The best relationships are always rocky. 

You don’t get anywhere by not fighting for what you believe in. Sometimes you’re on the same team and sometimes not. The important thing is to always keep driving forward.

We had an incredible 3 plus year relationship with Nike. In that time, more people in our city got fit.  More people got up & running. More friendships were forged. We’re proud to have been part of this. 

Nike is a cultural innovator. They changed the game and turned the “average" into "athletic”. They made it possible for any BODY to feel & dress the part. Before them, we'd watch our heroes from a far, on TV or in the stands.  But Nike made us feel like we were the heroes in our own lives. Maybe it was just the shoes or maybe it was so much more. 

I grew up on Jordan, Agassi & Bo Knows. These athletes & campaigns was more a part of me than the religion I was born in to. As a kid in the 80s & 90s, I aspired to be like them, so when the chance came to work with Nike, it was a dream come true. 

Like Bowerman & Knight, Academy started in the back of a car with a vision to create a platform that would give any one with a breathing body the ability to recognize their true potential & run with it.  These first steps created communities and the cultures that kept them stitched together.

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Nike’s partnership with Academy was the first of its kind globally - they’d never worked with a CrossFit gym on this level before. I saw the opportunity to put the Academy culture & philosophy on a larger platform. Our mission is to build communities through physical culture and there was no better way to fulfil our goal. 

Over the years, we did some great things together, and like any relationship, it takes a lot of work. There were times of debate, course correction & compromise but all of it in good faith and towards a common good. 

With partnerships, there comes a time when each side has to be honest with itself and what is true to their vision. Any other way is certain death of spirit and neither Nike or Academy got to where we were without a strong spirit. 

There are no losers here.  We're not stopping.  Nike continues to do big bold amazing things. Everyone in this city who wants to be fit, happy, healthy has more opportunities than ever and less excuses.  

Thank you to all the great people we worked with at Nike. Thank you to the Academy community for helping nurture this program. HUGE thank you to the coaches, Jenny T, Paluna & JennyMC, for putting their bodies, lungs & hearts into the programming and making so many people sweat, smile and succeed. 

So, all of this to say, we're proud. We did something great and we'll continue on that course. Nike will bring their game and get more people to feel like athletes. Academy will build communities and break down barriers.  And EVERY BODY will win in that process. 

 

Grateful & excited, 

- Dhani Oks / Academy Of Lions Founder

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