For the Record 2/14

Countdown to the Throwdown

A number of people, mainly sponsors and potential sponsors, have asked how many Firefighter Throwdowns have been staged before this one coming up in conjunction with Firehouse World in San Diego. They’re surprised to learn that this is the flagship event given the stature and commitment of the sponsors, which include Reebok, Elkhart Brass, ROGUE, Starkist,, Quest Nutrition, South Coast Fire and Cygnus Publishing.  Generally speaking, some of these sponsors simply do not sponsor first-time events since they are involved in the larger and more established athletic venues nationally and those sponsorships are expensive and labor intensive.

The idea of the Throwdown evolved from spending two years attending multiple CrossFit Regional Competitions and the LA Games with a couple of our clients who target athletes. Being immersed in the CrossFit culture for three to five days at a time was revitalizing. At the core were caring, competitive, friendly, funny people…many of whom were firefighters.

Every competition would include individual or sometimes groups of firefighters. Men and women who stopped to talk, had a kind word, a good story, or a smart remark… and all were ripped (keep in mind this was at an athletic event). There was an unspoken sense of togetherness and commitment to this relatively new sport. The athletes were not there to compete for the money or fame, but for the sheer challenge of winning. And the attitude was aggressive, but not offensive. No one was reveling in the failure of another; instead the attitude to be the best you could be prevailed and people helped each other to get there.

The Firefighter Throwdown was created to provide a stage to showcase this level of commitment and healthy competition. Any competition prior showcased the athletes, who happen to include firefighters, but nowhere was there a competition where the firefighters owned it and used only their physical strength to win. There’s no equipment to carry, no bunkers or props; just firefighters pitted against other firefighters to compare physical endurance and strength.

The response of firefighters to this event has been far above projections. The web traffic is higher, the number of Facebook “Likes” keeps climbing and the geography covered by the applicants span from Maine to Florida to Washington State.

Every sponsor had 500 other events they could have supported, but they chose to vote with their marketing budgets and staff to support the fire industry and firefighters on a first-time event. This is more than a boardroom decision from the sponsors you see on the Firefighter Throwdown website,, it’s really their show of support to firefighters.

You will be seeing photos of the athletes released on Facebook,, between now and the competition. Check out the experience levels, times, weights and photos of the athletes; these people are serious about their craft. Some have overcome major life struggles, while others are simply born competitors…in all, an impressive lot.

If you can make it to the San Diego Convention Center on February 19 and 20, you won’t be disappointed.