Imagine that you discover a sport that you are passionate about : you begin to practice it and you realize that you have found that activity that is perfect for you. You like it so much that you start to inform yourself about everything related to that sport: exercise technique, international competitions, how it is developing in your country and in your city … You impregnate yourself with everything that surrounds you.
Not only that: you decide to share it with your friends and strangers through the internet and social networks . You create a blog to talk about that sport that you love, you share experiences with other fans, you give information about the whole world … And one day, suddenly, the “official house” of that sport asks you not to use his name in Your blog or in your networks because it is a registered trademark. That is exactly what is happening with CrossFit and some of the bloggers in this discipline.
Let’s start at the beginning: is “CrossFit” a trademark? Yes it is. In fact they have registered, as we have learned, other words like “Fittest” (referring to their trophy in the international competition “fittest on Earth”) or the acronym “CF”. When the company thinks that the words are being misused, they can ask them to withdraw from where they are (including non-profit blogs or personal social networks) or not to be reused. It is the way they preserve their brand.
This has already happened with other sports like Spinning (it is a registered trademark: the generic is cycle-indoor or indoor cycling) or Les Mills classes like Body Combat, Body Pump, etc. They are patented systems that have their own classes and methods, so that if a center does not have staff formed by them can not offer those classes. This is understandable and logical, especially since in these two cases it has never gone so far as to prohibit bloggers who do not use their brands in blogs or social networks .
What do the affected people tell us?
From Vitónica we have contacted the bloggers workofday.com, one of the blogs affected (and one of the only ones that has decided to speak out on the subject).
Workofday.com was born in May 2014, more than two years ago. It started as an informative page on CrossFit, but gradually it was growing and incorporating new sections that make what is today’s workofday complete.
Everything was fine, but a few weeks ago we received an email from the unmentionable CrossFit Inc. in which they indicated that we had to remove all references to CrossFit, from the web, from our blog and social networks . All. Attached were screenshots of our site and our Facebook, and a document with legal notification. After several emails we managed to get some time (when we are) to make the requested changes, but insist that all mention should disappear, not only to “CrossFit”, but to its derivatives such as “crossfitter” or “CF”, CF!
We knew cases that had happened to them, but none of this had ever come to light, it was a taboo subject that was only addressed by email or in small personal circles . But this time we have made it public and there has been an answer, they have contacted us responsible for other projects giving us their support, offering us their help and asking for advice, we are moving people, making known what is “up there” and where Go the shots of this brand that has achieved something incredible, and that now, begins to crumble a little.
We will continue to fight (it is they who have taught us how to fight to achieve our goals) and we hope to keep in touch with all those people who are passionate about this sport that has united us and has done so much for many of us.
We have also tried to contact CrossFit Inc. to get their point of view of the facts, but we have not received a response (if they reply, we will update this post with the information).
Athletes: The best evangelists of CrossFit
CrossFit has been made known through the social networks and blogs of those who practice it, is it a good idea that those who know that they are lovers of your sport can not talk about it freely? It does not seem the best of ideas, especially considering the spread that can reach some of these blogs.
It’s one thing to use a registered trademark for profit, and another very different to talk passionately about a sport that you love: that in social networks is an advertising that is practically impossible to pay with money, and that CrossFit with this gesture is losing. In addition, the moment this type of behavior comes to light, it is possible that they generate a certain rejection towards the mark in their followers.
As the crossfitters community is one of CrossFit’s strongest foundations today, and knowing the role of broadcasters and evangelizes they meet, does CrossFit Inc. think it’s a wise decision?