Jul 27, 2020 - Economy & Business

CrossFit gets a new owner

Illustration of Benjamin Franklin on a hundred dollar wearing a sweatband and sweating

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Berkshire Partners agreed to buy fitness brand CrossFit, in partnership with CrossFit gym owner and former Datalogix CEO Eric Roza (who will become CrossFit CEO). The seller is CrossFit's founding CEO Greg Glassman, who resigned after making controversial comments about the killing of George Floyd.

Why it matters: CrossFit needed a lifeline, due to both its management tumult and business challenges related to the pandemic.

  • CrossFit is largely a brand licensing company, charging gyms $3k per year to become "affiliates," plus generating revenue from trainer certification courses and merchandise. In 2013, Inc. reported that it generated around $100 million in revenue, while the broader CrossFit empire netted between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.

The bottom line: "When Greg Glassman resigned as CEO of CrossFit, excoriated for comments about George Floyd’s death on Twitter and in a Zoom meeting, people who have worked there were surprised that his downfall was tied to accusations of racism. They had assumed that the reason would be routine and rampant sexual harassment," writes the New York Times' Katherine Rosman.

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