The impact of COVID-19 has implications on the fitness industry many of us had not previously imagined. Your local gym may has closed, or is going to be mandated to do so. All obstacle racing companies have postponed or cancelled events for March and April of this year. While most in the community hope things “go back to normal” by May/June, there are no guarantees. Last night, we received word from Spartan Race that the company is going to furlough a large portion of their staff, while they wait on word from government and health officials to determine when it is safe to hold large gatherings again.
Here is what they sent to employees:
First, we hope that everyone is staying safe. Our thoughts and compassion go out to everyone who has, or is caring for loved ones affected by, COVID-19. We recognize the toll that the novel coronavirus is taking on our global community (medical, social, emotional and economic), and we thank you for your continued efforts to support your Spartan colleagues and our customers. Every one of you has been critical to our success over the past 10 years, and you are crucial to our future growth.
As you know, Spartan is an event-driven business and we’re facing unprecedented challenges, much like all other sporting, events, hospitality, travel and a number of other companies across the world right now. While facing the business impacts of such a rapidly-spreading global pandemic, and in order to ensure the strength of the Spartan brand and community, we have to make temporary changes and remain nimble in our operational decisions in the days ahead. We are making numerous adjustments, and have made the difficult decision to place some employees on short-term furlough, in accordance with the need to suspend race operations to protect the health and safety of our staff and customers. All furloughed employees will receive a stipend and will continue to receive healthcare benefits, and we are exploring ways that we can provide additional resources to employees upon their return to work.
In keeping with the spirit of community and solidarity at Spartan, all employees in the company are impacted, and we are temporarily reducing the salary of all other non-furloughed employees as we continue to work through the business challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. If any financial assistance is provided by the federal government or state governments to Spartan, we will do our utmost to ensure employees are reimbursed to 100% of their salaries.
The Spartan Leadership Team will continue to follow federal, state and local government guidelines and will make adjustments to our events and business practices as needed in the coming weeks, keeping you in the know. Please know we do not make any of these decisions lightly, and all decisions will be in an effort to protect the longevity of the business and keep the OCR industry going strong.
We cannot stress enough how important you all are to our future success, and together, we know our strength, resilience and grit as Spartans will bring us back stronger than ever.
Thank you for all of your hard work, and stay safe,
The Spartan Leadership Team
Update – 9:07am – Spartan Race owner Joe Desena spoke on this live video to further discuss the situation. He is hopeful that people can get back to work in May and begin to hire people back for events to be held in June. This discussion begins around minute 23 of the video.
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