Two-Brain Radio: Reporting on Fitness With Niki Brazier


Sean: 00:00 – Hi everybody. Welcome to another edition of Two-Brain Radio with Sean Woodland. On today’s episode, I speak with CrossFit Games sideline reporter Niki Brazier. If you know me, you know I like hockey, wrestling, pro football, dogs, and of course, fitness, but I also like podcasts. Every week, I am fired up to bring you the very best of the fitness world on Two-Brain Radio. I’m always digging for the best stories from the most interesting people in the industry, and we’re also cranking out other great shows that can help you run a successful business. Every Monday, the clever guys from Two-Brain Marketing are showcasing success and serving the secret sauce that gets leads into gyms, and every Thursday we’ve got the best of the business world, people who will educate you and inspire you. So if you haven’t, please subscribe to Two-Brain Radio and leave us a rating or a review. I would certainly appreciate it. Niki Brazier has been involved with CrossFit media since 2013. Before that, she was a reporter, anchor and a producer for a local TV station in Maine. Niki is one of the most experienced sideline reporters covering the sport of fitness right now. We talk about how she got involved with the media team back in 2013, some of the unique challenges that come along with being a sideline reporter and where she thinks the coverage of the Sport of Fitness is heading for the rest of this year and beyond. Thanks for listening everyone. Niki, thanks so much for joining me today. How are you doing?

Niki: 01:37 – I’m doing good. No complaints. How about you?

Sean: 01:39 – Doing well, thank you. There’s a lot I want to talk to you about, specifically two parts, how you got into CrossFit itself and then your media background. People know you from the Games side of the media department, but what was your media experience before you got into CrossFit?

Niki: 01:55 – Oh, good Lord. I was a sad local TV news reporter, producer and anchor for a long time when I first started on the media team at CrossFit and also throughout my time there, I actually ended up just leaving TV news about five, four or five years ago at this point.

Sean: 02:10 – What was life like working in local television? And that’s a loaded question, I get it.

Niki: 02:14 – You’re laughing because you know. You know cause you did it too. It was a lot. So I was an MMJ, just like you were.

Sean: 02:23 – Which is a multi-media journalist.

Niki: 02:23 – Yup. So I shot my own video. I edited my own video and I presented my own stories, live on my own. I did not have a camera guy, a photog or a crew to go with me. And so it was just super overwhelming. It was cool to learn those life skills and learn how to operate quickly and nimbly. And that has certainly helped me in my career today. But at the time it was a lot.

Sean: 02:46 – What are the biggest misconceptions that people have about working in television news?

Niki: 02:52 – Don’t people think it’s glamorous? Don’t people think that we have hair and makeup people and crews to help us just craft the world’s best stories and that we’re just, you know, everyone loves us and we’re like local town celebrities. And I truly—thank God I got out of it before the fake news drama hit the airwaves. Now everyone hates media. At the time, it was still, I lived in this small town in Maine and was a little bit of a local celeb and it was cool. But you know, it’s not glamorous. It’s super—I would go to work at 3:30 in the morning and just, you know, cover the worst, saddest news and honestly bother people on the worst days of their lives, you know? Oh, I’m sorry this tragic accident has happened to you. How do you feel? Tell me about it. And I felt like such a pariah, not being able to tell good stories, not having time to tell things to the public that I felt were important, and so I burned out.

Sean: 03:44 – What was it initially that drew you to a career in news?

Niki: 03:48 – This is so stupid and it sounds like my Miss America answer, but I wanted to change the world for the better. I truly wanted to tell people and inform people of the things that matter in this world. And you can avoid conflict if you communicate well. And I wanted to do that. I wanted to be embedded with the troops. And tell the stories of what was really happening overseas and take time to explain the new health-care systems so people understood how to live better lives. And I wanted to do all of that really good work and instead I ended up, you know, chasing ambulances and going to fires and trying to, like I said, bother people on the worst days of their lives and it wasn’t what I wanted to do at all. And it took me about—I was in it for about seven years.

Niki: 04:31 – It took me the last two to three years to really understand that it had been a while since I had made a piece of content that I was proud of, and that’s when I ended up looking to leave. Yeah.

Sean: 04:40 – How did you find CrossFit, the fitness program?

