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Simone Biles’ sponsors, together with Athleta and Visa, are lauding her determination to place her psychological well being first and withdraw from the gymnastics staff competitors through the Olympics.
It’s the most recent instance of sponsors praising athletes who’re more and more open about psychological well being points. Tennis star Naomi Osaka discovered widespread assist when she withdrew from the French Open earlier this yr.
Biles may nonetheless compete in different gymnastic occasions through the Olympics. She additionally has a stable historical past of gymnastic accomplishments, together with 4 gold medals and a bronze medal on the 2016 Olympics. She has earned 5 extra all-around titles in world championships since 2013. That earns the 24-year-old a long-lasting athletic legacy that sponsors can capitalize on.
“We are past the time when athletes like Simone are valued simply for their athletic prowess,” mentioned Jim Andrews, founding father of A-Mark Partnership Methods. “She has earned a place in gymnastics history, and has proven herself to be an amazing spokesperson and influencer who has much to offer brands even without competing and eventually in retirement.”
Biles break up with longtime sponsor Nike in April to signal with Athleta, the athletic clothes arm of Hole. Biles’ take care of Athleta additionally contains sponsorship of the Gold Over America victory tour later this yr, which is able to star her in addition to different USA Gymnastics staff members.
On the time, Biles mentioned she signed with Athleta over Nike as a result of she wished to be aligned with a model extra reflective of her values.
“I feel like they work very closely with women and girls and letting them have a voice and kind of breaking those beauty standards,” Biles mentioned in Could.
Biles launched her first advert marketing campaign with Athleta in June, together with a video that showcases the folks that have supported her by means of her rise to superstardom.
Athleta put out a press release in assist of Biles after her withdrawal in Tokyo.
“We stand by Simone and support her well-being both in and out of competition,” Athleta mentioned. “Being the best also means knowing how to take care of yourself. We are inspired by her leadership today and are behind her every step of the way.”
Visa put out the same assertion, calling her determination “incredibly brave.” Nabisco mentioned Biles is an “inspiration to us all.” Core Energy, a protein shake maker, mentioned Biles is “showing us all that her courage and strength extend well beyond the mat.”
Dropping assist of Biles would harm a model greater than it might assist, mentioned David Carter, sports activities enterprise professor on the College of Southern California, and founding father of advertising and marketing consultancy Sports activities Enterprise Group.
“Given the fluidity and high-profile nature of the situation, as well as the sensitivities associated with her reasoning behind withdrawing, sponsors must be very careful not to be perceived as cutting and running,” he mentioned. “Doing so would not only draw the ire of many consumers who staunchly support Biles, but also future athletes contemplating marketing relationships with any brands deemed tone deaf to the circumstances involved.”