When was the last time you heard about customers standing by their brand – even if it meant abandoning the brand name all together? That’s exactly what happened with the case of Glassman vs. Glassman and it proved to be a valuable lesson in loyalty. Greg Glassman is the founder and creator of CrossFit – I could try to explain it or you could just watch this video here.
When Glassman and his wife decided to end their marriage, Lauren Jenai Glassman’s share of CrossFit came into play. CrossFitters found out she was interested in selling it to Anthos Capital. Almost immediately, the subject filled discussion boards, Facebook pages and tweets. Affiliates were against selling to Anthos for fear of being forced to operate like a franchise,
selling supplements or other merchandise they didn’t support.
While Anthos Capital tried to quell fears, swearing they wouldn’t change a thing – affiliates rallied around their founder and threatened to pull their affiliations if the deal went through. Meanwhile, the Glassmans headed to court.
The fight caught the attention of a number of media outlets. T-shirts were designed slamming Anthos and touting Glassman’s
promise his concept was “unbuyable.” For months, members of the CrossFit community could only wait while millions of dollars were pumped into litigation. Then, on Nov. 15, he announced he officially owned 100% of CrossFit Inc. Without support from a large, worldwide and defiant community, it’s a wonder whether the deal still seemed lucrative to Anthos or Lauren Glassman – or even possible for that matter.
For now, the future seems pretty bright. CrossFit boxes continue to pop up across the country and around the world and a multimillion dollar partnership with Reebok continues to catapult the brand and the sport into the mainstream.
The lesson learned from the drama? Loyalty matters. Uh, and maybe think twice before going into business with a spouse or instead of books and trinkets you’ll find yourself fighting over the future of your company.