Niki: 04:42 – So I was doing a story on a new gym opening in my small town of Bangor, Maine, and because I knew everyone, one of the local firefighters who was the only lady on the fire department, which was a cool story in and of itself, was opening this gym. And so I did a story on it cause in a small town, a new business opening downtown is in fact a news story. And just sort of fell into it from there. I tried it once in college and it just wasn’t really conducive to my lifestyle of partying and hanging out and hanging out on the elliptical for a while after a night of drinking.

Niki: 05:18 – But by the time it opened up and I was, you know, out of school, it was great. And my husband and I joined together and we never looked back.

Sean: 05:25 – What was it about it the second time around that hooked you?

Niki: 05:28 – I think the same thing that hooks everyone, right. Results really fast. And then the community aspect was secondary and I loved that too. So when I first asked, her name is Mel, when I first asked her to start coaching, I only wanted to coach on-ramps. And it was truly honestly to spread the gospel of CrossFit. Like it just worked so well for me. It made me feel so good and enriched my life so much. I wanted the chance to bring that to more people. So I asked to coach on-ramps only, and obviously after a while she was like, you know, you’re pretty decent at this.

Niki: 06:01 – How about you just step in and end up coaching everyone? And so now I feel very comfortable coaching competitors, newbies, all of that. And I’ve been coaching since 2011, for a while.

Sean: 06:10 – How did your prior life in front of the camera as a news anchor and reporter help you in your life as a coach?

Niki: 06:19 – I’m just, I guess I’m just not scared of being out in front of people. I thrive in that environment. So standing up in front of a class and giving instruction, it feels a lot like being on camera. You know, people are watching your every move and you need to be articulate and on point and you know, try not to mess up, but if you mess up, just handle it with grace. And I think that sort of works in all aspects of life and coaching and being on camera and sideline reporting.

Niki: 06:46 – I also think it helps because I’m not afraid of confrontation. So, cause every, every coach knows, you know, there’s someone in one of your classes at one point who will just look at you when you tell them not to go that heavy or you tell them not to try that high-skill movement or something and they’ll just be like, screw you, I’m gonna do this anyway. So, you know, I was never afraid to be like, cool, I’m stripping your bar or you can leave my class. And I think it, you know, not to be a dick, but like it commanded enough respect where people were able to end up following me with confidence and that, you know, spiraled into a much better coaching career.

Sean: 07:24 – How then did you find CrossFit Games media?

Niki: 07:28 – This is funny. So I think it was 2013.

Sean: 07:32 – I think that’s right.

Niki: 07:34 – Yeah, I think so. CrossFit was still relatively new and I had seen a Facebook post that said like, hey, we’re looking for people who know about broadcast and also know what a snatch is. If you’re one of those people, can you send us your reel? And at the time, and probably still now, anyone working in TV news always has a reel, it was like a DVD of all your best work, like a highlight video. And I was like, hey, I’m those things. So I sent in my video to you, I think, at the time, and this is how old I am now. It was the first time I had ever put my reel on YouTube. It was the first non-DVD that I had ever sent out. So we were really technologically savvy at this point in 2013. And I got an email back from you and this is how stupid I was.

Niki: 08:24 – You were like, do you want to come join us at the Mid-Atlantic Regional and the following week in the North East? And at the time I thought to myself, oh shit, I can’t take that much time off of work, because it’s news. And I thought you were asking me like about two days in Georgia and then like a whole week in Boston. Like I didn’t even realize it was just back-to-back weekends. So I literally turned down one Regional and went to the first one—

Sean: 08:50 – I remember that, yeah.

Niki: 08:50 – And I was like, wait a minute, wait a minute, this is so stupid. What am I doing? I live in Boston.

Sean: 08:57 – What was your then first assignment covering the sport?

Niki: 09:01 – So I wasn’t even live sideline that year that I came on for Mid-Atlantic. I did a bunch of like in-the-can stories. So I waited until the competition was over and then I did some interviews with athletes and faults and storylines and prerecorded a bunch of things that I think you guys rolled into like the post-game show. But I didn’t really know until I got there. We were all sort of still figuring it out at that point. And there were commentators and there was a truck and there was an analyst and there was a live sideline girl. It just wasn’t me. And then the next year when I came back I thought I was doing the same thing cause no one really told me anything. And when I arrived they were like, oh no, you’re live sideline now. That was like, oh—great. I’ve done all of my research, obviously. What are we doing here? But obviously it worked and you know, we made some TV magic.

