Reebok announced Tuesday that it has signed three-time CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning to a long-term contract that will “ensure that Froning remains a Reebok-endorsed athlete throughout his professional career,” the brand said in a press release.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed but a representative confirmed the deal makes Froning one of Reebok’s highest paid athletes with a contract on par with those of players competing in the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL.
“There is no doubt that Rich is the world’s premier CrossFit athlete. His track record speaks for itself,” said Chris Froio, vice president of fitness and training at Reebok. “With our long term commitment to CrossFit, it was important that Rich be a part of helping us continue to innovate and push the sport forward. Over the past few years, he has been instrumental in helping us develop products such as our Nano series and our CrossFit board short, and he will continue to play a huge role in the future.”
The signing speaks to the continued growth of CrossFit as an emerging mainstream sport. Last week, officials announced that Reebok, the official sponsor of the CrossFit Games, will expand the purse for the competition set to start Wednesday. This year the top 20 men and top 20 women will receive prize money with a total payout of $1.75 million. Reebok plans to continue expanding the prize money until it reaches $3 million in 2020.
Many CrossFit athletes do have sponsors, but Froning’s long-term agreement could open the door for similar contracts for the sport's top names, like Jason Khalipa, and former two-time women’s champ Anne Thorisdottir.
“I am extremely happy to be able to say I am with Reebok for the rest of my career,” Froning said.