American Eagle Partners with CrossFit Games Athletes for AE 24/7 Campaign

August 31, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Alec Smith, James Sprauge, Dallin Pepper
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While the good old-fashioned American blue jeans might be everyday apparel for most, in the world of CrossFit, it’s rare to find athletes, especially elite Games athletes rocking a pair of jeans for everyday wear.

One big thing: While finding a pair of jeans that fits can be a near insurmountable challenge for athletically built people, like CrossFit Games athletes, American Eagle is looking to change that.

Remind me: Last fall, the iconic American brand launched their first campaign featuring athletic wear into the CrossFit marketplace with Games veteran Alec Smith.

  • Their new Athletic Fit jeans were designed with extra room in the thigh area and were intended to provide more comfort for those who may have struggled to find the perfect fit for their jeans in the past.
  • But their partnership with Smith was more important than just providing jeans for thicker thighed individuals.
  • It was indicative of a steadily growing trend in which brands not native to the CrossFit industry work with CrossFit athletes, bringing more legitimacy and a bigger marketplace to the sport.

AE 24/7: This year, American Apparel launched round two of their athletic fit line with AE 24/7.

  • The line includes jeans, as well as joggers and khaki pants all designed to fit more athletically built individuals.
  • The brand once again chose to partner with Alec Smith on this line, but also elected to include 2023 Games athletes James Sprague and Dallin Pepper in the campaign as well.

What they’re saying: “I genuinely feel extremely comfortable & I am able to actually move around in their jeans without feeling restricted,” said Sprague in a recent Instagram post highlighting his new partnership.

  • “Having ham hocks like mine, they don’t fit into any random pair of pants,” said Pepper.
  • “So putting them into some stretch jeans and taking my lady out on a date while looking good, makes me feel like a million bucks,” he continued.
  • “American Eagle isn’t the store of your middle school past, they have come full circle and made some awesome gear to look great outside the gym too,” Pepper concluded.
  • “I’ve been wearing the American Eagle jeans around a lot, even around the house, and they are super comfortable,” said Alec Smith continued, ‘They definitely hit the nail on the head,’” he continued in an interview with Morning Chalk Up last winter during his first round of partnership with American Eagle.
  • “I’m super excited to be partnered with AE for this season,” said the 2023 Games athlete and former two-time teen Games athlete James Sprague to Morning Chalk Up.
  • “Generally, my favorite clothing to wear inside the gym is anything, but outside the gym, I’ve struggled to find jeans that fit well but also feel comfortable,” he continued.
  • “The AE 247 line is exactly that. I remember shopping at American Eagle when I was in high school and it’s been really cool to come back to a brand I know and get to partner with them on this level,” Sprague concluded.

Beyond the jeans: This partnership is more than just a simple campaign for jeans. It’s a massive step for athletes like Smith, Sprague, and Pepper to be involved with a mainstream brand.

  • “It’s awesome to be involved with a mainstream brand like American Eagle, as it draws eyes to our niche sport,” said Pepper to Morning Chalk Up.

The big picture: As the sport of fitness continues to grow, so too do the opportunities for the athletes involved in the sport. 

The American Eagle brand is just one example of major CrossFit Competitors receiving endorsements in brands that extend well beyond the relatively small CrossFit Industry. 

In 2020, we witnessed Sara Sigmundsdottir sign with Volkswagen, a major automotive brand. We also witnessed several Rogue Invitational athletes partner with Gilette in 2020 for a national campaign. More recently, CrossFitters witnessed NOBULL receive a major investment from beverage mogul Mike Repol. 

While still few and far between, the partnering of CrossFit athletes with mainstream brands is indicative of a bright future and continued growth for both the sport and the athletes who compete in it.

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