Athleta buys first TV ad ahead of Paris Olympics, featuring Simone Biles

June 17, 2024

Athleta has debuted its first linear TV ad ahead of the Paris Olympics. The ad features gymnast Simone Biles, the activewear brand announced on Friday, June 10, reports Retail Dive.

Biles and fellow Olympian Katie Ledecky—both of whom are members of Athleta’s Power of She collective—also will appear in digital and out-of-home creative.

The ad campaign shows Biles practicing in an empty gym, with a musical refrain intoning “just because she can” throughout, a nod to Biles’ previous response to journalists about why she performs difficult moves.

The company launched the ad on Saturday , June 11, and will run it throughout the 2024 Paris Olympics. The campaign will run across NBC, Peacock, YouTube, Instagram, Reddit, Pinterest, TikTok and other channels, per the announcement.

Athleta is turning to its roster of Olympic athletes ahead of the Summer Games to drum up interest in the brand, including with its first TV ad buy.  Biles narrates the ad campaign while performing “gravity defying moves,” per the press release.

“We are here,” Biles says in the campaign. “We are here for deep breaths and running starts. For bold choices on big stages. For pounding hearts and personal bests. For hearing yourself over the crowd—and landing in your power. We are here.”

Biles became an Athleta ambassador in 2021 after serving as a Nike athlete since 2015. As part of the deal, the Olympian has partnered with Athleta on developing products and capsule collections. The partnership with Biles came a couple of years after another high-profile brand ambassadorship: In 2019, Athleta signed Allyson Felix—one of the women who critiqued Nike’s treatment of pregnant athletes—as its first sponsored athlete.

Athleta’s new ad with Biles builds upon its previous Find Your Movement campaign, an effort aimed at cementing Athleta as a women’s empowerment brand that champions all forms of movement. While Ledecky, who signed a five-year deal with Athleta in March, is not featured in the main ad campaign, she will appear in other creative assets tied to the brand’s Olympics push.

Research contact: @RetailDive