Sean: 09:51 – Yeah. You mentioned some of the roles and I think people don’t know exactly what everybody does here. They just kind of lump us all in the “you’re a commentator” basket. What is your role as a sideline reporter specifically?

Niki: 10:02 – So specifically as sideline, I have a chance to catch up with the athletes live on the broadcast, on the competition floor directly after they finish an event. So it’s really in the moment, it’s really reflective of what’s just happened and what we’ve just watched in the broadcast. And then depending on how much time we have in between heats, sometimes I have a chance to get a little bit deeper into their background and maybe why they perform the way that they did. Or maybe we can talk about something pertinent that’s happening in the competition outside of that exact moment. But either way it’s really sort of live and happening and you can’t avoid it. And it’s that moment, which is my favorite time, honestly, to talk to people.

Sean: 10:39 – You mentioned some of the challenges of trying to figure this out when we all first started. What were some of those challenges that you faced on site at these events? You know, back in 2013 and 2014.

Niki: 10:51 – It was wild. Wasn’t it such a different beast?

Sean: 10:54 – Yeah, it was a lot of ready, fire, aim.

Niki: 10:59 – Yeah, totally. Well I feel like now, or I guess at, you know, up until about two years ago, two broadcasts ago, we really had our shit figured out. Like it took a long time. It took until 2013 because back then we were, oh man, I don’t know. Like we didn’t know the formats well, we hadn’t come up with our own game plan. We were sort of going off of the competition game plan and it was really, you know, thanks to you and thanks to people behind the scenes like Charlie and Rothy and all those guys that we ended up coming up with our own format. Like, no, we don’t have to go by what’s happening on the floor, like we tell our stories in our way, and you know, the camera angles and when you cut it and when we roll footage and when graphics come up, like we get to build that to make it the way that we want.

Niki: 11:45 – And so you guys at the desk could always pipe me in whenever you wanted. So as you started figuring out your format and you were like, oh, let’s go down to Niki for a report on what’s happening because she sees something we don’t and we’re mid-competition, we don’t have to wait for an interview or you know, how do we use you on the floor in the beginning to set up the scene or the end to wrap the day. And that was stuff that we had to learn as we went. We didn’t have it right away right away. Right away it was just like—and we’re done. And interview and wrap it, and we’re all set.

Sean: 12:16 – You’ve been used to a world that, you know, moves very quickly in the local news realm of things. How did that help you when you got into the CrossFit side of things when it was, you know, just as much chaos if not more?

Niki: 12:29 – Yeah. You know, I do shit on local news because it was such a tough career. But honestly, trial by fire has set me up very, very well for the way that we operated and the way that we continue to operate today. So you just have to be fast. You have to think on your feet, you have to be OK with messing up in front of a million people and just moving on and figuring out a way to stay, you know, stay positive and stay classy and just stay put together. I think that’s the hardest part of everything that we do is the show will continue and we will continue to be live and people are watching. So let’s pick ourselves up and keep going. And you know, a career in TV news helped me do that. I was lucky enough to make my mistakes in a small town where it was kind of OK and people sort of expected that. And that’s—I don’t think I would’ve moved to Bangor, Maine, for any other reason. But it certainly set me up for a lifetime of being able to pull that stuff off, I think, whenever we need to.

Sean: 13:20 – You are now one of the more recognizable sideline reporters in the CrossFit Games space and like everybody who was doing it, you know, the more reps you get, the better you have gotten. What are some of the things that have helped you continue to grow in the sideline reporter role as you’ve moved on?

Niki: 13:35 – My favorite and also my most terrifying moments were when we would get emails, feedback emails from you, Sean, at the end of every day.

Sean: 13:46 – That doesn’t make me feel good.

Niki: 13:46 – No, it’s good. It was good. It was like I would sit in my little hotel bed at the end of the night and I would rewatch all the footage from the day, which sucks. Like no one on TV—.

Sean: 13:54 – You were one of the few who did that.

Niki: 13:54 – —or on radio who enjoys listening or hearing themselves. Yeah, it’s the worst. But I would just do it until I saw like my email come up and I’m like, OK, here we go. It was from you or from Rothy or from whoever the producer or director was for the day. Just being like, yup you guys did this well or not this or you know, don’t ask questions about this or stop holding the mic in the wrong hand. You know, could’ve been little performance things or it could have been much larger. Hey, stop crafting your questions with this mannerism thing and all of that was so helpful. So I still use all of those skills today, honestly.

