Ahead of this year’s summer Olympics, Simone Biles leaves Nike for a partnership with female focused company Athleta. Simone, who came into the national spotlight after winning four gold and one bronze medals at the 2016 Olympic Games, has been a strong role model for women and girls all across the world. Now Biles can take her goals a step further with her long-term partnership with the women’s activewear brand, which she believes is more aligned with what she stands for. In a press release, Simone said “I admire Athleta for their commitment to recognize and support women’s individual and collective strength. She further went on to say “and together, I believe we can help girls to confidently and passionately take on the world in their athlete endeavors and beyond.”
In her new partnership deal, Simone will help Athleta on various projects with a particular focus on the Athleta Girl brand. She will develop signature products that will be released in multiple capsule collaborations. Athleta will also fund a post-Olympic gymnastics exhibition tour organized by Biles that will help financially to the U.S.A. Gymnastics. In the past Nike has faced a number of scandals over how it has treated their female employees and sponsored athletes. However, the gymnast has no ill-will from her former sponsor and is looking forward to what the future brings her.
Athleta will also develop an activewear line with Biles, who will take part in the design process. Athleta’s president Mary Beth said, “It is more than just a sports apparel sponsorship. We really view it as a way to support Simone in her full life. As she takes on the next stage in her career in Tokyo and beyond, we really want to support that as well.” Simone Biles joins another Olympic to jump ships with Athleta in track sprinter Allyson Felix. Simone is a favorite to add to her medal count at this year’s summer Tokyo Olympics, which could be her final games she participates in.