How CrossFit Became a $4 Billion Brand

By: Sasha Letourneau

Everyone has heard of the brand CrossFit in one way or another. It is one of the world’s fastest growing exercise programs out there today. The program is a mixture of high intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics and strong man lifts. The article entitled, “How CrossFit Became a $4 Billion Brand,” explains what CEO Greg Glassman viewpoints are and how he runs the business.

CrossFit, itself, only deals with its workouts. The company is connected with Reebok and lets the Reebok company handle CrossFit merchandise. It is important to CEO Greg Glassman that the company focus on their main purpose.

If you’re into CrossFit then you know that they post a daily “WOD” or workout of the day video online. Whether it be a WOD video from a licensed gym owner or from the company itself, hundreds are posted daily. What the company is hoping the WOD video does is lure people in and get them hooked, hoping that they will join a “Box” or CrossFit gym.

The CrossFit company interacts through business to business transactions. How they make profit off of their workouts is through “boxes”. Whoever owns the box has to pay an annual fee of $3,000 to the company along with attending multiple seminars that cost about $1,000 each to learn how to properly come up with a WOD and pay licensing fees to own a box. Their biggest profit and brand awareness comes from the Reebok CrossFit games, which is where serious CrossFit athletes can go and compete against one another for a $2 million prize. There are approximately 125,000 spectators at each CrossFit games. It is a very large event.

Important retailing factors that make a Box successful is that owners of CrossFit gyms are very particular with the location of Boxes because demand is based on consumer demand. So, they usually do research beforehand to make sure that the box is being put in an inviting area and that people will be interested. So location is very important. It would make no sense to have a box where no one was interested in CrossFit.

Personally, I don’t agree with all of the teachings of CrossFit regarding their lifts and such, but I do agree with how they create a community. People who are into CrossFit really come together to create a community. Back home, there are a couple of Boxes and the people that go there are so encouraging of one another and that’s something that CrossFit really pushes: encouraging one another to accomplish your best. I think that is a great selling point for them because, like I said, it really brings people together. And by bringing those people together they will all go to a CrossFit tournament together, which brings in profit to the company along with brand recognition.


12 thoughts on “How CrossFit Became a $4 Billion Brand

  1. Chris Girard March 5, 2015 / 2:03 pm

    I believe that you had some very good insight into the working of crossfit. There seems to be some people who swear by it while others who would be considered a “normal” gym user may be hesitant to join something that is as intense as crossfit


  2. Julia Collins March 5, 2015 / 3:22 pm

    This article is very interesting and I really like the tie in of the community aspect. I personally belong to a crossfit gym and I love it, but it is true that there is a sense of community. It isn’t like a regular gym where people go and do their own workouts. At crossfit, people are there to motivate you through your entire workout and push each other. Where I am from there are many gyms in the area but only a few crossfit places. The demand for crossfit is high because I think many people are eager to try something new and push themselves with the help and motivation of professionals.


  3. Brendan Sullivan March 5, 2015 / 8:48 pm

    Health and fitness are starting to become a trend and people are spending money on it. Look at Fitbit almost everyone has one now. It does not surprise me that CrossFit is doing well, but $4 is a huge profit. I am intrigued to see how companies like Reebok, Nike, and Under Armour will do in the future with all these knew ways of doing fitness activities.


    • Brendan Sullivan March 5, 2015 / 8:49 pm

      Meant $4 billion


  4. Lindsey Mattos March 10, 2015 / 5:21 pm

    I feel you are correct, in that what makes Crossfit successful is its camaraderie. All of its actual exercises are nothing new as well as the way they convey them. I found it interesting that they do a lot of research prior to licensing a Box to someone. In my own research of Crossfit gyms, I have found that the ownership varies greatly in their actual experience and background in the health and fitness world. Some may only have that one certification from Crossfit and that is it. I think this is where people start to become injured, because of poor leadership. Crossfit needs to filter out some of these people who really aren’t equipped with the knowledge for these complex exercises by requiring a degree in a health related field or equivalent experience or certifications.


  5. David Cravotta March 18, 2015 / 8:55 pm

    On a personal note, I’m not a huge fan of crossfit. What intrigues me about crossfit though is their community based atmosphere which I agree on as a huge selling point for them. Creating that community atmosphere makes the average person feel more invited to go and workout in a box. You shared some great ideas and I can totally agree with you on some of the points you made.


  6. Blake Boudreau March 24, 2015 / 5:02 am

    As an athlete, I’m not the biggest fan of cross fit. They’re better alternatives to gaining muscle, building strength and improving athletic ability. Although, I can see this being useful for people that want to have a better physical physique. I do find your insight about cross fit being an 4 billion dollar brand very interesting.


  7. Lindsey Fratus March 25, 2015 / 1:13 am

    CrossFit is slowly becoming popular from where I am from. New “Boxes” are popping up all over main roads and there an often signs along the way offering a discounted membership to entice people to come in and try it. I think it is amazing that it sprung up and is now a $4 billion industry. I feel as though they are selling more of a lifestyle and less of merchandise or just a workout. The sense of community is really something to be commended. While watching the CrossFit Games you see competitors cheering each other on and clapping for them once they overcome an obstacle. Even though they are competing to win $2 million, they never forget that the are part of the same community.


  8. Domenica Fuller April 10, 2015 / 8:45 pm

    CrossFit has been a growing brand for quite a few years and because of the camaraderie you mentioned, as well as, the popularity and competition aspect of the CrossFit games; it does not seem to be going anywhere any time soon. What I like about CrossFit is that gym owners are passionate about the workout and lifestyle which is generally what leads them to open up one of their own gyms in the first place. I have watched the CrossFit games multiple times, I have been to a local competition, as well as, have attended classes. I have also never been as soon sore as I have been after a CrossFit workout.The amount of camaraderie is amazing with people cheering on their competitors, but you can see and feel the passion that people have for the brand and being a gym owner.


  9. Jackie Lurvey April 13, 2015 / 2:56 am

    I agree that CrossFit’s biggest strength is its brand and the community that follows it. They have created their own lifestyle of people with shared goals, which is a major accomplishment for one company. I agree that they are a company that is not going anywhere, especially since I am always seeing new ones popping up. Another huge strength that they have, which can tie in with their sense of community, is the Workouts of the Day. These are huge as they give something new everyday, for every customer. It reminds the customers to come back by challenging them with tougher workouts. CrossFit brilliantly created community that will only continue to grow.


  10. Olivia Boudreau April 28, 2015 / 3:22 am

    Back home almost all of my friends and even my Mom are obsessed with Crossfit so I hear a lot about it! I definitely agree with the fact that it is a community builder! People who do Crossfit, at least the ones that I know, fell in love with it once they started and don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.The Reebok Crossfit games were huge and an event that gained a lot of attention, so I can only see the demand for Crossfit gyms or “boxes” to increase due to its strong brand. I agree with you though when it comes to the teachings of Crossfit since I have heard some bad things about what Crossfit does to your body.


  11. James Wagner April 28, 2015 / 3:47 am

    Crossfit is a great “family-like” gym. They have great intensions and make a great deal of profit through that single factor. What Crossfit really sells, is their connection with other members, a community of fitness junkies. Crossfit doesn’t directly sell a product, they more sell a relationship. People who do Crossfit get instantly hooked because of the atmosphere of the gym. Its a great idea that should be worth $4 billion.


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