Sean: 14:30 – Having been on the other side of that as a coach in the gym, how did that help you be open to feedback and to not only be open to it but then also apply it?

Niki: 14:40 – You know that honestly goes back to TV news as well, cause I have a pretty thick skin for that kind of thing. Like I think anyone working in broadcast will tell you we love constructive criticism and we don’t really take a lot personally. Like I think that’s why we operate so well with one another too. Cause we can help and be like, hey man, when you said this, it didn’t really sound great, try it this way. And you’re always like, hey, thanks. That’s really helpful. I don’t, you know, I’m not going to sit here and be like, oh you didn’t like the way that I sounded. Or like, oh my hair didn’t look good on camera. That’s so sad. Like, no, it’s fine. Just help me out. Tell me what you think. Let’s work together. Let’s make it better. And I think that that helps in the CrossFit world as well. And really in all of life, like, yeah, just be honest and be upfront and be an adult and move on and that is really a good way, I think, to apply most feedback in life.

Sean: 15:29 – We’ll be back with more from Niki Brazier after this.

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Sean: 16:30 – How does covering the CrossFit Games compare to other events that you’ve been involved with?

Niki: 16:40 – It’s the best. It’s the best one cause it’s like CrossFit Christmas, cause our whole family’s back together. That’s truly like—that’s the best way at it.

Sean: 16:53 – What are some of the more memorable moments from your time covering not only the Games but also, you know, Regionals and now the sanctioned events that you’re involved with?

Niki: 17:01 – Oh man, there are so many. Well first and foremost, I think people don’t realize how much of a family we are behind the scenes. And I think most of my favorite moments just come from the fact that like we’re all together. It’s really, it’s a high stress, like high pressure, high emotional toll situation because we’re on this live feed. And then on top of that, like it’s like seeing all your best friends from summer camp all at once. And so you want to like stay up all night and like have a drink and hang out and like talk about nerd out about CrossFit cause it’s our favorite thing. But you really should be sleeping because we had like a 6:00 AM wake up call and a 7:00 AM call time. And so it takes a lot out of you. But you know, my favorite moments across the board are just with our family, with our people.

Niki: 17:49 – That being said, on the floor, sometimes funny things happen too. This past year and I’ve been trying so hard to find this clip, but I can’t for the life of me, it like got burned up in the truck probably for good reason. We were out there for the ruck run and remember all the athletes went at once, all the individual athletes went at once. So the guys, they tend to run a little bit faster than the girls. So most of them came in first and we ended up doing the winners interview with a guy right away because we were gonna have so much more time out there until the ladies were done. We did the ladies interview live and you know, shot the guy and kept it in the can. Just ran it afterwards. And it was Lukas Eslinger, who’s hilarious. Oh no, I take it back.

Niki: 18:36 – Sorry. It’s Lukas Hogberg, is hilarious. I mean, they’re both hilarious, but sorry, Lukases, messed you up. It was Lukas Hogberg and you know, the first question I asked him was like, hey, you know, we’ve seen you, you’ve won runs before. Obviously he won the desert run in Dubai two years ago, which was an insane, the first time we’d ever seen sort of like sand dunes run and he had a weight vest on. I was like, this is the first time we’ve seen you with just a ruck. So the weights in the back, how is it different? How are you able to still cross the finish line first? And he looked at me and he was like, you know, I really had to take a shit. So I ran really fast.

Sean: 19:12 – I wouldn’t doubt him saying that. Yep.

Niki: 19:16 – I was like, completely caught me off guard, which doesn’t usually happen. So. I gotta find that clip.

Sean: 19:28 – That brings up another question. What do you do as a sideline reporter in a situation like that when someone throws something at you that you just absolutely did not expect?

Niki: 19:38 – You got to just adapt, I guess, the unknown and unknowable you prepare for constantly, right. So, yeah, you just have to adapt. I think that we personally are pretty lucky in that our audience likes that kind of stuff and is forgiving, you know, understands that we’re just real people and not robots. And I think that they like that aspect of how we cover the sport. So it’s been fun, you know, having a chance to sort of riff on those situations or you know, a lot of times people will like use me as like a human pole if they can’t like stand up anymore cause we’re at the end of an event where they’re dead on their feet or you know, in Dubai after the acid bath event last year I interviewed a lot of athletes on the floor because they literally could not stand up. So you know, just adapting to the situations I think is—I got picked up once right before an interview, like flung over someone’s shoulders. He was like walking over to the interview set. Crazy things that happened, but you just figure it out as you go.

