Olympian Allyson Felix Calls Out Nike in Campaign For Saysh Maternity Program

Olympian Allyson Felix is calling out her former sponsor, Nike, in a new campaign for her footwear brand, Saysh.

Felix has been an advocate for pregnant women and mothers since 2019, when she made a public split from Nike over its unfair policies regarding pregnant athletes and founded her own brand. The campaign highlights Saysh’s existing Maternity Returns Policy and features an open letter from Felix to “women” regarding her decision to split from Nike and the values behind Saysh.

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“My personal battle, especially during negotiations with Nike, was about ensuring women athletes aren’t financially penalized for becoming mothers,” Felix wrote in the letter. “Though Nike eventually extended protections to all female athletes, it highlighted my choice to fight for myself and the future of all women in sports.”

Saysh campaign
Saysh’s Maternity Returns Policy campaign. Saysh

Saysh’s Maternity Policy, which launched in 2022, allows customers who have purchased a pair of Saysh sneakers — either from the brand or through a wholesale partner — to exchange the shoes for a new pair in a different size should their foot size change while pregnant. The program operates via an honor system and customers requesting a new size can email their request to Saysh.

“Saysh’s Maternity Returns Policy is our way of acknowledging the transformative journey of motherhood, showing women they’re seen and supported,” Felix wrote in the letter. “But our fight goes beyond just policies; it’s about challenging injustices, advocating for pay equity, and dismantling the notion that fighting for rights makes you a victim.”

Saysh maternity
Felix’s open letter to women. Saysh

The campaign is styled to look like a series of advertisements for women from the 1950s, highlighting the novelty of Saysh’s Maternity policy against the backdrop of a society that still has a long way to go in terms of support for mothers.

The push for this program comes as Felix prepares for the birth of her second child — and at the tail end of Women’s history Month. According to Saysh, the timing is meant to highlight the need for supporting women-year round, even a other brand’s lose steam in their women-focused messaging towards the end of March.

“This fight is for a future where our daughters can dream and achieve without barriers,” Felix wrote. “Let’s stand together, share our stories, and push for a world that truly values and supports all women.”

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