Five Key Takeaways from CrossFit’s First 2022 Affiliate Town Hall

Photo Credit: CrossFit YouTube Channel
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CrossFit must evolve coming out of the pandemic and through its leadership change, said Nicole Carroll, CrossFit’s director of training and certification, or it risks making the same mistakes it made in the past.

“The last two years have not been easy on anyone, but they have been especially tough on our affiliates,” Carroll acknowledged in CrossFit’s latest town hall that was titled “Preserve and Evolve.” 

Carroll pointed to a potential rebirth for CrossFit moving forward as headquarters tries to learn from the lessons of what has been a tumultuous 24 months for the company dating back to the ousting of former CEO and founder Greg Glassman, and the onset of the pandemic.

“I can’t say we have all the right answers right now, or that we will do it perfectly at every step, but we will continue with what we started,” she continued. “Our foundation has paved the way for past success and it will continue to drive the future.” 

The town hall, which is now available on YouTube, dives into a number of subjects including the history of the fitness industry, CrossFit’s vision for the future concerning coaches and affiliates. CrossFit usually hosts the town halls once a quarter, however they have been held sporadically throughout the pandemic. 

Jason Dunlop, the former Nike executive who is now CrossFit’s president, was brought in to help grow the sport globally and gave an update on the company’s CEO search.

  • “There’s lots of questions asked where we are with this, given that Eric (Roza) moved to the chair role a few months ago. And I want to be completely transparent and the search has kicked off. We are actually looking for someone, as you’ve heard. CrossFit is a business built around the coach with great leadership and stewardship. And those will be things that we will be looking at. Really worth the cultural fit for how we are going to evolve the business.” 

Nicole Carroll acknowledged the CrossFit landscape has been anything but ideal over the past two years, a declarative statement from CrossFit showing what could be seen as a new modus operandi moving forward in how they handle external relations. She spoke to affiliates directly in applauding their resilience. 

  • “You’ve been in the trenches, fighting the good fight, supporting your communities, not only through the pandemic but through the many changes at CrossFit over the past two years. And even as recently as the past three months, there have been a lot of changes, we’ve been in flux, we’ve asked a lot of you, and we at CrossFit’s home office, have learned a lot in the process.”

Discussing the 2022 goals for the EDU Department (previously known as the Training Department), Nicole Carroll laid out a few key principles:

  • “We’re hyper focused on attracting new coaches, retaining our existing high quality coaches, and developing and making it even more valuable for all of our existing coaches.”
  • “When we look strategically at how we achieve this, we want to find ways to really increase and boost the professional opportunities and recognition for our coaches.” 

Gary Gaines, the general manager of affiliates and international, outlined CrossFit’s business strategy moving forward, which includes leveraging the elites to help galvanize the community and grow the sport. This could been seen as a shift away from previous owner and founder Glassman, who was hesitant to use the sport side of CrossFit to promote the methodology of CrossFit to regular gym goers, affiliates, coaches and participants. 

  • “We are one brand, one CrossFit, we are not three departments trying to focus on our specific verticals. We are one brand and how can we leverage each other’s strengths and opportunities to really drive positive brand awareness, but also drive members through your doors and really make CrossFit a global fitness brand.” 

CrossFit’s general manager of Sport, Justin Bergh, spoke about the ways CrossFit as a sport provides affiliates brand recognition and advertisement opportunities. Bergh highlighted current sport priorities that include: expansion of global audience and content— specifically in South America and Europe, selecting partnerships that benefit affiliates directly, preserving the Games as a competition that produces the “Fittest on Earth”, and using broadcast messaging and reach to steer fans of the sport into local gyms.

  • As part of the preservation of the Games, Bergh officially announced that Adrian Bozman will be leading programming for the 2022 CrossFit Games.

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