Simone Biles leaves Nike for Gap’s Athleta

A big coup for the Gap. Its Athleta brand just landed a partnership deal with Simone Biles. The four-time Olympic gymnastics champion is leaving Nike after six years for a new apparel partnership with Athleta. That’s the brand for female athletes Gap created in 1998.

Biles feels Athleta aligns with her values, saying, "They are committed to diversity and inclusion, which was really important for me to see in a partner."

Athleta says it will team up with Biles on initiatives to empower girls. It says she will work with Athleta’s designers to develop her own activewear line and design other signature products.

Nike did not respond to requests for comment on her departure.

Just two years ago, Nike also lost six-time Olympic champ Allyson Felix to Athleta after the sprinter said she faced potential pay cuts from Nike and other sponsors for having children.

Biles’ move also comes days after the expiration of Nike’s partnership with the estate of late basketball great, Kobe Bryant.