Sean: 20:36 – I’ve always felt that sideliner reporter is the most difficult job because there are so many uncontrollable factors that you have to deal with. How do you prepare for that going into an event?

Niki: 20:49 – So it’s a lot of filing things away in your mind. So you have a lot of research ahead of time obviously that I do on my own. And then we’ve gotten, or have had people on HQ staff in the past who have helped collect stats and numbers and things that you can really apply to the events coming up. So you do a shitload of research and make flashcards. We all have different ways. Your flashcards are pretty intense.

Sean: 21:13 – Yeah. Microsoft XL is my best friend.

Niki: 21:15 – Right, exactly. You and Brandon always had the best ones. And Brandon and I would always share our notes with one another as well. So you’ve got flashcards to prepare for sort of like all the background info and then I take notes throughout the entire event on what happens. I can see like who’s in the lead first and when do they pass each other and is there something I can ask about like, oh, how were you able to, you know, find the energy in the end for double-unders when you had just run 10 miles or whatever it may be. So I like to lead in with a question about what actually just happened because that’s typically the most interesting and what people are wondering like, well, was even able to squat that bar, I couldn’t squat that bar fresh. And so it’s keeping that stuff in the front file, the background stuff in the back file, and then the middle files are open for whatever the athlete happens to say in the interview.

Niki: 22:01 – Because if I just have questions filed away about, oh, you swam in college, so that obviously helped you here. But they tell me that they just broke their foot then—you know what I mean? Like the audience is going to be like, what are you doing? I want to know about that. So it’s three files in your brain at all times. Plus, you know, obviously whatever’s being piped into your ear from the truck so it can get kind of confusing. The worst is when my mic reverbs. I have me thinking in my head, I have the truck piping into my ear, I have the athlete in my good ear and then I have like us on a delay in to the house. That’s the worst. That’s when I like, my brain is scrambled and I can’t think straight.

Sean: 22:39 – These past Games were different for a lot of reasons. But from a broadcast standpoint, you know, they did the world feed and you were the only sideline reporter for the entire world. How was this experience in 2019 different from other times when you’ve been on the sidelines at the CrossFit Games?

Niki: 22:57 – It felt a lot more—I was a little bit more isolated on the floor. Usually I had a steady stream of the commentary happening in my ear at all times, which is really helpful for those sorts of like brain files. Because sometimes you would say something that I didn’t know or that I didn’t remember and I’m like the worst at second guessing myself. I don’t know why. I don’t know why I do this, but I have in my head like, oh you know Mat’s going to clean 380 and I know his max is 370, so this would be a PR or something like that. And as he’s doing it, I’m like, wait, what if I got that number wrong? What if it was? Shit. And I can’t go out there and say it cause I’m going to sound real confident saying it.

Niki: 23:38 – He’s going to be like no, dumb ass. That’s not my PR. What are you talking about? So it would be helpful if you guys like sometimes you would say something and I’d be like, oh, OK, confirmed that’s the info I know. That’s the info I’m going with. And I didn’t have that as much this year. I did have the Rogue show in my ear and that’s just because I had requested it because it was helpful for me and I was trying to make some seamless transitions from you guys, but it wasn’t the exact sort of like prep and layout and from you to me, from you to me that we’d had in the past. So it was a little bit of flying by the seat of my pants and a little bit in the dark, but it was nice to have you guys. I just heard the same broadcast as everyone else as opposed to hearing the truck or hearing the prep.

Sean: 24:20 – Now you weren’t a full-time CrossFit media employee, but you were involved enough to where it felt like it. What was it like for you back in 2018 when the whole thing, and by the whole thing, I mean the media department, was just disbanded?

