It was only last week when CrossFit HQ released a video with Dave Castro discussing the new partnership with Reebok. In the excitement of all the pre Games news, many people who have voiced their concern about the budding relationship seemed to have missed this.
The clip is only five-minutes long clip but it goes a long way to address and clarify many of the questions about Reeboks relevance and control over the CrossFit Games. Within it, Dave answers a variety of pertinent questions that I have heard asked countless times over the last year.
When questioned about Reebok’s role in the overall programming and control of the Games, Dave elucidated the issue stating, “Reebok is the title sponsor of the CrossFit Games. They don’t affect anything that has to do with how the Games are expressed to the community. What I mean by that is CrossFit determines how the season is going to go down, what the qualification process looks like and most importantly what the workouts look like.”
He went on to attest in very clear terms that although they have a fantastic working relationship with Reebok it is still CrossFit HQ who defines how the Games are programmed and developed. As he stated, “Reebok is a great sponsor, they are great support to the Games but they don’t have any say in any of the movement of the Games or in the application of the Games.”
When he was pressed why CrossFit had not simply changed the Games to the “CrossFit Games Sponsored by Reebok,” he made the point that, “it is pretty standard in the industry to have a title sponsor,” providing two such examples in the in the Nokia Sugar Bowl and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, both of whom sold their respective rights, to demonstrate his case. He went further by adding that, “it is not uncommon in many sports to have their championship or their season tagged with a title sponsor. And again in those sports those title sponsors aren’t dictating the events or how it’s going to go down or what the competition looks like and in our sport they don’t do that either.”
In defining Reebok’s role he made certain to clarify the issue once and for all. “They help us with onsite branding and image of the Games and presenting the Games. We work with them on how to setup spectator experience at the Games [and] at the Regionals. We work with them on how to help even the athlete experience and the background be a better experience for the athletes.”
Yet despite the Reebok partnership looking strong he did not rule out the possibility that there could be a further name change down the track. “This year and the next nine years at least, maybe more, it’s going to be the Reebok CrossFit Games. Could there be a period when it’s the Adidas CrossFit Games? Sure. Could it be the Nokia CrossFit Games? Sure. We have that title sponsor role that we’ve decided to go forward with and allow companies to pursue… But for the next nine years, it’s Reebok.”
It is an interesting interview and Dave does a great job in clearing up many of the concerns and questions that we have all heard over the last year.
If you are interested you can check out the interview for yourself below.