CrossFit Games

CrossFit to Broadcast Open in French, Portuguese and Spanish as New Global Push Emerges

February 5, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Victoria Campos (@ victoriacampos013)
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CrossFit will broadcast all three 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Live Open announcements in French, Portuguese and Spanish as the company hints at a new global expansion push. 

Headquarters said the broadcasting of 23.1, 23.2, and 23.3, which kicks off Feb. 16 live at Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain is part of a larger plan to help grow the sport globally into new territories outside of the sport’s stronghold of North America. 

  • “Foreign-language broadcasting is important for us because while CrossFit may have been created in the United States, it truly has a global reach,” said Daniel Chaffey, Director of International GYM Operations at CrossFit. “More and more participants in the CrossFit Open are coming from countries outside of the U.S. and we expect this trend to continue.”

Hungary’s Laura Horvath, Poland’s Gabriela Migala, Serbia’s Lazar Djukic, and Iceland’s Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson will compete head-to-head just moments after Test 23.1 is revealed during the live broadcast, which begins at 9 pm CT.

CrossFit’s push outside of the US and Canada has been one that has garnered mixed reactions in the past, however Open registration numbers point to the company and sport’s potential expansion outside of North America.

As of last week, according to numbers released by CrossFit, the box with the most Open registrants is currently Superforce CrossFit in Brazil, which has a number of locations within the southern portion of the country below Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. 

Of the top ten boxes in the world, Brazil has three, Spain has one (CrossFit Full with 203 registrants), Puerto Rico has two (CrossFit Human Performance A.S. with 176 and Jibaros CrossFit with 152), France has one (CrossFit 571 with 157) and the US has the remaining three. 

Before the pandemic, Brazil was seen as one of the fastest growing countries in terms of CrossFit, and now looks to be reemerging once again post-pandemic under a new economic climate. The country has a number of promising athletes as well on the elite level including Guilherme Malheiros, who came 10th at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games and Victoria Campos, who came 33rd.

France has long been a CrossFit stronghold, as it has the most CrossFit boxes outside of the US, however country manager Julian Festor did concede there is a bit of a divide between headquarters and the country, partially due to geography and language. The same issue seems to be a small sticking point for CrossFit enthusiasts in Spain according to its country manager, Natalia Diez, as translation of materials to Spanish remains a big hurdle there. 

One big thing: CrossFit’s potential to expand in North America may have already hit its peak given current data, however globally, the sport could have untapped potential on a number of continents and in countries with fitness enthusiasts. Some or many of them, however, do not speak English, or do not speak English as a first language. CrossFit HQ seems to understand getting people to watch in their native tongue is key:

  • “Multi-language coverage will help us engage with more athletes in regions where we see participation in CrossFit growing rapidly,” said Justin Bergh, General Manager of Sport. “English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish broadcasts give us unique opportunities to encourage more viewers across the world to find a CrossFit gym near them.”

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