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Old 08-01-2012, 06:42 PM   #311
Chris Mason
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Re: Stop Anthos from Taking over CrossFit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse R james View Post
That's easy, I want the responsible parties in this transaction (Coach G as 50% equity holder, Lauren Glassman, and Anthos) to handle this in their own, legal realms.

IF there is something the community can do, then HQ needs to lay out a clear plan of action.

Right now they seme like they are riling everyone up in case things don't go their way so that the brand would lose value. And it's working.

Remember, HQ didn't ask the affiliates to calmly band together (or even do it separately) and submit a clear letter of what they wanted to Anthos. They called on the community to drum up as much fervor and outrage as possible with only HQ's side of the story. They were told to post about it on their affiliate sites, on social media, and "get the word out" without actually providing much word.

They didn't present all the facts they had (who the partner was, offer they made to the partner, why it was declined if they knew, and so on) and instead relied on pure scare tactics to get people ready to jump ship and drive down the brand value if things went south for them at HQ.

Almost all of their "Anthos is bad because" information is strictly based on he said, she said information and speculative finger pointing.

HQ pointed out that Bryan Kelly is speaking for another partner at Anthos that is a former Goldman-Sachs exec and how that MUST mean there's someting bad going on. Yet couldn't we also point the finger at HQ for having the Russ's address the community via a discussion board instead of Coach Glassman presenting an official statement on the site from the get-go?

Russel Berger has hinted that since Bryan Kelly's wife is an exec at LuLuLemon that its obvious they're up to no good and that LuLuLemon has been plotting to get a piece of the pie all along. Yet again, baseless speculation touted as clear motivations.

So what I WANT to happen is for HQ, Anthos, and Lauren to handle this between themselves and give the community true, factual, and verifiable infromation instead of speculation and fear.

Since that won't happen, I'd settle for them cutting out the scare tactics and stop using the community as a bargaining pawn.

And if you think you aren't being used (at least in part) to drive down the value potential of the company for Anthos, you're being at least a little naive.

I 100% believe Coach Glassman loves Crossfit and would do anything to keep it "his"....and that means burn it to the ground if it wasn't his anymore.

In the end, it isn't about what I want...its about what the affiliates want.

Do you want to be used as a pawn in a custody battle or do you want to stand back and wait for more information before jumping on a side?

I think you are totally wrong about CF HQ's intents. I think they are trying to articulate their position to the affiliates and CFers around the world. I do not for one second believe Mr. Glassman has any intent of devaluing CrossFit? I think that is a rather strange position to hold on your part.

I also think that them letting people know where they stand is a fair and reasonable thing to do. Transparency is not a bad thing.

Frankly, if I owned an affiliate I would be very reassured and comforted by what HQ has said. It tells me they are going to do everything they can to keep CF as it is, which is what I want.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:42 PM   #312
Chris Mason
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Re: Stop Anthos from Taking over CrossFit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse R james View Post
That's easy, I want the responsible parties in this transaction (Coach G as 50% equity holder, Lauren Glassman, and Anthos) to handle this in their own, legal realms.

IF there is something the community can do, then HQ needs to lay out a clear plan of action.

Right now they seme like they are riling everyone up in case things don't go their way so that the brand would lose value. And it's working.

Remember, HQ didn't ask the affiliates to calmly band together (or even do it separately) and submit a clear letter of what they wanted to Anthos. They called on the community to drum up as much fervor and outrage as possible with only HQ's side of the story. They were told to post about it on their affiliate sites, on social media, and "get the word out" without actually providing much word.

They didn't present all the facts they had (who the partner was, offer they made to the partner, why it was declined if they knew, and so on) and instead relied on pure scare tactics to get people ready to jump ship and drive down the brand value if things went south for them at HQ.

Almost all of their "Anthos is bad because" information is strictly based on he said, she said information and speculative finger pointing.

HQ pointed out that Bryan Kelly is speaking for another partner at Anthos that is a former Goldman-Sachs exec and how that MUST mean there's someting bad going on. Yet couldn't we also point the finger at HQ for having the Russ's address the community via a discussion board instead of Coach Glassman presenting an official statement on the site from the get-go?

