Update: We have since met with The Orginal Fit Factory the parent company of Cool Events. You can read the updates here:
Update One: Cool Events Parent Company Addresses Issues.
Editors Note: Due to the size of the screenshots that correspond to the research in the article, all screenshots are at the bottom of the page. Also, OCR Buddy is still working on contacting both Cool Events LLC and The Orginal FIT Factory to find out if OCR Buddy can help them in any way.
After Terrain Race announced the cancellation of their Tampa Event and the postponement of two events later this year, the conversation was raised about the track record of the company that was Cool Events LLC. (See https://www.obstacleracingmedia.com/ocr-news/terrain-race-cancels-tampa-event-postpones-2-others/ from Obstacle Racing Media for details on the cancelation)
To facilitate transparency in the community OCR Buddy Founder Russ Blatt reached out to his previous contacts at Cool Events. He received no response.
“One of the reasons that brands like Terrain Race and Muddy Dash could hold importance to our sport is that there are very few “introductory” brands and events. If there were more brands and events that were able to be used as a “springboard” to the sport, we would all benefit.
OCR Buddy is in the process of surveying OCR brand owners and Race Directors. Nearly half indicated that attendance and growth are a large concern. We need to work together to build brands and awareness and use them to help grow the sport.”
After doing further research, we learned that The Original Fit Factory in the UK had acquired Cool Events LLC. After locating new contacts for the parent company, Blatt reached out again to see if OCR Buddy could help clear the air. He received no response.
It was announced in December 2022 that Cool Events and all of their properties had been acquired along with 8 other companies by The Original Fit Factory out of the United Kingdom in a 137-million-dollar acquisition spree. (https://justentrepreneurs.co.uk/news/the-original-fit-factory-completes-137m-usd-acquisition-of-8-international-wellbeing-and-lifestyle-companies).
Among the other companies that had been acquired, The Original Fit Factory acquired.
Elf at Work
The Original Fit Factory was launched in 2016 by UK Fitness Expert David Wier. Under their umbrella were TV FIT Productions and TruConnect, a global fitness community app. The TruConnect app features ambassadors such as UFC Hall of Famer George Rush St-Pierre.
The Original Fit Factory also runs a charity, The Original Fit Factory Foundation, registered with the Scottish Charity Regulator in October of 2022. This foundation is the official charity of all of the Cool Events Properties.
As a side note, according to the Scottish Charity Regulator, the regulator will publish accounting statements for charities making £25,000 or more. There is no accounting available right now for the charity.
According to their website (https://www.theoriginalfitfactory.com/charity/)
- Since May 2022, we have donated over $500,000 to Ronald McDonald House Charities.
- In December 2022, we donated over 300 Christmas presents to children and teens in need within Glasgow and surrounding areas.
- We have started the rollout of our health and wellness app TruConnect for all staff and families who stay at Ronald McDonald Houses. Each individual gets a free, life-long membership to help support their physical and mental health.
Three of the companies that are now listed as sponsors for the Cool Events properties were either previously owned by The Original Fit Factory (Smart Protein) or had been acquired in 2022.
The last company listed as a sponsor is Fox Pest Control. But when you click on the link, the URL refers to a PPC (Pay Per Click) and Adwords (Google Adwords).
We used the Internet Wayback Machine to review the schedules they listed in January of 2023 for each event. We compared this schedule to the currently listed schedule and their social media footprint and came up with the following numbers for cancellations and postponements.
36 Races Listed
19 Canceled or Postponed
46 Races Listed
15 Races were either canceled or postponed.
33 Races Listed
20 Races Listed
2 Postponed or Canceled.
Black Light Run
All Races Listed Postponed.
Its also noted that there are reports of comments being deleted from social media profiles owned by Cool Events LLC expressing concerns about canceled events.
Where do we go from here?
We hesitate not to support any company that is part of the OCR landscape, especially after the past three years have presented so many challenges to the industry. Still, we also feel a responsibility to the OCR Community to be transparent about issues, especially when it takes one glance at the social media of any of their properties to see the complaints being lodged against them for lack of communication or lack of refunds.
If your event is canceled, we encourage the following.
Filing for a refund with the event owner.
Informing your Credit Card company of the situation. Several credit card companies will reverse the charge if you let them know that you did not get what you paid for.
The Screen Shots: