Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. After announcing that it would cancel its Sanctioned event scheduled for December, the Dubai CrossFit Championship will instead host an online version of the event, minus the Games berth, with big prize money. And, Loud and Live Sports, the company behind five Sanctionals in the 2019-2020 season, was forced to delay some payments to contractors shedding more light on the financial difficulties event organizers are facing. Today:
The Dubai CrossFit Championship becomes the DCC2020 Online Challenge.
Loud and Live Sports made good on delayed payments, but further illustrates the financial burden of COVID-19 event cancelation.
The O2 Community Coalition raised $230,000 for local gyms and is offering big savings for active gym members in May.
For many gyms in states and countries that are allowing some re-opening, the parking lot WOD offers some opportunity for “safer” group fitness.
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“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Huge Payouts Up for Grabs in Dubai CrossFit Championship 2020 Online Challenge
The Dubai CrossFit Championship has long been one of the premier events in large part to its huge prize purses. After announcing the cancelation of its annual event this past Saturday, organizers decided to throw an online competition with a total of $46,000 in prize money spread across eight divisions.
The bottom line: The DCC2020 Online Challenge is a three week, three workout, minimal equipment online competition with men’s and women’s divisions for individuals, masters and teens.
For the individuals, the overall winner of both the men’s and women’s divisions will receive $10,000.
There are two Master’s divisions, one for men and women 40-49 years of age and another for 50 and above. Winners in each of the divisions will receive $5,000.
The teen division will cater to boys and girls 18 years of age and younger. The winners of those divisions will receive $3,000.
The competition starts on May 15 with the release of the first workout and athletes will have till May 22 to complete it. Workout two will be released on May 23 and end on May 30. The final workout will be released on May 31 and ends on June 6.
Originally the DCC had planned an online qualifier for its December Sanctional competition to take place in June.
A new trend? The Rogue Invitational was the first Sanctional to switch to an online competition due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, they forfeited their 2020 CrossFit Games invitations, however they announced they would keep the prize purse of over $250,000 for the individual athletes invited to compete. With the DCC now jumping into the online competition landscape, could other Sanctionals follow suit? Online competitions could be a chance for some organizers to recoup some of the financial losses they have experienced while keeping interest alive in their events.
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Loud and Live Sports Delays Some WZA Payments, Illustrates Financial Difficulties for Sanctional Organizers in the COVID-19 World
On Sunday, May 10, a Reddit user created a post on the popular subreddit r/CrossFit under the title “Wodapalooza NOT PAYING media team and contractors for work done.” The post included a screenshot of an undated email from a Loud and Live Sports representative (with the individual’s name redacted) clearly written in response to an inquiry about an unpaid invoice. The post has since been removed and the user’s profile deleted, but not before generating 148 comments and replies.
What happened: Loud and Live ultimately delivered payment to the contracted employees, primarily emcees, media (photo, video and editing) and other staff. According to a source at L&L, checks for outstanding invoices were issued on Friday, May 8, 76 days after the conclusion of Wodapalooza on February 23. It was a regrettable delay in payment due to a nearly unprecedented global disaster.
This series of events though provides more insight into the financial position event hosts and Sanctional organizers find themselves in the aftermath of COVID-19 lockdown cancelations.
The Morning Chalk Up reached out to Loud and Live President, Matthew O’Keefe, and he provided the following statement which aligns with what we have concluded in covering the COVID-19 ravaged season:
“These are unprecedented times for us and the entire Sanctionals community as we try to navigate through the rescheduling of our events. As you can imagine, running a multi-event business requires a lot of forward investment, including planning & production costs, venue rentals and marketing expenses among others, a vast portion of which isn’t recoverable and others which take time to recover. We have been communicating with our community of event collaborators, and we are working diligently on resolving outstanding matters. We appreciate our community’s continued support and patience during these extraordinary times as we continue to plan for a strong return to action.”
O2’s Community Coalition Initiative Raises Over $230,000 for CrossFit Gyms and Offers Big Savings for Members
Keeping your CrossFit gym membership active through the month of May will pay off in a major way for gym owners and members who signed up to participate in O2’s Community Coalition initiative. Partnering with Born Primitive, Puori, Working Against Gravity and Bear Komplex, the initiative raised over $230,000 for participating gyms and potentially millions of dollars in savings across those brands through gift cards though the corresponding #StayforMay campaign.
Giving back: The Community Coalition initiative started March 18 to help gyms struggling financially through closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gyms that were signed up to participate in the 50/50 Give Back Program received 50% of the profits from the sales of the four participating brands.
Born Primitive received national recognition as part of the initiative with media coverage of their contributions in Yahoo News, USA Today and Women’s Fitness Magazine.
“It’s been so cool to see other brands stepping up and doing their part as well,” said Bear Handlon, co-founder and CEO of Born Primitive. “It’s a reminder that we’re all part of something bigger than ourselves. Times of adversity have a tendency to bring out the best in us, and the response our society has had to this crisis is no exception. We are stronger together.”
“We’re pretty proud of that one and can’t wait to get those gift cards in the hands of everyone in June,” commented Dave Colina, founder and CEO of O2. “The response we got from gym owners was incredibly overwhelming.”
The Parking Lot WOD: A Growing Trend at Affiliates Around the World
While the majority of affiliates are still closed, many have started taking advantage of the ability to host outdoor group workouts in areas that are permitting them to do so.
A quick reach out to the affiliate community led us to quickly track down 35-plus affiliates who have been offering — or are about to begin offering — group classes in parking lots or public parks.
Hailing from all over: We found gyms all over the United States, from Virginia — where the law states you can train a group of up to 10 people outdoors — to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas who are offering outdoor classes to their members, as well as two gyms in Hamburg, Germany and one in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Almost all of them reported that outdoor group classes are a great option for their clients right now, many saying they’re helping ease their clients’ apprehension about getting back to the gym.
In Alabama: Candace Rape hosted curbside workouts all of last week for her CrossFit Trussville community. She used them as a soft opening in preparation for opening up her indoor space this week, she explained. The outdoor classes “filled up every single day,” she said.
In Illinois: Andres Schwartz has also had a positive experience running workouts for his CrossFit FTX community outside in a public place in Wheaton.
“Police have come by and broken up teens gathering in the park, but they have just smiled and waved at us. We’ve had no problems or issues from anyone,” he said.
While there are several ways to train to take on the CrossFit Hero WOD “Murph,” Dan Bailey’s approach includes additional loading, but scaling back the volume of the repetitions. In this case he adds 10 pounds to his weight vest (for 30 total) but cuts the total repetitions of each movement by 25%.
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Not many athletes can boast the kind of grit and determination possessed by Kara Saunders. Having her daughter in May 2019, she then qualified for her 8th CrossFit Games only five months later at the Australian CrossFit Championship. Check out this behind the scenes look at her winning performance and everything else this superwoman does.
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