Photo Credit: Jacob Ballard of Iwebxpert
By: Kidd Campbell
Nothing is more polarizing in the fitness world than CrossFit. Some view it as the best thing since Jesus and others view it as an injury causing nightmare plaguing the masses. One thing that is undeniable, however, is that it is a commercial success. There are over 13,000 CrossFit affiliated gyms in the world which is a far cry from where they were back in 2000 with one gym in Santa Cruz, California. With their largest events, The CrossFit Games and Crossfit Invitational, being on ESPN every year and selling out arenas across the globe, Crossfit has reached a fixed place in society. The key to this $4 billion juggernaut’s growth is most likely social media.
I am sure anyone reading this blog has that one friend that just will not shut up about CrossFit. They post their “Fran” times and snatch PR’s (personal records) to your news feed religiously and if it weren’t for the fact you need someone to help you move next week, you would unfriend them now if you would. Well this annoying trait that CrossFitters have is what made that brand famous. The main website of CrossFit itself is a social media page with profiles, blogs, chats, and photo sharing. The company has a top rate film crew for YouTube and an entire staff dedicated to keeping their more than 1 million followers happy on each of the widely used social media platforms.
Photo Credit: Crossfit Iceni
CrossFit the training program itself is nothing special, it is what Olympians and Strongmen have used in various forms for decades. If you are looking to lose weight it will do just as well as any other program out there. Its’ key is the community. CrossFit is a shared experience. Everyone knows how terrible it is to run a mile flat out, being able to share that pain with the globe can make someone feel special and that they have plenty of friends joining them in the experience so they do it again and again and again. They also have a workout of the day posted across all media platforms so that regardless of any gym one belongs to, a person’s time can be shared and congratulated by the community. This is the whole reason people started joining in the first place. Working out alone is painful and boring. Working out with the world is exciting and full of opportunities and as the online community grows, so will companies such as this.
The success of this fitness craze is undeniable. CrossFit’s name is on Reebok clothing, created an opening for niche clothing brands, and has actually in part made fitness a mainstream culture. You can always be annoyed with your friend posting about his Paleo Diet and board shorts. But if you are looking to start a national business, you may want to take a look at how CrossFit’s growth and imitate it because social media isn’t leaving.
CrossFit Inc. (2016) Retrieved from https://affiliate.crossfit.com/
Herz, J.C. (2014) Retrieved from http://time.com/2890075/crossfits-primal-appeal/
Lee, G. (2012) Retrieved from http://www.sporttechie.com/2012/04/12/socialmedia/the-crossfit-revolution-empowered-by-social-media-109/
Ozanian, M. (2015) Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2015/02/25/how-crossfit-became-a-4-billion-brand/#45d4c5e078c1