CrossFit has announced a deal with Nobull that sees the sportswear brand become title sponsor of the CrossFit Games and official supplier of CrossFit apparel.
This deal comes after Reebok announced in June that it would end its association with CrossFit following remarks by the American fitness program’s founder and former chief executive on Twitter.
Reebok had a 10-year exclusive deal as title sponsor of the CrossFit Games and was the sole licensee of CrossFit apparel and shoes, which was set to expire in 2020.
Nobull is a Boston-based brand founded by Michael Schaeffer and Marcus Wilson, two former Reebok employees. Eric Roza, the new chief executive of CrossFit, called it “the premier shoe and apparel brand to emerge from the CrossFit ecosystem, which has inspired thousands of entrepreneurial ventures around the world”.
Commenting on the deal, he added: “My friends Marcus and Michael started Nobull based on their passion for CrossFit and with the goal of creating shoes and apparel for the most demanding workouts. Put simply, CrossFit runs deep in Nobull’s blood and culture.”
Why does this matter?
Reebok ended ties with CrossFit after founder Greg Glassman replied to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation on Twitter after the global health research center’s director called racism a public health issue.
Glassman had tweeted “It’s FLOYD-19“ in reference to the coronavirus pandemic and the killing of George Floyd by police.
Reebok said in a statement at that time: “Our partnership with CrossFit HQ comes to an end later this year. Recently, we have been in discussions regarding a new agreement, however, in light of recent events, we have made the decision to end our partnership with CrossFit HQ.
“We will fulfill our remaining contractual obligations in 2020. We owe this to the CrossFit Games competitors, fans and the community. What doesn’t change is our commitment and dedication to CrossFitters and the passionate CrossFit community.
“We’re so thankful for the strong bonds we’ve created with coaches, box owners and athletes around the world over the past 10 years.”
CrossFit came under fire from its close-knit community after staying silent and not taking a stand against racism for almost two weeks after Floyd’s death. CrossFit had previously announced its support for the LGBTQ community and fired an employee for saying ‘celebrating Pride is a sin’.
While protests against police brutality and conversations around racism were ongoing in the United States, the fitness brand instead posted videos of workouts. At the same time, Glassman tweeted that an affiliate owner was “delusional“ after she had emailed him to urge CrossFit to speak up.