Since its inception in 2015, Nobull — a brand that has long been synonymous with CrossFit — has grown its ambassador roster to include athletes beyond the sport’s biggest stars, such as golf pros and the next wave of NFL talent.
Now, the brand is backing a pair of pro hockey’s best.
Nobull announced today it has signed NHL stars Nathan MacKinnon of the Colorado Avalanche and Seth Jones of the Chicago Blackhawks to training-specific contracts. Terms of the deals were not revealed.
“They’ve gravitated to the brand, they love the brand and they embody the brand in what they’re doing in preparation for the ice,” Nobull chief marketing officer Todd Meleney told FN, “They’re also wholly invested in themselves and their preparedness through nutrition and sleep and other components that line up perfectly with who we are.”
The additions of MacKinnon and Jones also offer something new to Nobull: A presence in yet another sport.
Nobull and CrossFit — well before the brand became the title sponsor for the CrossFit Games in March 2021 — have been linked. Aside from its wildly popular Trainer shoe being a mainstay in CrossFit gyms everywhere, the brand’s robust ambassador roster has long featured some of the sport’s biggest names, including Tia-Clair Toomey, Brooke Wells and Katrín Davíðsdóttir.
However, in recent years, as Nobull has broadened its product offering to cater to different types of athletes, the brand has tapped top talent elsewhere, such as Mac Jones of the New England Patriots in August 2021, PGA Tour standout Scott Stallings in June 2021 and pro swimmer Caeleb Dressel in September 2020.
“The way we describe it is we’re moving beyond CrossFit and we’re taking CrossFit with us. That’s through the athletes, through the events and through the methodology,” Meleney said. “If we can do that properly, you can have events where Tia Toomey, the fittest woman on Earth, is having a conversation with Caeleb Dressel, who is the best swimmer on Earth and Nate MacKinnon, who is an astounding NHL player — and they have a lot in common through training. Nobull can be a bridge across categories as we continue to define who we are.”
The first non-CrossFit athlete that Nobull signed was NFL quarterback Will Grier in April 2019. Bringing Grier on board, Meleney said, helped Nobull realize it had developed a strong voice with the training-obsessed beyond CrossFit, and there was opportunity to connect elsewhere.
“It opened up Nobull to a broader audience within the football community, in particular other athletes being introduced to the brand and saying, ‘Hey, I would love to try that,'” Meleney explained. “Since then, we’ve worked with hundreds of NFL players through product seeding, introducing them to the brand, getting them familiar with who we are and what we stand for.”
He continued, “Ultimately, it allowed us to better evaluate and understand how we can fit into that community and that community is beginning to fit in with ours.”
Looking ahead, Meleney confirmed with FN that Nobull is in conversation with several athletes across multiple sports, including golf and football, and he expects to have several key additions to its athlete roster by the end of the summer.