Niki: 24:34 – It was weird. It was very weird. And I’ve always been a freelancer for HQ and for any other event that I had done in the past. So you know, I wasn’t directly affected, I didn’t lose any of my work. But I mean, like I said, we’re all family, so it was just so strange knowing that I had had friends who are now out of work who are looking for something new and who were, we were all sort of just floating in the space, it felt like, because no one knew what events were going to do what and is there going to be a broadcast and can we all still work together? And for me specifically, you know, with HQ having a media department, they would pick me up and tell me where to go and be like, hey, we’re hiring all of you guys and you’re going here and you’re going to this Regional and you’re going to that.

Niki: 25:18 – And it was easier, honestly. Now I’m sort of left in the space where I still want to do this work because it’s my favorite work and there’s so many different events and so many different people and I’m just trying to like market the crap out of myself and just send a bunch of emails and be like, hey, I’m Niki. I don’t know if you know me, but like if you want sideline, I do that. And I’ve had to flex some of my other skills too in the past and sort of like apply sideline work now to, oh, do you need social-media coverage in your event? You know, I work full time in marketing and advertising, so do you need help with the setup and things like that. And I’m thankful to have those skills. And I do a lot of, you know, shooting and editing my own video and I’ve opened my own small media content creation company because of it. But it was a lot less work when you were picking me up, Sean, and telling me where to go.

Sean: 26:08 – Exactly. I tried to help you guys out as much as I could, but you’ve done a ton of events since then. You know, a lot of the sanction events. What’s different about being a sideline reporter under those umbrellas as opposed to being a sideline reporter with the crew that you were used to doing all this stuff with, with the CrossFit media team?

Niki: 26:27 – It’s just like you said, like more reps makes it easier, right? So when you are on with a new crew, there’s always a little bit of a learning curve. It’s always a little bit more difficult to figure out what kind of director or producer likes you to cut in this way and how do you talk to each other and does your equipment work. And so, you know, with the way that sanctioned events are run, some of them are a little bit smaller and don’t have as big of a budget. So we don’t have a ton of lead time, you know. For Games, we’d get there days early and we’d test everything. We’d run through everything. We would literally have a reporter boot camp where we would watch our clips from the last year back to each other in a giant room of people. It was like the worst, shittiest, best experience.

Niki: 27:06 – They would be like, see what you did there. Don’t do that again. But it was helpful. And so we could pressure test all of our issues and make sure that we don’t do them again. With the sanctioned events, they’re a little bit shorter, a little bit faster. And so sometimes it feels like day one or event one is that kind of run through and it’s just a little more difficult to figure out how people like to run the show. But, you know, hopefully we get under our feet quickly and make a good broadcast for everyone. That’s always the goal.

Sean: 27:34 – Yeah. And you’ve done that quite a bit over the past couple of years with a lot of different events. When you pull back from kind of like a 30,000-foot-view, what do you think the media landscape of the sport looks like right now?

Niki: 27:47 – Geez, just probably just like pockets of people running things their own way, right? Like every event is run so differently. And now obviously with larger organizations coming and picking up more of them, like I think of like Loud and Live and how they own a bunch of events. I’m curious to see if the media landscape evens out for them. So you’ll be able to see like, oh, this is an event run by this company, so it’s going to have this look and feel or oh this is an event run by that other—even if it’s just like a media or broadcast agency that ends up doing one or two or more events. You know, are they all gonna have the same kind of broadcast, are they all going gonna come from the same URL or are they all going to have the same branding or the same team? I think that’ll probably even out, but right now it just feels like, you know, a lot of people are doing great. They’re just doing it very differently from one another. That’s all. So as an audience we have to figure out like, oh, this event I stream and this event I check on their Instagram. And this event, you know, come through my TV. We just gotta figure it out for all of them.

Sean: 28:44 – I get asked this a lot, so I’ll ask you the same question people ask me all the time. Are you optimistic or are you pessimistic about where things are going from a media standpoint? And why would you make the choice of either one?

Niki: 28:58 – Well, I, you know, I’m optimistic to a fault.

Sean: 29:00 – That’s why I wanted to ask you.

Niki: 29:02 – I am. I don’t know, maybe that’s a bad thing. I tend to be super optimistic about everything in life, so I’m going to be optimistic about this too, only because I feel like we had a little bit of a rocky patch there, when the media team was disbanded and no one knew what was going on. Since then, we’ve been able to figure things out a little bit. Obviously it’s not ideal yet because we’re not all working together at every single event. That’s my ideal world. The gang is back together at every event and we’re just like making epic TV stuff all year round and I can quit my day job. But even if that doesn’t happen, which it probably won’t with almost 30 events around the world, even if we were to come up with a system that, like I said, had the same look and feel across a number of events.

