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OHIO MSA Students Gain Hands-On Experience at CrossFit Games

Wednesday, September 19 2018 12:00am

OHIO students conducted economic impact research at the CrossFit Games in Madison.

By Quintin Lash

This summer, a team of Bobcats took to Madison, Wisconsin to assist with Economic Impact research at the CrossFit Games. The team, which consisted of seven Master of Sports Administration (MSA) students, one Professional MSA student, and three faculty members, was able to collect over 2,000 responses from attendees on the grounds over the five-day event.

The research is critical for the CrossFit business, as it provides insight into the demographics and behavior of their fans. Information about spectator spending habits, interests, and lifestyles is leveraged to guide decision-making related to venue selection, broadcast planning, and partnership activations.

For most of the students, this fieldwork provided their first opportunity to take part in surveying and research. While approaching strangers can be a bit daunting, it pushed all involved out of their comfort zone.

“Although it was not easy asking random people to take surveys, I got a lot better at ‘selling’. This was one of my skills I was really able to build upon and improve,” said Grant Hall, one of the students on the CrossFit research team.

Although gathering surveys was a difficult task, the real project is just beginning. The team has now transitioned into an analysis phase, where the data is being reviewed, processed, and scoured for insights. Because Ohio University has been leading this research for several years now, the information is also able to be analyzed longitudinally across years, hosts, and venues, to provide comprehensive feedback.

The Economic Impact research at the CrossFit Games has provided students with a perfect opportunity to develop as professionals in the sports industry. The team will present their findings to CrossFit in the coming months and is excited to represent Ohio University as an important partner to one of the world’s fastest growing sports.

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