Russel Berger has hinted that since Bryan Kelly's wife is an exec at LuLuLemon that its obvious they're up to no good and that LuLuLemon has been plotting to get a piece of the pie all along. Yet again, baseless speculation touted as clear motivations.

So what I WANT to happen is for HQ, Anthos, and Lauren to handle this between themselves and give the community true, factual, and verifiable infromation instead of speculation and fear.

Since that won't happen, I'd settle for them cutting out the scare tactics and stop using the community as a bargaining pawn.

And if you think you aren't being used (at least in part) to drive down the value potential of the company for Anthos, you're being at least a little naive.

I 100% believe Coach Glassman loves Crossfit and would do anything to keep it "his"....and that means burn it to the ground if it wasn't his anymore.

In the end, it isn't about what I want...its about what the affiliates want.

Do you want to be used as a pawn in a custody battle or do you want to stand back and wait for more information before jumping on a side?

I think you are totally wrong about CF HQ's intents. I think they are trying to articulate their position to the affiliates and CFers around the world. I do not for one second believe Mr. Glassman has any intent of devaluing CrossFit? I think that is a rather strange position to hold on your part.

I also think that them letting people know where they stand is a fair and reasonable thing to do. Transparency is not a bad thing.

Frankly, if I owned an affiliate I would be very reassured and comforted by what HQ has said. It tells me they are going to do everything they can to keep CF as it is, which is what I want.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:45 PM   #313
Steve Liberati
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Re: Stop Anthos from Taking over CrossFit

This reminds me of a pre-arranged marriage in which the man is required to get in bed with someone he does not love (nor ready to love).

It begs the question: WHY would the woman in this example, if given the choice, choose to marry a man that does not love her?

Wealth could be the knee jerk answer, but that is not enough reason to marry someone. Compatibility is the first checkpoint to any successful marriage and different wants, interests, goals, religious views, and political views will ultimately weaken the bond and result in failure.

Based on everything I have read (especially the preceding pages of this thread), this is clearly not a good match for either side. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize this.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:53 PM   #314
Thomas Davenport
 
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Re: Stop Anthos from Taking over CrossFit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
I think you are totally wrong about CF HQ's intents. I think they are trying to articulate their position to the affiliates and CFers around the world. I do not for one second believe Mr. Glassman has any intent of devaluing CrossFit? I think that is a rather strange position to hold on your part.

I also think that them letting people know where they stand is a fair and reasonable thing to do. Transparency is not a bad thing.

Frankly, if I owned an affiliate I would be very reassured and comforted by what HQ has said. It tells me they are going to do everything they can to keep CF as it is, which is what I want.
Transparency? What is the amount and terms of the offer from HQ for Lauren's shares? Why have multiple representatives refer to "a non-managing equity partner" rather than to Lauren Glassman?
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:22 PM   #315
Dale F. Saran
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Re: Stop Anthos from Taking over CrossFit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Scarnecchia View Post
I have a question for the lawyers here, and perhaps for everyone involved as an affiliate to seriously think about.

What I've taken away from this thread is: in an attempt to protect the interests of one of the owners, as well as the culture of Crossfit, HQ Staff, along with Coach Glassman, are engaging in a deliberate attempt to devalue the business (in dollar terms) in an attempt to poison the well vis-à-vis Lauren Glassman's attempt to sell her 50% to a private equity firm.

How is this not either a breach of Greg Glassman's fiduciary duties or at the very least tortious interference?
I've remained purposefully quiet, both out of legal duty and respect for both of the people involved, Greg and Lauren. As CrossFit, Inc.'s lawyer, I owe the same fiduciary duty to both Greg and Lauren - and my charter is also to represent this amazing company. With that in mind, Daniel, I think it important to correct the implicit assumptions in your claims here - both legal and factual. There is no "deliberate attempt to devalue" the company - your claim asserts what it is trying to prove. First, how is it that anything here has "devalued" the company? And from whose perspective? Look, Lauren and Greg own the stock jointly, not as separate shares. Thus, neither can sell their interest without a court (in this case, the divorce court) intervening to make a determination about value and what the respective parties' interests are worth. Lauren wants to sell her shares to a specific partner, but that affects the other party's remainder after the putative division and sale. The same would be true if Greg wanted to sell his interest (purely hypothetically) to Reebok over Lauren's objection. Whoever 'gets out' first is arguably harming what remains if they get to name a new (and unwanted) partner in their wake for the remaining party to have to work with as co-equal owner.

