant part of that through the imagery and storytelling that CrossFit chooses to put forth on a regular basis.
- The 2020 calendar year was a tough one for CrossFit and the circumstances that provided the opportunity for the new ownership group also caused a significant amount of collateral damage in the process.
- Changing the narrative and regaining the trust of those lost in that process requires a long term commitment, and consistent action in support of the new objective and mission statement.
The bottom line: Bringing experienced, proven entities on the media side that can execute on the new ownership’s vision back into the fold is a major step in the right direction, and signals that CrossFit is preparing to get back to creating the content that the community wants and deserves.