Niki: 29:52 – I don’t know if they’re all in this country or they’re all owned by the same media group or whatever it may be. I think that the landscape has a really good shot of evening out in that sense. And truthfully, like I’ll go anywhere and I’ll work any event and I’ll get involved because I really don’t want this thing to die. Like I just don’t, like, I just love it. I love working it, I love being a fan of it. Even events I don’t get to go to I watched like a, you know, crazy fan with my popcorn and yelling at the TV and loving every minute of it. So, you know, I think we all do this and we all pour our hearts and souls into it because we love it. So I couldn’t be pessimistic about it because that would be admitting the fact that it could go away and I really don’t want that to happen.

Sean: 30:32 – What are some of the things that you’ve seen on the ground level as you’ve been involved with these events that give you reason to hope?

Niki: 30:41 – Well, everyone loves it constantly. Like that’s the thing. You’ve seen it too. Like every event we’ve ever gone to has a million volunteers and people who are giving their time, and we only do it because we’re so passionate about the sport, and you know, the spectators are always great and always supportive. And even when a stream looks like crap, like the event is probably kicking, you know, it’s probably really, really great when we’re there. So that gives me hope that everyone’s still just so fiery and so passionate about seeing it live. So there has to be a reason to make content and push it out to the masses. We love this.

Sean: 31:19 – Final question. What is it that you love most about what you do on the media side of things?

Niki: 31:26 – Oh my God, love most. I don’t even—I guess just having the opportunity to tell these stories is so cool. It’s so, you know, and sometimes I don’t get to do it as often because sometimes it’s very, very, in the moment it’s very much so like, oh, it was a six-minute event. How did you push through it? You know, where’s the strength? It’s been so long. You’ve been dead after four days of competition and now you’ve won. But after a while, after getting to know these people, I mean these athletes have the most incredible lives and stories to tell and they’re inspiring so many people on a daily basis. And I think that they’re sparking some serious change in the world, especially the women, especially when it comes to young girls seeing what women are capable of. So having a hand in being able to tell those stories to the masses is probably the coolest part. The second coolest part is all of my best friends that I’ve had a chance to meet and hang out with and grow close with on the media team itself, which has just enriched my life to the absolute fullest.

Sean: 32:28 – I have one final question. I lied. So this will be the final question. What is coming up now on the horizon for you from a media standpoint?

Niki: 32:36 – Oh, OK. So, DCC, so I leave for Dubai in the middle of December and actually the weekend before it, I go to Cleveland for the Winter Classic. Which is the first event that I had worked for for the entire year last year from a marketing standpoint. So that’s been pretty cool. Getting a chance to like, you know, run some paid social campaigns and come up with a brand strategy and a messaging strategy for them. And that’ll be the first time that all of my work comes full circle for a CrossFit event. But I literally come back—fly to Cleveland, come back to Providence Monday morning and then Monday evening fly out for Dubai. It will be a little bit of a crazy December.

Sean: 33:16 – Yeah. So enjoy that holiday season. Well Niki, thank you so much for taking the time to do this. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and to work with you over the past, what, seven years now, I hope that we get an opportunity to do it again sometime at an event.

Niki: 33:33 – Me too, thank you.

Sean: 33:33 – Big thanks to Niki Brazier for taking the time out of her day to speak with me. If you want to follow her on Instagram, you can find her at @reporternicole and you definitely want to keep an eye out for her at the upcoming Dubai CrossFit Championship in December. Chris Cooper is not the fittest person who ever walked the Earth. He has never recorded a world-record snatch. His Fran time is—it’s just OK. But Chris does hold a gym record. He’s written the best-selling fitness business books of all time. Based on his experience as a gym owner and thousands of free calls with other fitness entrepreneurs, Chris put together four books that can help you make money and live the life you want. This isn’t smoke-blowing without substance. These books have helped thousands, and they can help you. Head over to Amazon and check them out. You’re looking for “Two-Brain Business,” “Two-Brain business 2.0,” “Help First” and “Founder, Farmer, Tinker, Thief.” These are best-selling books based on hard data and experience, and they can help you find success. Pick one up on Amazon today.. Thanks for listening everybody. We’ll talk to you next time.

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