Anthos has nothing but a conditional promise from Lauren - they know this because if she could sell her shares without a court decree, it would already be done. Arguably, Anthos announcing that it had a "definitive" agreement violated the TRO in place in the divorce case and harmed CF, Inc.'s position with respect to existing and potential business partners. This is, to put it mildly, a messy situation. Lauren has an absolute right to 'cash out' in the context of the divorce settlement and she has my fullest support of her right. Equally compelling is Greg's right to try to buy that interest and maintain his ownership and not take on a partner with whom he has already had dealings and found wanting in many respects as a business partner - both in thought and deed. (Continued in Part 2).
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:39 PM   #316
Dale F. Saran
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Re: Stop Anthos from Taking over CrossFit

CrossFit, Inc., itself has a very, very compelling interest in trying continue on the trajectory it has been on under Greg's unquestioned leadership for these past years and any new owner would present a degree of uncertainty that makes businesses 'nervous.' Concerns about visions for the company by an untested partner - who has made very public statements about how CF, Inc. should be run in order to maximize revenue - have come to light because of the unique structure of CF's business model that has fueled this growth. Greg has always felt that the affiliates are partners and CF HQ the stewards and protectors of the CrossFit Brand - there's a compelling case that the proposed "(in)definite agreement" ought to be told to business partners - so here we all are.

Ultimately, this is going to get aired in court or courts, probably more than one, and lawyers and representatives for all concerned parties are going to make their respective cases. In the meantime, both sides are trying to "win the hearts and minds" because - if it's not obvious - the lifeblood of CrossFit (the movement and the economic machine) is the Affiliates. The Affiliates could, if they wanted, up and leave en masse tomorrow and associate themselves with a new brand - and leave behind CrossFit, Inc. That has always been the magic here: the affiliates voluntarily entered into this relationship as independent business owners based upon their belief in the strength of CrossFit, the physiology, and CrossFit®, the brand. It's an entirely voluntary transaction. Part of this also includes a belief in the leadership if the man who created this and the team that he picked to help him that became known colloquially as "HQ." We don't always get it right - and Greg has stated this publicly many times - but you can't question that the heart and souls of the people who help to ensure that: new affiliates are brought on, that the WoD gets posted every day (even if you don't like it), that the Boards get moderated, that the Games is an absolute kick-a** event and experience, that the seminars continue to get better and better, that the trademark is defended, that fees get paid, that SMEs run their seminars, that the Journal has content from writers, videographers, editors, that the website is up and running, that the charitable endeavors important to CrossFit continue to move forward and help others, and that Affiliates get to make the lives of their clients better each and every day... Every. Single. Day.

In my world, schizophrenic as it is, I had hoped that my friends and partners would be able to reach an accord. That appeared imminent and then suddenly evaporated. I don't think I'm at liberty to disclose the terms, but I think there were very, very fair offers made to effect a seamless transition and ensure no business relationships of CF, Inc. would be impacted - including the relationship with the Affiliates. Unfortunately, that did not quite get consummated and then the "definitive agreement" was announced by Bryan Kelly.

So, here we are. Does that answer the mail, Daniel? So please stop making declarative statements about business devaluation, CF HQ's intent, and other legal and factual matters that appear to be designed only to cast aspersions, rather than ask an actual question. But hopefully, if the questions were asked with a genuine quest for knowledge, I've answered some of the mail. And done so in a way that I hope explains and respects the interests of two people very dear to me, to whom I owe more than I can repay, as well as a community that I consider myself humbled and honored to serve and be a small part of.

