PITTSBURGH, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- GNC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GNC), the nation's largest specialty retailer of health and wellness products, is proud to announce that it will be an official sponsor of the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games, an annual fitness competition created and operated by CrossFit, Inc. where elite athletes compete for the crown of the Fittest on Earth™ and a piece of a $1 million purse. The CrossFit Games, now in their sixth year, will be held July 13-15 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California and will broadcast worldwide on the ESPN network.
Open to competitors from around the world, the CrossFit Games have been named "one of the fastest growing sports in America," by Forbes. The season kicked off with the Open, with nearly 70,000 competitors participating online and at CrossFit affiliated gyms worldwide. The top athletes and teams in each region from the Open will move onto the 17 worldwide Regionals. The best athletes and teams at Regionals will compete at the finals of the 2012 Reebok CrossFit Games, where a male and female champion are named and awarded $250,000 each.
"We are very proud to be the official vitamin and sports nutrition retailer of the CrossFit Games and are excited to actively participate on a global level," said Jeff Hennion, EVP - Chief Marketing Officer & e-Commerce at GNC. "The passionate CrossFit community is a true representation of GNC's Live Well platform and it's an honor to help support athletes who live well every day."
At the CrossFit Games, individuals and teams are faced with a wide variety of athletic challenges that may include, but are not limited to, Olympic lifts, gymnastics movements, running, powerlifting, rowing, rope climbs, swimming, kettle bell swings, obstacle courses, and much more. Part of being fit means being ready for the unknown and unknowable, so the workouts are constantly varied and never the same. Unlike other sports where athletes can tailor their training to the specific demands of the event or sport in which they compete, CrossFit Games competitors do not know the nature, duration, number, frequency or timing of the workouts they will be required to complete during the competition until shortly before each of the events begin. The most well-rounded athletes are the ones who succeed as CrossFit Games competitors.
In addition to sponsoring the Championship event, GNC will also support the CrossFit community throughout the season and participate in the 17 regional qualifying events around the world (U.S. - 10, Canada - 2, Asia, Africa, Latin America, Australia and Europe - 1 each), open events and grassroots efforts throughout the community.
"CrossFit is a thriving community where people are passionate about fitness and a healthy lifestyle, and we welcome GNC as a proud supporter of the community and the CrossFit Games," said Jimi Letchford, Chief Marketing Officer, CrossFit, Inc. "We believe the Games are the ultimate test of fitness, and partners like GNC help support our search for the fittest man and woman on earth."
GNC Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a leading global specialty retailer of health and wellness products, including vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplement products, sports nutrition products and diet products, and trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "GNC."
As of December 31, 2011, GNC has more than 7,600 locations, of which more than 5,900 retail locations are in the United States (including 924 franchise and 2,125 Rite Aid franchise store-within-a-store locations) and franchise operations in 53 countries (including distribution centers where retail sales are made). The Company -- which is dedicated to helping consumers Live Well -- has a diversified, multi-channel business model and derives revenue from product sales through company-owned retail stores, domestic and international franchise activities, third party contract manufacturing, e-commerce and corporate partnerships. Our broad and deep product mix, which is focused on high-margin, premium, value-added nutritional products, is sold under GNC proprietary brands, including Mega Men®, Ultra Mega®, GNC Total Lean™ , Pro Performance® and Pro Performance® AMP, and under nationally recognized third party brands.
For more than 75 years, GNC has been committed to bringing people superior GNC brand products using only the highest quality ingredients, manufactured under the strictest quality controls. Managing every stage of the process - from formulation to retailing - allows GNC to guarantee quality, purity and potency of GNC products.
About CrossFit CrossFit, Inc. is the world's foremost developer of functional fitness programming and a leading accredited certificate issuer for physical training professionals worldwide. Founded by Greg Glassman, CrossFit® is the principal strength-and-conditioning program for hundreds of accomplished and professional athletes and hundreds of thousands of individuals seeking to achieve elite fitness. CrossFit offers specialty certificate courses and programs, including the CrossFit Kids program; publishes the CrossFit Journal; and created and operates the CrossFit Games, an annual event which seeks to find and crown the Fittest on Earth™. There are currently more than 3,400 affiliated gyms in the global CrossFit training network. For more information, please visit www.crossfit.com or facebook.com/crossfithq.