Alysia Montaño is a 7 x USA 800m champion, a 3 x 800m World Championship Bronze Medallist, a 2 x American record holder, she is ‘that pregnant runner,’ ‘the Olympian with a flower in her hair,’ a women’s rights activist, a daughter, a sister, a wife, but above all else…Alysia Montaño is a mother.
Throughout Cadenshae’s existence, we have always had a passion for women in sport and wanted to partner with a professional female athlete…but not just any athlete, a sportswoman who as well as being at the top of her game, also stood for something larger than herself. A woman who was more than just a good runner, fighter, or tennis player, someone who wanted to use her platform to give back to others.
For five years we waited, and now, we have found her.
Alysia Montaño is no stranger to the spotlight, not only is she one of the world’s greatest ever middle distance runners, Alysia has been, and continues to be a pivotal voice for female professional athletes in regards to sponsorship and fair maternity pay. Mum to Linnea (5), Aster (2), and soon to be a mum for the third time, Alysia’s journey to motherhood has seen little support from her previous employers - NIKE and Asics. Alysia severed her contract with NIKE in 2013, and then Asics in 2016 - siting unfair maternity coverage when they both threatened to cut her pay for falling pregnant. This experience sparked her campaign for better treatment of pregnant women in not only the sporting world, but all industries, and not just in the US, but globally.
Alysia Montaño is the catalyst for change. In an op-ed video for The New York Times that went viral in May 2019, Alysia said, “The sports industry allows for men to have a full career. When a woman decides to have a baby, it pushes women out at their prime.” “Stop treating our pregnancies like injuries.” Soon, people started to pay attention to Alysia’s plight, Allyson Felix - the most decorated female athlete of all time - to name just one. Allyson and many others, including long distance American runner, Kara Goucher, have since joined Alysia in speaking out, and the noise is starting to make a difference.
NIKE, Asics and a number of companies globally have made changes to the way they treat pregnant women and mothers, particularly as it pertains to maternity leave and pay. Although we still have a long way to go - a revolution has begun. Cadenshae wanted to be a part of this revolution, and after following Alysia and her battle for a number of years, in 2019 we reached out to her in the hope she may be interested in letting us sponsor her…not as an athlete especially, but as a mother, and as a spokesperson for mothers and pregnant women, the world over.
We were absolutely delighted when Alysia accepted our sponsorship. We may not be the biggest brand in the world (yet!), but we believe in empowering women, we believe in women’s rights, in equality, we believe in all Alysia is fighting for. Women are at their most powerful when they become mothers, shouldn’t we be celebrating this, not discouraging it? Alysia encompasses all that we stand for as a brand. We wanted to throw ourselves behind Alysia and her ‘Dream Maternity’ initiative, as we believe, together, we can achieve great things.
Alysia, Cadenshae is here for you, we have your back and we believe in you. Keep fighting in the good fight, because…you’ve totally got this.