Athleta, the Gap Inc. company repped by Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, on Wednesday announced the debut of AthletaWell, a digital wellness platform geared toward women’s physical and mental well-being and community.
The online destination will feature expert-led conversations and interest groups centered on topics such as women’s health and body positivity, as well as online and offline events to encourage connection and activity.
“We’ve heard from our customers that well-being is a complex journey, rich with questions and there isn’t a place where women can talk about it holistically or discover the best solutions,” said Kim Waldmann, Athleta’s chief digital officer, in a statement.
AthletaWell aims to fill this gap as a platform “for women to help each other navigate the complexities of modern-day womanhood and to connect our customers in a way that will enhance their overall experience with the brand in a meaningful way, thus creating even more brand loyalty over time.”
Athleta is also partnering with Obé Fitness, a subscription platform for live, on-demand fitness classes, to offer four exclusive workouts per month to AthletaWell members. As with the rest of AthletaWell’s content, the classes will be free and exclusive to Athleta Rewards loyalty members. Athleta joined Obé’s just-announced $15 million funding round, which valued the company at $190 million. In a statement, Mary Beth Laughton, Athleta’s president and CEO, said the investment “creates a unique engagement opportunity for our customers and helps us build even more loyalty over time.”
The AthletaWell announcement comes at a time of widespread discussion around the importance of physical and mental well-being for women in sports. The topic has made headlines this week as Biles said she would withdraw from the individual all-around and team finals competitions at the Tokyo Olympics to focus on her mental health.
“It’s been a long week, it’s been a long Olympic process, it’s been a long year,” Biles said, addressing the media at the Games, “I think we’re just a little bit too stressed out, but we should be out here having fun and sometimes that’s not the case.”
In a statement posted to Twitter, USA Gymnastics backed Biles’ choice, writing, “We wholeheartedly support Simone’s decision and applaud her bravery in prioritizing her well-being. Her courage shows, yet again, why she is a role model for so many.”
Biles, a former Nike athlete and the country’s most-decorated gymnast, signed a long-term partnership with Athleta this spring. The deal includes a signature performance wear line designed with Athleta’s team and capsule collections for the company’s Athleta Girl sister brand.
“Using my voice has been very empowering for me, and I am grateful to embark on this new journey with Athleta to inspire young girls and women to do the same,” Biles said in a statement announcing the tie-up. “I admire Athleta for their commitment to recognize and support women’s individual and collective strength, and together I believe we can help girls to confidently and passionately take on the world in their athletic endeavors and beyond.”