Certain companies have employed video to distinguish themselves from their competitors and successfully build their brand. If we use the example of CrossFit, we can see that it is a compelling case study of a company that has integrated video and social media to help grow their brand and strengthen their community. CrossFit Inc., a fitness regime that describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,” is a relatively new movement that has employed video to not only build a tight knit community but experience tremendous growth.
CrossFit has employed video in a number of ways to grow from a handful of affiliates in 2000 to over 3500 affiliates today. CrossFit now has “The Reebok CrossFit Games” with over a million dollars in prize money and is featured on ESPN. This new sport has even had a Superbowl commercial as well as other national ads. Web video has been integral in helping this movement grow and strengthen the ties within this rapidly growing fitness community. If you have not heard of CrossFit or watched one of its fitness videos on the web, you soon will.
CrossFit’s main website, www.CrossFit.com is a simple website where CrossFit participants go to see the latest prescribed workout, and view videos on everything from gym profiles, exercise demonstrations, recipes, success stories, athlete interviews, as well as news and events. The main site also links to the www.journal.crossfit.com, which is a subscription-based site that features a daily dose of new video content that covers everything CrossFit. There is also a link to the www.games.crossfit.com site, which highlights the qualifying events, stories, fans, teams, and athletes that are preparing for The CrossFit Games, which showcases CrossFit’s elite performers.
Many people first discover CrossFit by viewing one of the workouts on YouTube or surfing the web when investigating fitness. Many CrossFitters post videos of their workouts, comparing times, technique and strategy. Invariably, the more video content there is, the greater the opportunity for the participant’s personalities to shine through. The top CrossFit athletes – Spealler, Froning, Thórisdóttir, etc. are well known throughout the CrossFit community because their exploits are well documented with videos – there is a plethora of content varying from short iphone clips to professionally produced productions. Not only do we see them in the heat of competition but we become acquainted with them through behind-the-scenes features that show them training or at home with their families.
In addition to highlighting the top-level competitors, CrossFit employs videos to highlight the success stories of the everyday CrossFitter. Men, women, and kids of all ages, backgrounds and demographics are showcased in their efforts to improve their lives. Success stories are documented; quests to change lives are featured in documentary style webisodes, and tips on nutrition, exercise technique and recovery are regularly featured. The CrossFit community voraciously views all the content and employs social media to make comments and share information on the videos they have viewed.
RabbitView was contracted by CrossFit to produce several productions for their media team. These features have ranged from gym profiles, community highlights, to athlete interviews, and competition coverage. From our perspective, producing quality content with a quick turnaround was something we felt was definitely in our wheelhouse and having a community so enthusiastic about watching the videos was particularly gratifying. The video below on Lucas Parker had over 2 million hits on YouTube and generated thousands of comments.
Ultimately, we feel that CrossFit exemplifies a group that employs video successfully to highlight what they do and reinforce who they are. They are able to present their message in a powerful medium. Whether you are interested in fitness or not, undoubtedly their use of video has proven to be an integral part of their exponential growth and is a model that should be examined by groups seeking to mimic their staggering growth and strengthen their identity. Whether you are a Realtor, service provider, politician, public speaker, restauranter, business owner, corporation, or creative individual that wants to get their message heard, examining the case study of CrossFit’s and their use of web video is definitely worth exploring.