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CrossFit’s CMO Exits Company as Exodus Continues 

 
Morning Chalk Up

September 7   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • CrossFit’s CMO details why she’s leaving the company
  • Should we remove our asterisk thinking from the 2020 CrossFit Games?
  • The non-existent off-season for CrossFit’s elites
  • Gabriela Migala announces she’s leaving The Progrm
 
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INDUSTRY
  CrossFit’s Chief Marketing Officer Set to Leave Company as Exodus Continues 

CrossFit’s Chief Marketing Officer Set to Leave Company as Exodus Continues

CrossFit’s Chief Marketing Officer, Erin Clift, has announced she will be leaving the company effective September 14. No replacement has been announced, but the CrossFit media and marketing teams will now report to Alison Andreozzi, the Chief Financial Officer and former interim head of CrossFit.

One big thing: Clift is the fifth C-suite or Director level executive to transition out of their position with the company in the past eight months, signaling a significant amount of uncertainty among CrossFit LLC’s top leadership for the future of the company.

  • On May 16, Jeremy Landis, CrossFit’s Chief Technology Officer announced that he was stepping down from his position after a 17-month tenure.
  • Then, Alison Andreozzi was named as the “interim head of CrossFit,” Dave Castro was rehired by the company as a “key affiliate advisor,” and Eric Roza stepped down as CEO.
  • During the CrossFit Games week, on August 2, Don Faul, a Marine veteran and leader in fitness tech, was named the new CEO of CrossFit. Faul, a combat veteran and former platoon commander, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, has held key roles at several technology companies including Pinterest, Meta, and Google. Most recently he was CEO of Athos, a smart apparel company that offers technology that tracks data on muscle activity.
  • On August 26, Jason Dunlop, the (now former) president of CrossFit announced that he was leaving the company to take a lead role at Orangetheory Fitness on his public LinkedIn account.

What they’re saying: In a September 1 letter to the staff at CrossFit HQ and shared with The Morning Chalk Up by a CrossFit spokesperson, Clift wrote: “I wanted to let you know that I’ve made the difficult decision to leave CrossFit.”

  • I am still inspired and passionate about CrossFit’s mission, methodology, community, potential, and people, and I remain totally committed to my personal CrossFit journey, but I’ve decided that it’s time to start a new chapter in my professional life, so my last day at CrossFit will be September 14,” she continued.
  • “Although I made my decision prior to the Games, I have loved getting to know Don (Faul) over the past month, and I have never been more excited and confident about CrossFit’s future. As you know, Don is leading a strategic planning process, and that process will include the best way to drive our marketing and media efforts going forward. In the interim, the marketing and media team is going to maintain its current structure but reporting will shift from me to Alison (Andreozzi), so we can reduce disruption and maintain our great momentum into the fall.”
  • She concluded: “Thank you for everything, and I look forward to following all of the ways you will continue to change lives through CrossFit.”

Remind me: Prior to joining CrossFit in October 2021, Clift was the Chief Marketing Officer at Waze from 2017-2021, and before that, the Global Vice President for Marketing and Partnerships at Spotify. Prior to that, Clift worked in a variety of director-level marketing roles Google for seven years.

  • In an emerging pattern (following Landis and Dunlop), Clift leaves CrossFit at about the one-year mark of her tenure. Landis stayed with the company for 17 months, and Dunlop for a little over a year.

The bottom line: How much turnover is too much turnover at the executive level in less than a year? The picture is becoming clear that CrossFit is moving into a rebuilding phase, but what about the rebuilding phase that started in 2020? The CrossFit Games were undoubtedly a success, but it’s hard not to view the executive team as treading water at best right now.

 
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SPEED READS

In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Casey Acree on his progression as an athlete:

  • “You can see the progression from year one to year two.”

Comp announcement: Mat Fraser and the HWPO team are going to be programming the 10th edition of the Dubai CrossFit Championship.

Interesting: Is Rogue working on a bike? 🚴🏻

Rolling in: The one and only Annie Thorsisdottir is the latest athlete to officially announce her participation at the 2022 Rogue Invitational, which goes Oct. 28-30 in Austin, TX. For a complete list of athletes who have confirmed so far, check their official leaderboard.

Local love: Great story about the Gulfport Fire Department and Harrison County Fire Rescue honoring one of their fallen brothers with a CrossFit workout.

 
 
CROSSFIT GAMES
  Do the 2020 Pandemic CrossFit Games Really Need an Asterisk? 

