The 2022 CrossFit Games kick off today in Madison, Wis., where a group of finalists will endure a series of very rigorous challenges in their quest to be named the Fittest Man and Fittest Woman on Earth.
This is the second year that footwear brand Nobull is serving as the title sponsor of the games, after inking a three-year deal with the fitness organization in March 2021.
Todd Meleney, chief marketing officer of Nobull, told FN recently that the brand will “flex its experiential muscle” at the CrossFit competition to create another memorable event. But he added there is one thing that will be noticeably different.
“We’re selling athlete replica jerseys, like you would see in football or other sports, but we’re giving $20 per jersey to the athletes, which has never been done before,” he said.
Reebok, which was the CrossFit Games title sponsor for 10 years, was widely criticized within that close-knit community for not providing financial compensation to CrossFit athletes.
Meleney added, “We’re proud to do what we can to help professionalize the sport.” In 2021, the brand also agreed to fund the largest CrossFit Games prize purse in history.
Nobull could also have another reason to be proud at the CrossFit Games this week. Its sponsored athlete, Tia-Clair Toomey, is aiming to become the Fittest Woman on Earth for the sixth consecutive year, which would be a new record in the sport. “She’s an Olympian. She’s been a weightlifter, a bobsledder. She can do anything,” said Meleney. “By our standards, she’s one of the greatest female athletes of all time. We’ll be watching history [at the games]. So we’re pretty excited about it.”
Yesterday, ahead of the games, CrossFit announced the appointment of a new CEO, Don Faul, who joins the fitness company from smart apparel company Athos. He also has held leadership positions at Pinterest, Facebook and Google, and is a former U.S. Marine Corps platoon commander.
In a statement, Faul said, “There are over 14,000 CrossFit affiliates around the world that have changed millions of people’s lives. But we’re just getting started. Our job is to share CrossFit with the rest of the world, so our affiliates and coaches can help and inspire the tens of millions of people we haven’t yet reached.”
The CrossFit Games will be held over five days, from Aug. 3-7, in front of live audiences in Madison, but fans can also follow the action on the CrossFit social channels. And the CBS network will air the individual event finals live on Aug. 7, from 12 to 2 p.m. CT (1 to 3 p.m. ET).