I think we can assume there have been some tense and heated meetings going on at the corporate campus of Nike in Beaverton, Oregon this week.
First Vanessa Bryant announces Kobe’s estate is done dealing with the Swoosh, and today it was announced that the most high-profile American athlete that will be competing in the Summer Olympics has told Nike to get lost.
Simone Biles might have done it a little nicer than that, but she made it clear there was some tension with Nike because she wanted to partner with a company that she said “more closely reflects her values.” Ouch.
And that new company is Athleta. The relationship was announced Friday, and it’s a huge win for the brand that is owned by Gap Inc.
Biles explained shy she made the move. ”I felt like it wasn’t just about my achievements, it’s what I stood for and how they were going to help me use my voice and also be a voice for females and kids. I feel like they also support me, not just as an athlete, but just as an individual outside of the gym and the change that I want to create, which is so refreshing.”
Included in the new deal for Biles is her own performance wear line, that will include garments to wear to and from the gym. Could she have had her own line at Nike?
“Not necessarily, but I also feel like Athleta is committed to diversity and inclusion, of all women, backgrounds, ages, sizes, abilities and races,” Biles said.
Here’s another interesting tidbit of info on why she ditched Nike. Athlete has agreed to support the gymnastics tour she will be doing after the Olympics. This is her own, and now the usual tour that is backed by USA Gymnastics. Translation; she will make the money.