Dale
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:47 PM   #317
Jamie Gowens
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Re: Stop Anthos from Taking over CrossFit

Never mind.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:53 PM   #318
Chris Donnelly
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Re: Stop Anthos from Taking over CrossFit

I just love the Crossfit Community and have been following this thread because i've seen these type of things happen back in my I.T days.

Things to think about:

1.) The money one the table is in the name "Crossfit", VC's don't care much about the current locations as much as all the $$ in the brand. Think about it..
How many Snap Fitness's, Golds or numerous other chains the NAME could be branded too? You think they care about the quality of training people get? More and more people are saying "What is Crossfit, I want to Try it"
so imagine licensing the name to ANY gym on a corporate wide level? 24/hr fitness Crossfit.. Lifetime fitness Crossfit..

2.) You don't go after equal Stake in order to leave things the same..YOU DON'T ..it's common sense mostly.. especially when it's not wanted by the managing party.. unless you KNOW what your doing and have a gameplan to make oodles of money regardless of the fury you create coming in.

3.) There is ALWAYS those people.. those Affiliates.. the kids that ask where the homework is before you leave class on Friday.. The guy at work who does WHATEVER to appease the "boss"

There are much more tale tale signs and just clear signs without having ANY information.. Just from a business stand point.

4000+ locations are great.. but opening up the name and licensing... That's Billions.. Think about your local coffee shop..or Grocery store.. Where are they? Why? Even though the product was better in most cases..

Most major corporations will happily open up across or down the block from you and crush you over time... with marketing and cheap deals.

it can go on and on... Those are just some things off the top of my head.. Business has NO HEART or LOVE.. it's intent is to MAKE MONEY at all cost.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:10 PM   #319
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Stop Anthos from Taking over CrossFit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Donnelly View Post
I just love the Crossfit Community and have been following this thread because i've seen these type of things happen back in my I.T days.

Things to think about:

1.) The money one the table is in the name "Crossfit", VC's don't care much about the current locations as much as all the $$ in the brand. Think about it..
How many Snap Fitness's, Golds or numerous other chains the NAME could be branded too? You think they care about the quality of training people get? More and more people are saying "What is Crossfit, I want to Try it"
so imagine licensing the name to ANY gym on a corporate wide level? 24/hr fitness Crossfit.. Lifetime fitness Crossfit..

2.) You don't go after equal Stake in order to leave things the same..YOU DON'T ..it's common sense mostly.. especially when it's not wanted by the managing party.. unless you KNOW what your doing and have a gameplan to make oodles of money regardless of the fury you create coming in.

3.) There is ALWAYS those people.. those Affiliates.. the kids that ask where the homework is before you leave class on Friday.. The guy at work who does WHATEVER to appease the "boss"

There are much more tale tale signs and just clear signs without having ANY information.. Just from a business stand point.

4000+ locations are great.. but opening up the name and licensing... That's Billions.. Think about your local coffee shop..or Grocery store.. Where are they? Why? Even though the product was better in most cases..

Most major corporations will happily open up across or down the block from you and crush you over time... with marketing and cheap deals.

it can go on and on... Those are just some things off the top of my head.. Business has NO HEART or LOVE.. it's intent is to MAKE MONEY at all cost.
I think you're being a bit overdramatic with those last two lines...especially seeing how (at the root of it all) CF is a business that needs profits and not just wishes and rainbows to stay afloat. Yes, businesses are supposed to make money--that's called maximizing shareholder value, and failure to do so is a failure of fiduciary responsibilities. That doesn't mean all big business is evil or soulless.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:18 PM   #320
Chris Mason
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Re: Stop Anthos from Taking over CrossFit

The whole idea that profit is the only thing that drives a private owned business is ignorant. Privately owned businesses are a reflection of their ownership and usually of said ownership's ideas and values.

I could make a LOT more money than I do by doing a lot of the things most other supplement companies do. I don't do them because I have a sole and feel that AtLarge is a reflection of ME.

Yes, I want and need to be profitable, but my business decisions are FAR from being predicated solely on that desire.
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