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WODLA: Rebranding Scandinavian CrossFit Competitions 

July 5, 20246 min read

History and Origins

Since 2016, just six months after discovering CrossFit in his own life, Roger Gillros has been running CrossFit competitions in Norway and Sweden. For the past three years his company, Throwdown Events, has been running a minimum of five successful competitions between the two Scandinavian countries on an annual basis. This weekend, at the Norwegian Throwdown, he and his team are starting the rollout of a rebrand from Throwdown Events, to the WODLA Group. 

Why the Rebrand?

There are two primary reasons for the rebrand. The first is to create a clear distinction from the word throwdowns, which is a commonly used term for CrossFit competitions on both a local and global level. For Gillros, it’s important to distinguish that the WODLA competitions are his, and that they are distinct from throwdowns you will come across anywhere else. 

Secondarily, as part of the rebrand, Gillros and his partners will be opening a webshop on October first of this year (WODLA gear will be available for purchase for the first time on site at the Norwegian Throwdown this weekend) with the intention of creating a platform for brands who don’t have resale ability in Scandinavia, but now will be able to do it through the WODLA platform. Additionally, the WODLA group owners have a passion for fun and professional styles of clothing, and having their own platform will give them the freedom to express that. 

Stepping Up the Game

Gillros has prided himself on being exposed to all styles of competition organization in the fitness space for several years now. Volunteering and working at competitions in many different countries and in many different roles. In every instance, he’s doing much more than being an emcee, laying flooring, judging, or helping with consulting on the back end. He’s taking mental notes about what works and what doesn’t in all aspects of running competitions, constantly learning so he can adapt at his own competitions for the betterment of everyone involved.

The Four Pillars of Competition

For Gillros there are four pillars to every competition, and not one of them is more important than the other. Those four pillars are the spectators, athletes, crew, and sponsors. 

He does recognize that programming is the most visible element of a competition for most people. Accordingly Gillros has worked with Phil Hesketh of Prepared Programming going back to his Sanctioned event, the Norwegian CrossFit Championship, in February 2020. The two of them have continued to refine their strategy and execution since and feel their delivery in that aspect is in a great place.

The crew (equipment, athlete control, judges, etc) has also been an important part of Gillros’s success in the past couple years. He has a strong core team that shows up and runs like a well oiled machine competition after competition, and year after year. 

The next areas of refinement are for the spectators and vendors. While Gillros does feel good in what he’s created thus far, he also acknowledges room for improvement. “I always believe that CrossFit competitions are spectator events. But, in order to deliver on that front the overall level of the competition needs to be better. Similarly, for big sponsors to want to be involved in the presentation of the competition, the branding on the floor, in the arena, on the web, and anywhere else, needs to be clear, consistent, and well thought out. That is our next area of focus and a critical part of our rebranding strategy.” 

Running Successful Competitions

Gillros joined us on the BFriendly Fitness podcast back in February to discuss some of his tricks of the trade when it comes to running successful and profitable competitions. Never satisfied, he is constantly self-critiquing and brainstorming new ways to provide the highest quality product for all four pillars of competition. 

If you’re in Oslo this weekend, stop by the Furuset Forum to get a first look at the WODLA brand. If you’re anywhere else, catch some of the action on the BFriendly Fitness Youtube channel for a chance to see aspects of the high quality competitions he puts together.

Remaining Competition This Calendar Year

Norwegian Throwdown is the second of five competitions Gillros will be putting on in 2024. The remaining three are: 

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Brian Friend

Brian stumbled upon CrossFit in the Fall of 2013. He has been a writer, data analyst, content creator, commentator, and broadcast coordinator. He's worked at a majority of the largest CrossFit competitions over the last three seasons, is a regular guest on the Sevan Podcast, and has been amongst the leading sports analysts in the sport in recent years. He has a passion for advancing the sport of CrossFit, and spreading the CrossFit methodology, by living it out in both his personal and professional life.

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