CrossFit Games Considering Cancelation, Going Online
March 27 POWERED BY
Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Tommy Marquez and Sean Woodland sat down with Dave Castro, Director of the CrossFit Games, to get his thoughts on a variety of topics, importantly — what do the current plans for the 2020 Games look like? And, from brands banding together to help affiliates, to at-home competitions and another company working on supplying masks for medical staff, it’s all hands on deck in the CrossFit community. Today:
Contingency planning and the CrossFit Games.
JUNK Brands is producing masks for medical staff.
O2 Recovery and Born Primitive are helping affiliates.
Competition Corner is offering affiliates opportunities to organize in-home competitions for free.
“Isolation is aloneness that feels forced upon you, like a punishment. Solitude is aloneness you choose and embrace. I think great things can come out of solitude, out of going to a place where all is quiet except the beating of your heart.”– Jeanne Marie Laskas
CrossFit Considering Multiple “Contingency Plans” Including Cancellation, Going Online
The Director of the CrossFit Games Dave Castro told Talking Elite Fitness co-hosts Tommy Marquez and Sean Woodland in a live interview that the Games staff is looking at all possible contingency plans for the 2020 Games, including canceling the event outright. Castro made it clear that a go/no go date for a decision is “approaching quickly.”
The Coronavirus has sent a shockwave through the 2019-2020 Games season — 13 Sanctionals have postponed, one has moved online entirely and other organizers are considering not holding their events at all this season.
The big picture: Conversations about an outright cancellation of the season have been circulating among industry leaders and stakeholders since early last week, but this is the first time a CrossFit Games official has hinted that it’s being considered. Castro is well known for being tight-lipped and keeping information close.
Here’s what he said:
“We’re looking at a lot of contingency plans, obviously one big one being not doing [the Games] that’s looking more and more likely to happen.”
“There’s delaying it, there’s delaying it a year just skipping the year, there’s also talk about doing it online, so we’re looking at all options.”
“The online option sounds intriguing, interesting, kind of who we are in some degree, foundationally we start online what if it was to end online and everyone was able to play even, not over the course of five weekends but maybe over the course of a weekend just like the Games. That needs to be fleshed out but these are some of the things we’re looking at and talking about.”
“I think there’s a lot of value in just holding tight for a little bit longer and watching how all this plays out.”
One big thing: When asked about the hypothetical scenario that the Games is canceled and what that would mean for the Games qualifiers/invitees, Castro admitted it wasn’t entirely his call but said “my suggestion would be start over, don’t carry over.”
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JUNK Brands to Manufacture, Donate Face Masks to Healthcare Professionals
JUNK Brands is the latest company with ties to the CrossFit community to join the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In an Instagram post on Wednesday, the apparel company best known for making headbands announced that it would also start producing face masks that will be donated to healthcare professionals.
Doing their part: JUNK Brands reached out to local and federal officials to offer their services in light of national mask shortages in the healthcare industry.
After being advised and ultimately approved by both entities to manufacture masks, JUNK Brands dedicated a segment of their operations to focus specifically on mask production immediately.
The masks will not be sold to the public and are only available to those healthcare professionals that are in need.
To request masks to be donated to you or your organization, JUNK Brands has set up a website where those in need can fill out a request to receive them.
JUNK Brands is warning those who request and receive their masks that they are not official medical-grade masks. Their masks are made of fabric and not N95 or equivalent performing masks however they are still a benefit for those in the healthcare profession in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
“We have seen the effect COVID-19 is having on the CrossFit community globally and we wanted to find a way to help,” commented Craig Lile, President and General Manager of JUNK Brands. “We decided quickly that masks were our best option. We know our impact will not be necessarily massive but every mask we can make will make a difference in the fight.”
JUNK Brands has also introduced a “Social Distancing” headband collection. The collection features ten new styles with 100% of the profits going to the Feeding America COVID-19 response fund. Feeding America is a nonprofit organization that provides meals for communities nationwide through food banks.
