“Consequences of Speaking Out”- Allyson Felix on Lack of Sponsorship Deals After Nike Fallout Ahead of Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/14/2021, 3:36 AM EDT
Jun 19, 2021; Eugene, OR, USA; Allyson Felix reacts after placing second in womens 400m semifinal in 51.01 during the US Olympic Team Trials at Hayward Field. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Allyson Felix made history at the Olympics for the final time in her career by becoming the most decorated American track and field athlete of all time. She won two medals in Tokyo to overtake Carl Lewis’ haul of 10 medals in what she confirmed was her final Games. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Coming into this year, Felix was left without a sponsor for her running shoes. She parted ways with Nike, the company that sponsored her for years, after a contractual fallout. The track veteran did not agree with the company’s payment policy regarding pregnant mothers after childbirth and hence decided to cease collaboration with the brand. 

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 15: Allyson Felix of the United States competes in the Women’s 400m final on Day 10 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 15, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Felix revealed that it was hard to picture herself enter a sponsorship with another major brand after the events with Nike, and nothing that convinced her about it either. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“I am partnered with Athleta for apparel, but there wasn’t anything that made sense to do on footwear,” she told Complex. “And I think that could have come from just the consequences of speaking out—or for whatever reason it was, it just wasn’t there. That was the thought of like, ‘OK, well, what am I going to do around footwear? Can we do something ourselves?’”

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s 400m – Semifinal – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 4, 2021. Allyson Felix of the United States reacts in Semifinal 3 REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Allyson Felix debuted her own brand earlier this year

Felix stayed without a sponsor until the Track and Field trials held in Eugene, Oregon earlier this year. Felix was spotted wearing spikes with no brand, and fans later found out they were her own creation.

EUGENE, OREGON – JUNE 20: Allyson Felix celebrates with her daughter Camryn after finishing second in the Women’s 400 Meters Final on day three of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team Trials at Hayward Field on June 20, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Debuting ‘Saysh’, the track veteran went on to win Olympic gold and bronze in Tokyo, becoming the first athlete to medal wearing self-branded spikes. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

“And then once we connected with Tiffany and started down this line, then it was the question of, ‘OK, would we be able to build an actual performance spike?’ And so, yeah, it was somewhere kind of in the middle of putting all this together that we really wanted to be able to bring the brand on the biggest stage,” she explained. 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s 400m – Semifinal – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 4, 2021. Allyson Felix of the United States before competing in semifinal 3 REUTERS/Aleksandra Szmigiel

Now that she has competed in her final Olympic Games, Allyson Felix revealed that she will focus on promoting her brand ‘Saysh’, which has already started selling lifestyle sneakers. Although spikes are not in the market yet, we will surely see them make an entry before Paris 2024. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

DIVE DEEPER

The Insane Amount of Money PSG Have Already Earned on Lionel Messi Jerseys Revealed

about 1 month ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Luke Dias

1545 articles

Luke Dias is a senior WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports, having published more than 1000 articles on professional wrestling. Having completed courses in Advanced Writing from the University of California and Media and Ethics from the University of Amsterdam, Luke is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Xavier’s College. His tremendous knowledge of WWE history enables him to make past connections, adding depth to the articles.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT