CrossFit, the popular fitness brand with gyms across the US, may soon meet its downfall if it doesn’t work hard to clean up the mess its founder and former CEO Greg Glassman created. The racist comments caused major backlash in not only in the CrossFit community, but the entire world.
CrossFit’s founder, Greg Glassman, announced his retirement Tuesday evening after big backlash caused by his offensive remarks on Twitter, Zoom calls and email communication. Nico and Chad take a closer look at this incident and how it was received by both the CrossFit fanatics and everyone else.
CrossFit was formally established in 2000. The company’s first affiliate was CrossFit North in Seattle. By 2005, there were 13 affiliates. In 2012, a mere dozen years after the company started, there are 3,400 affiliates worldwide. So how is it that this brand grew so quickly?
The CrossFit brand is supposed to be very inclusive. The “box” should be a place where people of all ages, races, religions, sex etc should feel confident and comfortable and put their focus on leading a healhty lifestyle. Unfortunately, that isn’t really the case. Your average CrossFit box will consist of mostly caucasion, high income members – very inclusive right?!
CrossFit has a history of erratic behavior, poor communication, and controversy. They shut down their social media accounts in 2019 shortly after announcing major changes to the games format without warning. So what happened? Take a closer look at the timeline here.
So what marketing lessons we can take from what happened with Greg Glassman:
- What CEO’s say or tweet – matters and people take note
- Don’t allow your brand to be in a position where a single person can hijack it
- Be consistent and transparent in communications
- Look for contradictions in your brand and actively work on solving them
- Consider the opinions of not just your current customer base, but also your target customers (they were trying to globally and ethnically expand)
- Nothing is private anymore. Text messages, zoom calls, internal company meetings. You should always conduct yourself under the assumption that private conversations will be made public
One thing to remember is that NOTHING is private anymore. Conduct yourself and your business as if everything you say or do will be made public. For more information on this topic, listen to the full podcast episode above or head over to The Marketing Rescue Podcast.