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Simone Biles leaves Nike to team up with Gap’s Athleta brand

US gymnastics star ends six-year relationship with US sportswear giant.

26 April 2021 Sam Carp
  • Biles signed with Nike in 2016 after turning professional
  • Four-time Olympic gold medalist to work with Athleta on signature products
  • 24-year-old joins Allyson Felix, who signed in 2019, on Gap-owned brand’s books 

Four-time US Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles is ending her partnership with US sportswear giant Nike to team up with Athleta, Gap’s female-focused activewear brand.

The financial terms of the agreement were not made public, but an official release confirmed the gymnastics star has entered into a long-term partnership with Athleta.

Biles, who also has 19 world championship gold medals to her name, will work with Athleta’s design team to develop signature products, including plans for multiple capsule collaborations for Athleta Girl.

The deal ends Biles’ six-year relationship with Nike, which signed the 24-year-old when she turned professional in 2016.

“The opportunity to encourage young girls to reach their full potential and be a force for change is incredibly powerful,” said Biles, who in 2020 ranked 14th in SportsPro’s list of the world’s 50 most marketable athletes. “I admire Athleta for their commitment to recognise and support women's individual and collective strength and, together, I believe we can help girls to confidently and passionately take on the world in their athletic endeavors and beyond.”

Biles is not the first female athlete to swap Nike for Athleta. In 2019, US track and field sprinter Allyson Felix joined the Gap-owned brand at a time when Nike was under fire for not financially supporting pregnant athletes.

Felix was among several female competitors tied to Nike who revealed that the brand had tried to impose sponsorship payment reductions due to pregnancy or early maternity. Nike has since changed its pregnancy policy to protect the pay of female athletes.

By partnering with Biles, Athleta joins an endorsement portfolio which also includes Beats by Dre, Visa and Caboodles.

“We are excited to welcome Simone to the Athleta family and work together to further our mission of empowering women and girls,” added Mary Beth Laughton, president and chief executive of Athleta. “Simone believes in championing the next generation of female athletes as much as we do, and we are confident this partnership will continue to build community with our customers and enrich our brand.”


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