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Moms+Money: Allyson Felix Is Gaining Rights & Growing Saysh Into A Multi-Million Dollar Shoe Brand

Both in business and Olympic athletics, Allyson Felix has established a name for herself.

She made her debut on the professional track circuit in 2004, and since then she has built a reputation as a professional and entrepreneur with strong fundamental beliefs.

Allyson started her professional sporting career at a young age. She was born and reared in Los Angeles, California. At the age of 18, she won a silver medal in the women's 200-meter sprint at the Olympics in Athens.

Felix is now the track and field athlete with the most awards. Allyson, a five-time Olympian with 11 Olympic medals, has built a niche for herself and the many women she motivates via her athletic and business skills.

Allyson Felix Fights Back Against Poor Treatment by Nike

Throughout her career, Allyson has sponsorship and endorsement agreements with Adidas and Nike. She became one of Nike's most heavily promoted athletes as a result. But after a challenging pregnancy, she would learn that her sponsor, to whom she was devoted, had unfair policies about maternity protections. Allyson was ready and willing to fight for this cause because of her experience.

Black Olympic Athlete Fights for Maternity Rights

The accomplished athlete's life was in danger when giving birth to her baby in 2018. She underwent an urgent c-section eight weeks early due to pre-eclampsia, a disorder that disproportionately affects black mothers.

She consequently gave birth to Camryn, her daughter, who was just 3 lbs. This encounter served as the impetus for the struggles she would face as a tenacious defender of the rights of females in general and athlete moms in particular.

Nike planned to pay Allyson 70% less in her sponsorship deal than they had before her pregnancy when her contract expired in 2017. Ms. Felix was shocked and dismayed by her experience, and she publicly shared it to raise awareness of the harsh realities facing female athletes in the heavily male-dominated sports world.

Felix was able to encourage other female athletes to speak up about the unjust situations they've had as a result of her campaigning. As a result, Nike was compelled to modify its maternity policy in August 2019 for all of its athletes. The improved maternity protections also ensure income and bonuses for the 18-month period surrounding pregnancy. Since then, other athletic wear businesses have done the same.

Fabulous Black Champion Inks Clothing Deal with Gap Inc.

Despite not having any sponsorship support during her final national championship performance in 2019, Allyson persisted and bravely made the decision to get beyond one of her career's hardest challenges. She repositioned herself with an athletic company she felt matched her guiding principles. She thus signed a sponsorship agreement with Athleta, a brand owned by Gap Inc., to support her clothing. She became the brand's first sponsored athlete as a result of this agreement.

The Future: Felix's Multi-Million Dollar Footwear Label

Allyson Felix successfully launched her female-focused shoe business, Saysh, in 2019. Determinate to keep having an effect on women. "To challenge inequity via feminine athletics and inventiveness," is Saysh's main goal.

The company successfully closed a multimillion dollar deal in a round of fundraising in May 2022, allowing them to increase the number of products they provide. The money invested will help advance the cause of creating and selling shoes specifically made for the feet of women. The business will also be able to grow its wholesale distribution, improve its e-commerce presence, and give its employees greater maternity benefits.

Allyson Felix decided to construct her boardroom after Nike attempted to take her place at their table. Congratulations to this gutsy champ!