Lile added, “Encouraging the behaviors we should all follow, making people smile and donating to a great cause was a perfect synergy. We are doing everything we can and I’m proud of everyone at JUNK who is making this happen.”
Shopping With These Two Brands Goes Directly to Your CrossFit Affiliate
Companies across the industry have scrambled in the last couple of weeks to financially support affiliates closing all across the United States. Leading the charge is O2 Natural Recovery who last week began donating 50% of all profits from online sales directly to affiliates. Now Born Primitive has joined the cause.
One big thing: The idea is catching momentum. After launching last week, O2 had its largest e-commerce month in company history. Sales were up 606% in just a week and now Born Primitive is joining the cause and several other brands are in discussions.
The details: Here’s how you can support yourgym while shopping online.
Locate your gym’s unique codehere. If you don’t see your gym listed, you can send O2 an email.
Use your gym’s unique code at checkout to ensure that 50% of profits are sent to them.
Why they’re doing this:
Dave Colina, Owner of O2: “Affiliate owners and their coaches are some of the most influential people in their members’ lives, and without them O2 wouldn’t be where we are today. We believe there are hundreds of thousands of affiliate members who feel the same way about their local affiliate owner, and the Community Coalition empowers them to give back to them directly while supporting brands that are doing the same. None of us know how this will shake out, but we know that in crisis, we’re stronger together, and if there’s any community that was built to withstand hard times it’s this one. It’s hard to give back in such a time of uncertainty, but hard people do hard things when they know it’s the right thing to do.”
Bear Handlon, Owner of Born Primitive: “The CrossFit gym owner is the foundation of the entire community. My journey started in a local CrossFit gym, and it gave me the privilege to compete at the CrossFit Games and start a brand that was born in this space. I feel a personal obligation to use our platform at Born Primitive to help out, and I encourage other brands to try to do the same. Without these gyms and their members, we might not have ever existed in the first place.”
Free In-House Competitions For Affiliates
With CrossFit affiliates all over the world on hiatus due to government orders as a result of the coronavirus, gym-owners are going to great lengths to find ways to engage their client base and provide value to their loyal members during the quarantine. Gym-goers are forced to get creative in their efforts to get their fitness fix, and many brands within the space are shifting focus to donate time and energy to help bring the splintered communities together.
Competition Corner, the online scoring and competition hosting company that is home to 22 Sanctionals and 3,200 competitions in 74 countries annually, is now offering its platform for free to gym-owners in order to host their own online competition for their members and local communities.
Rev those engines: Many affiliates have already made significant changes in order to keep things afloat, like offering at-home programming, virtual classes, or lending out equipment to their members. This is another tool for coaches, and gym-owners to utilize to help keep their clients engaged, and active during the quarantine.
Intramural competitions: Similar to any other in-house competitions for an affiliate amongst their members. Create individual or team competitions with different skill levels and programming.
Local throwdowns: Affiliates in the same city or area can band together to create a friendly competition between their individual gyms to help build bridges within their community under a common purpose.
“At the moment, it’s about getting through this together and we’re trying to share the message that gyms can use our platform as another creative solution,” says Competition Corner founder Michael Huynh, “we want to help keep that camaraderie we all love alive and well amongst their members.”
It’s no secret that the umbrella of competition can create all sorts of magic for athletes of any level. It’s why the CrossFit Games Open has been such a powerful tool for gyms since its inception in 2011. We’re also smack dab in the middle of a period where millions of people are feeling the listlessness of being isolated at home for weeks on end. The CrossFit community will be looking for any excuse to get up off the couch, be accountable, interact with friends (virtually), and get the good juices flowing through some exercise.
For gym owners: If you’re interested in utilizing the Competition Corner platform, please contact them directly by emailing Michael Huynh at [email protected].
Proving Grounds: Jeffrey Adler in Dubai, Episode Two
At the 2019 Dubai CrossFit Championship, the Morning Chalk Up crew followed Canadian national champion Jeffrey Adler through four-days of competition to take fans behind the scenes as one of CrossFit’s rising stars competes at one of the premiere CrossFit competitions of the season.
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