Simone Biles is leaving Nike for Gap's Athleta brand, where she will have her own performance line. According to CNBC, she will have apparel that can be worn to and from the gym. Athleta also said they will be giving the superstar Olympian a platform to be an activist for women and female athletes, something Biles says is important to her.
Biles had been with Nike since 2015. In that time, the 24 year old has consistently been one of the most the dominant gymnasts in the sport and has the most World Championship gold medals by a female gymnast.
"Using my voice has been very empowering for me and I am grateful to embark on this new journey with Athleta to inspire young girls and women to do the same," Biles said. "I admire Athleta for their commitment to recognize and support women's individual and collective strength."
Biles is not the first high-profile athlete to leave Nike for Athleta. Fellow Olympian Allyson Felix also left Nike to join Gap's Athleta brand in July of 2019.
Gap was able to poach Felix by giving her more of a voice than she had when she first joined Nike. Gap also said their plan was to "flip this sponsorship model on its head" and give athletes more creative freedom. Felix has been making contributions to the design of lines, working on her own line of running clothes.
Clearly, Felix's work with Athleta in the past two years had an impression on Biles. Both athletes are planning to represent the United States at the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Biles leaving is the second big hit Nike has taken in April. Earlier in the month, Kobe Bryant's wife Vanessa announced that her late husband's estate failed to come to an agreement on a new deal with the company.