The North Face launches Athlete Development Program

The North Face has announced it is expanding its world-renowned athlete team with the launch of the new Athlete Development Program designed to recruit and foster emerging athletic talent.

The Athlete Development Program will offer 15-20 emerging athletes the opportunity to earn a two-year contract with The North Face inclusive of funding, gear, education, and a one-to-one mentorship *. The program is specifically in search of athletes who are passionate about reaching the next level in one or more of the following sports: climbing, skiing, snowboarding, trail running and/or alpinism.

“Growing up, I was never financially stable and have thought a lot about how much easier my path to sponsorship would have been with better support from sponsors. My hope is that this program will help provide the knowledge and resources it takes to be a professional athlete within the boundaries of one of the largest outdoor brands in the world,” said The North Face athlete and Athlete Development Program advisor, Erik Leon. “I am most excited to see what someone can do with the tools we are providing, whether it’s fulfilling a professional career or contributing to their everyday lifestyles.”

The North Face currently has more than 150 sponsored athletes across the globe including athletes and creators like Jimmy Chin, Alex Honnold, Hilaree Nelson, Margo Hayes, Austin Smith, and Jess Kimura.

“For decades The North Face athlete team has represented the pinnacle of achievement in outdoor sports and inspired generations of athletes,” said vice president, global brand at The North Face, Mike Ferris. “As we look to inspire younger explorers and cultivate a more inclusive outdoor community, we must accelerate the recruitment of athletic talent to better reflect the makeup of the next generation.”

Partnering with The North Face on athlete selection, program planning and execution is a core set of athletes, community members and educators. Selection for the new Athlete Development Program will take place through Spring 2022.

“The Athlete Development Program offers financial and educational resources that have been out-of-reach to many in the past. I’m most excited about seeing these athletes grow their sports skillsets through personal coaching and training,” said The North Face athlete and Athlete Development Program advisor Nina Williams. “I wish I had access to more advanced coaching resources growing up.”

All interested athletes should apply at

This work is part of the company’s decade-long investment in increasing access and equity in the outdoors through The North Face Explore Fund. Since 2010, The North Face has committed more than $10 million to more than 500 nonprofits, including Outdoor Afro, Latino Outdoors, Native Women’s Wilderness, and other organizations building equity in the outdoors and create opportunities for all.

* Athletes must be 16 years of age or older and based in the United States to apply.

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