World-Renowned Swim Brand TYR Moves in the CrossFit Space “Aggressively”
When COVID -19 hit and swimming pools around the world closed, many elite level swimmers, including athletes on last summer’s Tokyo Olympic Games team, turned to CrossFit as a way to supplement their training.
Curious as to what all the fuss is about, Matt DiLorenzo—the CEO of TYR, a swimming brand known for their portfolio of swimwear, goggles and eyewear—decided to check it out, as well.
And just like his TYR swimming athletes, DiLorenzo fell in love with CrossFit and the community at large and decided that his company would be wise to enter the CrossFit space, as well.
So seven months ago, DiLorenzo brought on two-time CrossFit Games team athlete and Level 1 coach Corey Berger as TYR’s Director of CrossFit and Fitness.
Since then, with Berger acting as a consultant for athlete acquisition, TYR has signed an impressive roster of Games athletes, including Emma Cary, Noah Ohlsen, Travis Mayer, Meg Reardon, Saxon Panchik, Amanda Barnhart, Will Moorad and Bethany Shadburne.
Who is TYR: TYR is a leading swim brand founded by Joseph DiLorenzo and 1972 Olympic bronze medalist Steve Furniss in 1985 in California.
- They sponsor many top-level swimmers, including seven-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky, two-time Olympic gold medalist Simone Manuel, and 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte. TYR placed the most swimmers on Team USA in 2021, making them the number one brand at last summer’s Olympics.
- TYR is also an emerging brand in the triathlon community and sponsor James Lawrence, commonly known as the Iron Cowboy, a man who completed 101 Ironman triathlons 101 days in a row.
Moving Into CrossFit
Berger, a 2014 and 2015 Games team athlete, first became acquainted with TYR last year when he was training for a half Ironman and needed a wetsuit. He was soon introduced to DiLorenzo, and the conversation began.
“I started out just by consulting and as our conversation got deeper, I was like, ‘We need to do it right. We need to get feedback from the top athletes in CrossFit…One thing led to another and eventually I got involved with athlete acquisition and product development,” Berger said, adding that TYR has 22 different technical patents for their swimsuits, and they plan to use this technology to develop technical apparel for the CrossFit athlete, as well.
Currently they’re in the testing phase, where TYR athletes like Cary, Ohlsen and Mayer are testing apparel and providing feedback for their line of CrossFit apparel set to be released in April 2022. Then in 2023, TYR plans to release a footwear line, including a trainer shoe, a running shoe and a weightlifting shoe.
Though still in development, Berger pointed out that Mayer wore TYR shorts at the recent Rogue Invitational in Austin, TX, “and every event where he wore our new shorts were his best finishes,” Berger said.
Further, many Games athletes, including Annie Thorisdottir, Pat Vellner, Ohlsen and Panchik all wore TYR sunglasses at the Games in Madison, WI last summer.
The athletes like TYR’s sunglasses because they have technology that doesn’t impact your frame of vision, they’re lightweight and durable, and you can do handstand push-ups without them falling off your face, Berger explained, adding that he watched Cary “bang out reps of ring muscle-ups” wearing the sunglasses, and they stayed put. “They kind of suck to your face,” he added.
As a result, TYR recently announced a partnership with Wodapalooza and will be the title sunglass sponsor of the Miami-based competition in January.
Beyond big competitions like the Rogue Invitational and Wodapalooza, TYR is also committed to getting involved in the community at more grassroots events, be it local competitions or “fundraisers with a good cause,” Berger said.
“We’re being aggressive (entering the CrossFit space) but it’s calculated aggression in how we’re moving forward and growing awareness in the space as we continue to support more athletes and the community as a whole,” he added.
The Perfect Partnership
DiLorenzo explained TYR’s ultimate goal is to help each type of athlete achieve their goals.
“Training Crossfit daily, we understand the demands of the sport from the everyday gym go-er to the elite athlete. Our goal at TYR is to pour that same level of passion, commitment and authenticity into everything we design and produce, so we can help each athlete fulfill their potential,” DiLorenzo said.
Berger added: “We have very specific values we believe in as a company: being technically proficient and making sure our products work for everyone that puts them on. And number two, we’re focused on people who are driven to elevate themselves in whatever sport they compete in.”
And that’s exactly what makes the TYR-CrossFit connection a perfect marriage, he said.