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Old 12-29-2009, 12:05 PM   #11
Geoffrey Thompson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker Willis View Post
The author's name is Nick Heil. I've tried to contact him, we'll see if he responds. He has a facebook account, someone else give it shot. Garrett, you live in Arizona where CF is incorporated. Perhaps you might be able to go to your local courthouse and dig up some tax returns, or any other information? Check that link I posted from Hoover's, it has the address in case you need it. Most state court systems have tax leins and other public documents online, so you can check the entire state for free if you go in person. just a thought.
Is anyone a CPA? I'd be willing to do the research if you could point me in the right direction and the right resources.
As far as this being anyone's business, I'd say looking into everything is a necessary service to affiliate owners (and former affiliate owners), and anyone else who has invested in CF, including certs.
Eh, CF is quite up-front about the fact that they are "hugely profitable", see this recent article from the CF Journal: http://journal.crossfit.com/2009/10/...f-crossfit.tpl Free Download!
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:18 PM   #12
Dominic Sirianni
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I really don't have much vested interest in either side of it; I just meant that CF sells a service, people pay for it, etc.

I get a lot out of the CF site, as well as this site, Robb's site, Ross Training, DD, etc. For me CF has opened a lot of doors into a world I was largely ignorant of. I found Ross and CF at around the same time and they have both been awesome tools for me.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:37 PM   #13
Steve Romer
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The firings of Greg and Robb is all about the money. CFHQ is very upset about the BBS because it was an event outside the control CFHQ and did not direct any profits to CFHQ. This scared the sh*t out of CFHQ so CFHQ excommunicated Greg and Robb to scare others away from doing similar seminars.

I believe CFHQ is not about what works best for their clients but rather a cult whose mission is to funnel as much money back to CFHQ as possible at the expense of the affiliates and the affiliates' clients.
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Old 12-29-2009, 01:48 PM   #14
Geoffrey Thompson
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Originally Posted by Steve Romer View Post
The firings of Greg and Robb is all about the money. CFHQ is very upset about the BBS because it was an event outside the control CFHQ and did not direct any profits to CFHQ. This scared the sh*t out of CFHQ so CFHQ excommunicated Greg and Robb to scare others away from doing similar seminars.

I believe CFHQ is not about what works best for their clients but rather a cult whose mission is to funnel as much money back to CFHQ as possible at the expense of the affiliates and the affiliates' clients.
The only thing Crossfit has to sell is its brand name. Certification is selling the brand name to trainers. Affiliation is selling the brand name to gyms. The BBS and subsequent actions of Greg and Robb were damaging to the brand name, which is a threat to their only product (the brand name). Discussion on the message board is locked down because it is damaging to the brand name. CF, in fact, will pretty much openly admit this.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:27 PM   #15
Parker Willis
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According to the "Business of CF" article, affiliation fees are as follows:
350 gyms pay $500 a year (350 x $500 = $175,000)
650 gyms pay $1,000 a year (650 x $1,000 = $650,000)
That leaves 330 gyms paying $2,000 a year. (330 x $2,000 = $660,000)
Total: $1,485,000 a year

GG on Affiliates
"...if I try to get everyone moving in lockstep, I get everyone moving towards mediocrity. Because we have a Darwinian/free-market approach to the affiliates, best practices arise at a breathtaking rate."

According to that article, 60 students attend an average seminar, so my numbers from the level 1 which used 53 are conservative.

The article says $6.48 million in yearly revenue from certs. Revenue is the entire income before deductions are made, so that number seems low. His calculations assumed there were 98 Level 1 certs per year with 60 people attending, whereas mine used the mainpage's 50 L1 in 4 months to get 150 L1 certs per year with 53 attending.

CFHQ takes a 20-30% cut of SME's revenue.
If 45 people go to a $595 cert, that's $6693.75 in CFHQ's pocket.

Any way to figure out how many Journal subscribers there are?
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:01 PM   #16
Garrett Smith
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Parker,
Nothing against your personal mission here, but I don't have the time or inclination to go to the courthouse to find anything.

CF won't have much to stand on if they try to "protect" the word CrossFit, based on this landmark case in NY on the word "Pilates":
Court overturns Pilates Trademarks
Quote:
By Lawrence Stanley, Esq.

What’s in a name? Plenty, especially if the name is “Pilates,” one of the hottest fitness trends in America. An October 2000 decision in Manhattan’s federal court declared that Pilates, like yoga and karate, is an exercise method and not a trademark. The decision affected thousands of Pilates instructors who had been prevented from saying that they taught Pilates. “Imagine if you were a yoga teacher, and couldn‘t say ‘yoga’ – you were forced to describe it in some other way,” said Marie José Blom-Lawrence, a Pilates instructor since 1980. “Pilates instructors were in the same boat.”

