Reebok CrossFit Games Finds CBS Sports A Good Fit For National Growth, Exposure
Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 12:19PM
NYSportsJournalism.com in CBS Sports, CrossFit Games, Extreme Sports, Reebok, extreme sports, sports marketing, sports media

By Barry Janoff

July 19, 2017: After getting national exposure on ESPN, the Reebok CrossFit Games now has a new media home, signing a multi-year TV and digital partnership with CBS Sports.

The deal begins with CrossFit preview shows this week and will run through the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

Financial terms were not shared.

The pact was handled by IMG, CrossFit’s global representative for broadcast, sponsorship and licensing.

"We’re excited that CBS Sports is our new television partner," Justin Bergh, GM for the Reebok CrossFit Games, said in a statement. "CrossFit athletes are unquestionably the fittest in the world and the CrossFit Games are their ultimate proving grounds. We’re thrilled that CBS Sports platforms will air our entire season and we look forward to teaming up to showcase the CrossFit community."

CrossFit Games executives said this is the “single largest participatory sporting event in the world with nearly 400,000 athletes from more than 175 countries.”

Sponsorship spend on such endurance sports as marathons, cross-country cycling, mountain climbing, triathlons and obstacle competitions hit a record $124.6 million in 2016,  up from $118.8 million in 2015 and more than $20 million over the spend just four years ago, according to research and consulting firm IEG, Chicago.

CBS Sports has launched a multi-media campaign to support the new alliance, including TV, Internet and social media.

According to Dan Weinberg, evp-programming for CBS Sports, "CrossFit is more than just a sport, it’s a lifestyle with a dedicated worldwide following and we are eager to showcase these physically gifted athletes. Competitive fitness is a high-growth sports genre and adding CrossFit to our programming expands our commitment to the space."

Following seven years in the Home Depot Center (Carson, Calif.) the conclusion of the Reebok CorssFit Games season this year move to the Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis., scheduled for Aug. 3-6.

In addition to two hours of main competition coverage nightly on broadcast TV, CBS Sports said it would stream up to 40 hours of live event coverage of the 2017 Reebok CrossFit Games on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports app for connected TV and mobile devices.

Beginning in October, CBS Sports Network plans to televise multiple, one-hour specials highlighting the athletes and various individual competitions from the Games. The network will also air two hours of the CrossFit Invitational in early December.

According to Hillary Mandel, head of media for North America, IMG, "CrossFit created competitive fitness and has been the global leader for the past ten years. This new deal provides unprecedented distribution of CrossFit’s bespoke content to sports fans on CBS Sports’ broadcast, cable and digital platforms, serving a wider audience than ever before."

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