MEMBER EXCLUSIVE

Do the 2020 Pandemic CrossFit Games Really Need an Asterisk?

Like many events that unfolded during the worldwide pandemic, when we talk about the 2020 CrossFit Games, there’s often a consensus that we need to place a disclaimer next to it.

2020 was, after all, anything but a normal season.

Various Sanctional qualification events were canceled, and the first half of the Games took place online, with athletes competing in the comfort of their home gyms, and where only the top five qualified to the Finals in Aromas, CA, a competition that took place without a crowd.

Can you blame people for wondering if that year was really legitimate in terms of finding the fittest?

And when you look at the top of the men’s leaderboard that year, the theory grew stronger. Where were the usual top five suspects, like Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson, Pat Vellner and Brent Fikowski?

Instead, it was Sam Kwant—who in three Games appearances had never broken the top 12 before—and the then relatively unknown Jeff Adler—who placed 33rd the year before in his rookie season—who managed to finish second and fifth respectively. Further, rookie Justin Medeiros, just 21 at the time, came out of essentially nowhere and finished third.

Did any of those men really belong in the top five in the world?

Continue Reading...
 
CROSSFIT GAMES
  Do the 2020 Pandemic CrossFit Games Really Need an Asterisk? 

Is There an off Season for Professional Crossfit Athletes?

Most professional sports have an off season that lasts about 6 months. But for CrossFit? If we factor in the off season major competitions and the online qualification process, there’s really only about a month of true downtime. Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with head coach at Underdogs Athletics, Justin Cotler, Brian Friend and Joe Genetin-Pilawa to layout the whole season, discuss the challenges for athletes and look at possible solutions to reformat the off season.

Watch Now...
 
PROFILE
  Gabriela Migała Parts Ways With The Progrm’s John Singleton: “This is just a natural progression” 

Gabriela Migała Parts Ways With The Progrm’s John Singleton: “This is just a natural progression”

The eighth “Fittest Woman on Earth” Gabriela Migała and her training camp The Progrm have announced they are mutually splitting, ending a three-year partnership.

  • “To me this is just a natural progression,” said Migała in a statement obtained by Morning Chalk Up. “I’ve been working with John (Singleton) and The Progrm for the past three seasons and I am very grateful to him and everyone who’s been a part of it but I believe that now is the right time for me to mix things up.”
  • At the end of each season I think it’s very important to reflect with the athletes on what they want to do, and where we want to go moving forward,” said Singleton, founder and head coach of The Progrm. “This year was no different and after sitting down with Gabi and Kristof (Horvath) last week they have decided that they wanted to make a change.”
  • During her time training at with The Progrm, she moved from her native Poland to the Spanish island of Mallorca to train with fellow Progrm and Games athlete Jacqueline Dahlstrøm as well as her boyfriend, Horvath.

Why it matters: Since training under the tutelage of Singleton after the 2019 Games, Migała has become a perennial top-ten Games athlete highlighted by her sixth place finish at the 2021 Games.

  • “I’m 23 years old and I feel like I’m not even close to reaching my full potential,” said Migała. “But in order to reach it I need to be open to making changes and trying new things.”
Continue Reading...
 
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Making it Too Easy

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GET YOUR MIND RIGHT.
 
HIGHLIGHTS

Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

CrossFit Mokena in Mokena, IL is hosting a blood drive on Monday, October 3rd. Registration is preferred as limited spots are available. Three lucky registrants will win $100, and all non-member registrants will receive a pass for two free classes to CrossFit Mokena.

 
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2/11: Cupid’s Clash at THRIVE CrossFit 103 (Staten Island, NY)
2/11: Valentine’s Day Crush (North Hollywood, CA)
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2/12: The 2023 RCF Winter War (Londonderry, NH)
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3/1 - 3/31: Barbells For Bullies: Sit Ups For Pups (Online Event, United States)
3/3 - 3/5: CrossFit Loop Goggins 4x4x48 (Castle Rock, CO)
3/11 - 3/12: Battle Of The Mood 2k23 (Genova, Italy)
3/18 - 3/19: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, Canada)
3/25 - 3/26: Costa Dorada Fitness Challenge (Tamarit, Tarragona, Spain)
3/25: No Weak Links (Marcy, NY)
3/25 - 3/26: Beach Brawl – Spring (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/30 - 4/8: Nine27 Athletics Spring Showdown (Online, Virtual)
4/1: 2023 Cougars & Cradle Robbers Throwdown (Salem, MA)
4/2: CFC Clash (Tallahassee, FL)

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