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Gymnast Simone Biles is leaving Nike to work with Gap’s Athleta brand

Gold medalist Simone Biles

Alex Livesey | Getty Images

Gymnast Simone Biles is departing Nike to partner with Gap‘s Athleta brand.

With Athleta, Biles is going to have her own performance wear line, which will include products for wearing to and from the gym, the company said Friday.

Athleta will also give Biles a platform to be an activist for women and other female athletes.

The value of the contract wasn’t disclosed.

In July 2019, Gap’s Athleta banner landed its first sponsored athlete: Olympic track champion Allyson Felix. Felix had also previously partnered with Nike. She joined at a time when the Portland-headquartered sneaker giant was being criticized publicly for not supporting pregnant athletes.

When it announced its partnership with Felix, Gap said its goal was to “flip this sponsorship model on its head,” by giving athletes more support in their personal lives and also by handing them creative responsibilities.

Biles’ contract with Nike had started in 2015, when she first turned professional. Felix and Biles both are expected to be two of the more prominent athletes at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

Earlier in the week, Gap announced that it will soon be expanding its Athleta brand, which rivals the likes of Nike, Lululemon and Under Armour for women, into Canada.

Gap shares were unchanged in premarket trading. The retailer’s stock is up more than 60% this year, giving it a market value of $12.46 billion.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the news about Biles and Athleta.

It follows Nike’s partnership with the estate of basketball player Kobe Bryant ending days earlier, too.

Nike did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.


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