Two months after signing Simone Biles as a brand partner, Athleta is out with two new spots featuring both the Olympian gymnast and track and field champion Allyson Felix. Both campaigns continue Athleta’s longtime brand message of female empowerment and success through unity.
Debuting today, “Power of She, Power of We” is Athleta’s first marketing push with Biles since the Gap Inc.-owned brand lured her away from Nike in April. The campaign includes 30-second and 15-second spots that show Biles near the balance beam, ready for a routine. At first, she appears alone, but it gradually becomes apparent that she is surrounded by her community of friends, family and fans. “Power of She. Powered by We,” text reads. “Alone we are strong, united we thrive.”
The new work featuring Biles, which will be in print, in retail stores and on digital and social channels, was created with Yard NYC. Biles will also be designing a collection of apparel for Athleta Girl and will work on advocacy efforts for younger athletes as part of the deal. And Athleta is a presenting sponsor for Biles’ Gold Over America tour.
“Simone embodies everything Athleta stands for, from inspiring women and girls to have the confidence to pursue their passions to leaning on the strength of her community,” said Kyle Andrew, who recently joined Athleta as chief brand officer, in a statement. “For our first campaign, it was important for us to bring these shared values to life.”
Andrew noted that Athleta is “reimagining what it means to sponsor an athlete,” by working with Biles as a partner and “showing that there’s more to her than just gold medals.”
The distinction is one that could continue to set Athleta apart from sportswear rival Nike, which formerly had endorsements with both Biles and Felix. Analysts expect Athleta, now a $1 billion brand, to continue to build up its roster of like-minded female partners as it communicates a message of authenticity that can be lacking from larger brands that are not solely female-focused.