PMG Digital Made for Humans

The Power of Purpose

Accelerating Athleta’s Commitment to the Power of She


  • Strategic Planning & Insights
  • PMG Consulting
  • Alli
  • Full-Funnel Omnichannel Media Strategy, Planning and Buying
  • Data & Analytics
  • Reporting & Data Visualization
  • Creative
  • Content Marketing
  • Global Reach

Athleta has used its ‘Power of She’ platform to elevate the company from one that Gap Inc. acquired for $150 million in 2008 to one that is on track to achieve $2 billion in sales by 2023 and leading the entire company into the future. With the pandemic accelerating consumers’ shopping behavior online, Athleta, already a digitally savvy brand, sought to lean even further into digital to amplify its purpose and mission to empower women and girls to meet their full potential — and accelerate its business growth objectives.

PMG is a critical partner to Athleta's digitally-led growth strategy, tapping into the power of Alli to help the brand stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace through campaigns that celebrate all women, female empowerment, inclusion, and social responsibility. Over the course of our three-year relationship with Athleta, PMG has focused on connecting the brand to diverse audiences, and engaging them at every stage of the customer lifecycle.

Inspiring Women During Historic InaugurationDuring the last presidential election cycle, we helped Athleta leverage pivotal moments in American history (i.e., the election and inauguration of the nation’s first female vice president) to reinforce Athleta’s message of empowerment with integrated campaigns that featured connected TV, digital media, and high-impact spreads in The New York Times and Washington Post that ran in tandem with historic election and inauguration coverage.

Standing On the Olympic PodiumIn 2021, PMG also leveraged digital to ensure Athleta’s groundbreaking sponsorships of two of the world’s most decorated athletes, runner Allyson Felix and gymnast Simone Biles, drive not only sales of its performance apparel in the run-up, and during and after the Olympics, but more importantly, reinforce its position of celebrating and supporting athletes through their triumphs, their struggles, and at every stage of their lives.

Supporting Everyday AthletesOur campaigns over the past year also highlighted everyday women. ‘What Moves You’ — developed in partnership with Bustle and Strava replete with a landing page and Instagram story support — was a month-long custom challenge that sought to engage and motivate women from across the country to celebrate their strength, get moving, and connect with their communities during the pandemic, which elevated the importance of health and wellness in their lives — all with Athleta top-of-mind. The exclusive program encouraged participants to track 500 minutes of movement, regardless of how they did it, driving participants to complete more than 3 million activities.

Expanding the Brand GloballyIn 2021, PMG’s strategic planning and insights team also paved the way for Athleta’s North American expansion into the Canadian market. Our insights covered economic differentiators between the U.S. and Canada, identified opportunities for emphasizing messaging around fit based on population differences, and laid the foundation for a robust digital media plan based on Canadian consumers’ media, digital, and shopping behaviors.

Increase in net sales
Growth in ecommerce
Projected revenue growth by 2023

Our spring and summer campaigns drove millions of visitors to Athleta’s website, maximizing the number of shoppers during key selling seasons. We also engaged Athleta’s top audiences through video placements that resulted in over 125 million video views. The Bustle/Strava challenge pulled in almost 114k participants who tracked 3.5 million hours across nearly 32 million cumulative miles. And our Strategic Planning & Insights team helped bridge data, media, and creativity, to enable Athleta’s entry into the Canada market, with the brand standing out in a marketplace that is home to Athleta’s largest competitor, known for setting the athleisure standard. The digital campaigns combined to bring higher visibility for Athleta, and led to business results that hit the brand’s balance sheet.

Athleta has grown into one of the brightest performers among the Gap Inc. companies in 2021. According to Gap’s quarterly earnings report, Athleta’s net sales were up 56% year over year, driven by “outsized digital growth,” which was up 113%. The brand also achieved “record regular-priced sales through gains in relevant product categories and purpose-led marketing.” Along with Old Navy, Athleta accounted for 66% of total quarterly revenue for Gap Inc., building on the previous 29% growth and surpassing more than $1 billion in revenue the previous quarter. Based on the brand’s strength across all channels, Gap expects revenue to double by 2023.

Our teams are maniacally focused on growing our purpose-led billion-dollar lifestyle brands, and our customers are responding. The marketing investments we've made over the last several quarters to fuel demand, coupled with the macro tailwinds, are supercharging our business.
Sonia Syngal, CEO, Gap Inc., during quarterly earnings call