Four-time Games athlete and medical resident Julie Foucher had CrossFit’s founder Greg Glassman on her podcast this week and he had some news: The Reebok CrossFit Games is losing the “Reebok.”
In the interview, which was brought to our attention by The Barbell Spin, Glassman said his company is “done with exclusive contracts” once CrossFit’s contract with Reebok ends in 2020. You can hear him for yourself in the the following excerpt, which we’ve timestamped from the 34.54 mark:
All of the sponsorship opportunities change now, and I’m looking for a two or three year moratorium on title sponsorship, the highest level. When the Reebok thing is done, there’s not gonna be another shoe company that sits in that position again. We’re done with exclusive contracts. I like where we’re going.
Reebok has sponsored the CrossFit Games since 2011 and their contract was for ten Games, 2011 through 2020. From 2014 until this year, athletes weren’t even allowed to wear non-Reebok branded apparel at the competition.
The relationship between the two organizations has certainly been strained in recent years. In 2018, CrossFit, Inc. brought suit over a licensing and marketing dispute with Reebok, alleging that Reebok had been underpaying them on royalties to the tune of at least $4.8 million between 2013 and 2016.
Reebok told BarBend at the time that they were “disappointed that CrossFit chose to escalate a disagreement between longtime partners in an unreasonable manner that damages Reebok’s reputation.” Two months later the two companies announced they’d settled the issue and Reebok paid an undisclosed sum to CrossFit for royalties.
It’s not exactly clear whether it was CrossFit or Reebok who decided not to renew their agreement, but Glassman is clear that there will be no more title sponsor for at least a couple of years. So you can look forward to a good old fashioned “CrossFit Games” in 2021.
Featured image via @fikowski on Instagram.