As you probably already know, if you're a CrossFit athelte looking to get sponsored, you need to be on social media. And you most definitely need to be on Instagram.
The owner of the apparel company AsRx Marcus Dedina—whose company sponsors many top CrossFit athletes, including Brooke Wells, Wes Piatt and Bjork Odinsdottir, is emphatic: "Your Instagram presence matters," he said.
Brooke Wells rocking her AsRx Focus tank on IG
Dedina added when his company looks to sponsor a new athlete, they look for not only a talented physical CrossFit athlete with a good attitude, but also someone with social media savvy.
“I hate to say it but social media presence is big,” Dedina said, adding that he is particularly fond of people who express unique personalities online—the more genuine the better.
“When people are natural, it’s obvious.”
Social media expert Chelsea Maier agrees. She’s the marketing project manager for Blonyx, a supplement company that caters to the CrossFit community—a company that sponsors a plethora of CrossFit athletes, including 3-time CrossFit Games star Emily Abbott.
Maier works directly with Blonyx’s growing team of athletes to help them build their social media accounts in a way that helps both the athlete and the Blonyx brand. She’s also involved in assessing new recruits—a selection process that goes well beyond just your number of followers, she said.
3 Important Social Characteristics Maier Looks For
“After looking through a handful of posts, do I have an idea about what this athlete would be like to hang out with? Do they seem honest and open, but not an “over-sharer?” I believe that the more you’re yourself on social media, the more interactive and committed your followers will be. It’s a give a little, get a little, type of interaction.
If someone is posting generic photos with generic captions, they won’t hold anyone’s interest or attention for long. If you’re a goofy person, be a goofy person!. Your vibe attracts your tribe. I can usually tell if someone would be a good fit for sponsorship just based off of this, even if they don’t have a ton of followers yet.”
2. Quality and Consistency
“It’s 2016, and there are some high-quality cameras built into our cell phones. The quality of your photos and videos should be decent, if not great. Take some time to research tips for cellphone photography, or partner up with someone who takes great photos and get them to take pictures of you, or teach you their tricks.
Consistency—if you’re looking for sponsorship—means you should be posting about the brand you would like to work with consistently. The posts don’t have to be salesy; they should be natural, and should match your personality. How does the product fit into your everyday life? Why would you recommend it to others?”
Quality shot and a quality flex...
“You’re not just posting on social media and never looking at it again. You’re answering questions you may get from followers, you’re commenting on other accounts, you’re partnering with other athletes, or connecting with people in real life. I will consider accounts that don’t have many followers if I see potential for them to grow.”
Maier’s top picks for CrossFit Instagram accounts
Chung is an American currently living in Doha, Qatar and competes at the Regional level in the Meridian.
“I send her account through to other athletes and even brands when we’re consulting about social media. What I love about Steph’s account is the quality of the photos and videos, and the story she shares with them,” Maier said.
“Katrin is a fun person to follow on Instagram and social media. Her accounts make you feel like you’re hanging out with her—everything from what she is eating, to her training, to working with her sponsors. Everything is real, but she’s still so focused and dedicated that she can win the CrossFit Games two years in a row,” Maier said.
Abbott is never afraid to look ridiculous
Maier: “A theme in all of the accounts that I love is personality, personality, personality. If you’ve ever hung out with Emily Abbott, you’ll realize her humour on social media matches her demeanour in real life. Abbott has a great mixture of posts about what she’s up to in and out of the gym, and she’s not afraid to have fun with her platform. And other athletes: Watch out. She tells it like it is.”
Maier: “Noah Ohlsen has one of my favourite Instagram accounts in the CrossFit community. He lets us into multiple aspects of his life, he has a lot of fun, is crazy about his dog, coaching, community, etc, but we also see the blood, the tears, and the sweat. His account is fun and creative.”
Maier: “Lucas Parker has another account that lets his personality shine through. Parker may come across as a mystery man at times, but he let’s you into his wild world via his social media accounts. It’s no wonder him and fellow ginger Canuck Abbott have an awesome friendship. I feel like together they would pull well-executed technical pranks on you. Parker has built a solid brand through his social media platforms.”
Just for fun, my favorite CrossFit Instagram account—hands down—is:
The opposite of cliche, Alex Parker—2015 CrossFit Games athlete—always finds a way to turn seemingly mundane pictures into hilarity through her cleverly-worded text. In short, she’s the opposite of cliche. Unlike most athletes, she doesn’t just post her highlight reel. Her self-depricating humour often shows her during times of struggle, as well. And the same way every single workout should have an intention, every single one of her posts is worthwhile and memorable.
I'l leave you with this: Cliche shot turns into a great post with a simple line of text.