The four-year case pitted Sean Gallagher, owner of the Manhattan-based Pilates Studio, against Ken Endelman and Balanced Body Inc., the world‘s largest manufacturer of Pilates equipment. On October 19, 2000, U.S. District Court Judge Miriam Cedarbaum ruled that the Pilates trademarks were invalid. She directed the United States Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the marks immediately.

Pilates ruled “generic”
The Court‘s 93-page opinion, which invalidated Gallagher’s trademarks for Pilates exercise services and Pilates equipment, found that Pilates is a generic term. Since “consumers identify the world ‘Pilates’ as a particular method of exercise,” the Court found, “plaintiff cannot monopolize [it].” Gallagher was also found to have “deliberately attempted to mislead” the United States Patent and Trademark office by falsely claiming in sworn documents that he had manufactured Pilates equipment.
Basically, by CF trying to be "everything" in exercise (note all the different "certs") and "nothing" at the same time (note how CF.com's exercise programming methods have never been disclosed, CrossFit is NOT considered the mainpage WOD because that would lead to franchising issues, and doing a bunch of different exercises in random fashion can't really be trademarked because...it's random!) they will, IMO, never be able to even begin to protect the brand in court.

Could you just see it?

Defendant's attorney: "Please, define CrossFit for us."

Plaintiff: "Well...it's a mixture of weightlifting, powerlifting, gymnastics, rowing, running, kettlebells, yadda yadda yadda..."

Def. Att.: "So is there anything original about it?"

Plaintiff: "The way we combine it."

Def. Att.: "So your tools are nothing new. How is it that you combine them that makes this all so original it can be protected?"

Plaintiff: "Well, there was one CFJ article written about our programming, but we've never really followed that, some people have said our program is random based on the "hopper" model of fitness, but really it is an ever-evolving paradigm that is constantly changing in an effort to increase work capacity across broad time and modal domains."

Def. Att.: "So, let me get this straight for the judge. You don't follow your own programming guidelines. For all anyone knows, your programming may be completely random. Your "type" of fitness has no real-world definition and your annual competitions are never the same...hmmm.

You do exercises that other people do.
You do rep ranges that other people do.
There appears to be no deeper knowledge to your programming.
You don't teach your affiliates how to "program" CrossFit workouts.

Basically, either everyone exercising in the world could be said to be "doing CrossFit" according to you, or CrossFit really stands for nothing at all. Really, what do you think you can protect?!?!"

CASE CLOSED.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:29 PM   #17
Steve Romer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Thompson View Post
The only thing Crossfit has to sell is its brand name. Certification is selling the brand name to trainers. Affiliation is selling the brand name to gyms. The BBS and subsequent actions of Greg and Robb were damaging to the brand name, which is a threat to their only product (the brand name). Discussion on the message board is locked down because it is damaging to the brand name. CF, in fact, will pretty much openly admit this.
I am sorry but the BBS did not hurt CF's Brand Name. However the actions of Dave at the BBS harmed CF Brand's Name and the actions of CFHQ since the BBS are hurting the CF Brand Name. All self inflected wounds by the way.
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:23 PM   #18
Jonathan Silverman
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Sometimes I geek out and play with numbers and equations, and i made a post about a secret math formula in CF workouts... but actually there was no formula in actuality. I got a lotta replies though. It did get an innocuous post from Cf's Attorney Dale Saran saying like you can't blame me for trying.

I actually don't have a head for numbers. So it is difficult for me to follow this thread. Can someone explain to me why CF could have a Ponzi structure? Are you saying you have fraud going on? What kinda fraud?
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:42 PM   #19
Neill Smith
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I actually don't have a head for numbers. So it is difficult for me to follow this thread. Can someone explain to me why CF could have a Ponzi structure? Are you saying you have fraud going on? What kinda fraud?
CF could not be a Ponzi scheme. Ponzi schemes, by definition, take investment and pay returns on that investment. It's a scheme because money from today's investors is used to pay off yesterday's investors. If there are no investors tomorrow, it collapses. CF isn't an investment vehicle.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:00 PM   #20
Parker Willis
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I think the Ponzi scheme comparison is there because the achilles heel of any Ponzi scheme is the lack of sustainable (albeit explosive) growth from which to draw. Right now, people are lining up to go to a cert, but how many people can you certify? Will it continue, or will it dry up? If CF's main source of revenue is the level 1 cert, and from my perspective it is, then what happens if fewer people sign up? If I get a level 1 cert, I am banking on brand recognition to sell my product (if i train people) which is where the multi-level marketing comparisons creep in. That's comparison, not accusation. Its fishy enough to look into, which is what I'm doing. anyways, if CF has taken on any debt and uses cert money to pay off that debt, it could end badly, especially for affiliates. I have to wonder why affiliates don't demand more accountability from HQ. But you're right, CF is not a Ponzi scheme.

The reason I posted the quote was the "exploiting weakness in others" part. I believe that CF does that very well. But that is my opinion.

I'll just keep posting information as I can get it, so people can make up their own mind. I'll do my best to stick to the facts.
btw Garrett thanks for the cfj link--it was helpful.
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