Gap Inc. has taken an equity stake in track and field star Allyson Felix’s Saysh brand.
Gap Inc.’s Athleta brand is expanding its support of Olympian track and field star Allyson Felix.
Athleta, in a deal brokered by Gap Inc.’s strategic growth office, joined specialist consumer fund IRIS in leading an $8 million funding round for Saysh, the lifestyle performance brand co-founded by Felix and her brother and business partner Wes Felix. Additional investors in the round include Redpoint Ventures and Springbank Collective.
As part of the investment, Gap Inc. has acquired an equity stake in Saysh and Athleta has entered into a partnership to showcase the brand's footwear on Athleta.com.
Saysh will use the new funding to scale its branded eCommerce, wholesale distribution, and community-based retail footprint, something the founders see as a big growth opportunity. The investment will also support an expanded product offering and the launch of several new activity-specific sneakers.
Felix’s and Athleta's partnership began when she became the retailer’s first sponsored athlete in 2019. In June 2021, shortly after Saysh's launch, they partnered to offer a collection of athletic wear, as well as offering an exclusive Rose colorway version of the brand’s signature Saysh One sneaker, on Athleta.com
"When we signed Allyson Felix as our first-ever sponsored athlete in 2019, we knew we wanted to do things differently by supporting her as a mom, athlete and advocate," said Mary Beth Laughton, president and CEO, Athleta. "Today we are proud to continue supporting Allyson as an entrepreneur while fueling growth to the Athleta brand with our investment in Saysh."
Gap’s strategic growth office is a unit of the company that seeks out opportunities to fuel growth and accelerate new capabilities across its portfolio of brands.