Legends Championship Tells Athletes That Cash Prizes May Not Be Possible

The Legends Championship is one of the premier competitions in the world for masters athletes. The organizers have done such a good job since its debut in 2019 that CrossFit partnered with the organizers to run the 2024 Masters CrossFit Games. But for those who finished on the podium at the 2023 Legends Championship, there may not be a cash prize.

At the podium ceremony at the conclusion of last month’s competition, top athletes received a medal and a commemorative coin. But unlike previous years there wasn’t a cash prize.

Over the weekend, organizers of the Legends Championship sent a message to podium finishers indicating that prize money may not be possible this year.

Message sent to Legends Championship athletes:

“Good morning, hoping everyone is having a great holiday season. Below is the current update/status concerning prize money.

“While we would love to pay out significant prize money every year, unfortunately we will not be able to provide any for 2023. For years, we have funded Legends out of our own personal funds, but that model can’t continue. I hope you can appreciate that. We are still collecting money from sponsors & vendors, and have a few bills yet to pay from suppliers. We will not have a final decision until all funds have been collected and all bills paid. We appreciate your support.”

After seeing the message sent to athletes, I reached out to Joe Linton and Bob Jennings, the co-founders of the Legends Championship. They confirmed that a delay in payment by sponsors and vendors has put them in a position where it may be unlikely that they can provide a cash prize to the winners. “We won’t know until we have paid all the bills and received all the money from sponsors. Those are both fluid at the moment,” said Jennings in a statement to The Barbell Spin.

But that doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. Jennings explained, “If everyone pays and we don’t get hit with some unanticipated bill we expect to pay some prize money.” Jennings was not able to provide a date in which he would know for certain if prize money could be paid out, but that he was continuing to push on the sponsors who have failed to pay what was promised.

1st Phorm was the title sponsor of the 2023 Legends Championship. It is unclear, however, if 1st Phorm is one of the sponsors who has failed to fulfill is financial obligations.

As for any concerns about how this might impact next year’s Masters CrossFit Games, Jennings put those to rest, “The Legends Championship and Masters CrossFit Games are two distinct events with two distinct revenue and cost models.” He added, “CrossFit has already announced the prize money will remain the same for the Masters in 2024.”

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