Goal Five is a performance apparel company whose mission is to put female athletes first. Aside from creating performance apparel that actually fits women’s bodies, G5 is fully invested in fighting for equality in sports on all levels, and partners with professional athletes and organizations who share this common goal. We talked with CEO and Co-Founder, Ann Kletz, along with Brie Dunbar, Senior Director of Product, and Lindsey Jones, EVP and Head of Marketing about how the company came to be, why equality in sports is long overdue, how they come together over coffee as a remote team, and how we can all help support and uplift women in sports.
Can you tell us more about the story behind the Goal Five's creation?
Ann: As life-long athletes, we were tired of having to wear men's clothing out on the field. We were also tired, frankly, of so many other inequities in our sports careers that we had to endure just because we were women. So, we decided to do something about both of the above and started Goal Five, the sports brand for her. We're solving for the "shrink it and pink it" problem, where companies will simply shrink a men's silhouette and then color it pink or purple and then call it a women's line. Women's sports apparel is most definitely a "sideshow" for the bigger brands and as a result there is very little performance sports apparel out there in the market, and when a girl or woman is lucky enough to find some, it usually doesn't fit properly.
Why was it important to create a female-focused performance apparel company?
Ann: It was simply time! Women have been fighting for equality in sport for decades. Things are finally starting to change, and it's actually a very exciting moment in time for the gender equality in sports movement. We can see change happening in the exploding viewership and audience numbers, increased investments and sponsorship, the women's national soccer team's equal pay lawsuit, and most recently in the NCAA's response to the women's basketball weight room disaster. Now is the time for a sports apparel brand that is focused on her.
How do you choose the organizations you partner with to donate a portion of your profits to? How does this donation process work?
Ann: Several of us on the team have worked in the nonprofit sector for many years, so we have a very good understanding for what type of support nonprofit organizations need to thrive, and we also know what healthy nonprofit-corporate partnerships look like. To start, we vetted and selected organizations that are doing excellent work in reaching girls who don't have access to sport, and providing them with top quality playing opportunities, coaching and mentorship. We believe that when girls play and compete, they become strong, confident leaders on and off the field. We donate 5% of our profit and product to our primary nonprofit partners and make some additional donations to one-time partners as we see fit.
What is the mission of Goal Five, and how have you seen this come into fruition so far?
Ann: Goal Five exists to celebrate, elevate and inspire female athletes' greatness! This mission is embedded in the very DNA of our company. You can see it everywhere and in everything we do. First, you see it in the beautiful, premium quality product that we produce that signals to female athletes that they deserve the best training gear so that they can perform at their best. Second, you see it in our marketing. Our models are fierce, unapologetic, powerful and competitive -- many of them are current or former professional athletes. Third, you see it in the collaborations we choose to engage in, such as producing a "Together We Win" graphic t-shirt in collaboration with the NWSL Player Association, with 50% of proceeds going back to The Association to support the players. Fourth, you see it in mission and impact work that we are doing with our nonprofit partners.
You collaborate with several pro athletes from the US and beyond! Who are some of these athletes, and how do they help spread the mission of Goal Five?
Lindsey: We have worked with professional athletes since we launched the brand. Players like Lauren Barnes, Gina Lewandowski and Jasmyne Spencer have been with us since the beginning. They are incredible representatives of the brand and help bring our vision to life. In return, we’re doing everything we can to support them both on and off the field. They are great ambassadors for their sport, but also for the brands they choose to represent. We feel so lucky every day to consider them as a part of the Goal Five family.
What are some of your most favorite items that Goal Five creates?
Brie: The Excel Training Short by far! This is the best fitting, most functional short made for the female athlete and it makes my tush and legs look amazing. The four way stretch woven fabric effortlessly moves with me, no matter which way I move. And it never rides up. The waistband is knit fabric so it doesn’t grab or pinch like so many athletic shorts can. It’s my go-to, must have. It’s also my daughter’s favorite, and she keeps bugging me to buy her more pairs. She wants them in six different colors -- one for each day she has lacrosse practice or trains.
My next favorite item is the Foudy Training Topop. This a must for cool Portland mornings (and evenings), and to layer over a tank until days heat up. Layering is super important to temperature regulation and optimal performance. Plus, the top is so soft against your skin. I just want to wear it all the time!
Who makes up the Goal Five Team, and where are you all located?
Ann: Our team is our greatest source of pride, and indeed our greatest asset. The co- founders are from Oakland, CA, but about half of our team is based in Oregon. We're a remote team by design, and we also have team members in the UK, NYC and Pennsylvania. We're a best-in-class, very tight knit team, and we pride ourselves on being smart, hard-working, scrappy, and super supportive of one another. We are reinventing women's sports apparel, and building a challenger brand, so we have to constantly think outside of the box, and make up the rules as we go along.
Does the team at Goal Five have a coffee routine you partake in together, in person, or virtually from your remote locations?
Brie: Depending on how early I get up to hit the gym, go for a run (usually with the dog), or go to a HIIT class, all greatly affects when my morning coffee routine starts. Often, a glass of water and a hot steaming cup of coffee begins my day, along with my hubby. My second cup of coffee usually accompanies me to my first morning meeting, along with our fellow G5 teammates. As we do all work remotely, we try to take team moments throughout the month to unwind from work and share life over coffee.
Would now be appropriate to say how much my family and I love this coffee maker? Like wow, it no joke makes the BEST COFFEE I HAVE EVER HAD. I want to buy one for each of my besties, and each of our adult children. OMG. Seriously life changing. We are ditching our Keurig and making this our new standard coffee maker.
How can all of us better support gender equality in the world of sports?
Ann: Great question, and thanks for asking! Everyone (and especially men and boys' voices can be quite powerful) can watch and attend women's sporting events if that's of interest. If you see inequities, point them out and speak out. Become a women's sports champion on social by reposting stories that you find inspiring. And of course, purchase Goal Five gear for yourself, your wife, your daughters, your nieces, your friends or your team.