Today, adidas and Kanye West announced a broad expansion of their creative partnership that is being described as “unprecedented” and “the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand.” The new agreement will see the highly successful, but until now limited, Yeezy brand expand production and move into the sporting goods and retail categories.
As a result, you can expect to see new Yeezy retail stores popping up, far more available product from the line across the streetwear and sports markets and even Yeezy branded shoes and equipment on some of your favorite sports superstars.
Part of the deal will see adidas providing Kanye with a dedicated design team to be based at their Portland headquarters, a sign that the company is fully committed to a long-term creative partnership with the brand. Which is really all Kanye wanted this whole time. His desire to create on his own terms and have the distribution channels to get his product to the masses is well documented and is the catalyst that launched a 1000 Kanye Rants.
So far, adidas has seen great success from its collaborations with Ye,enjoying a 45% revenue uptick in the 4th quarter of 2015 and an overall 12% revenue increase. Their outlook for 2016 isn’t too shabby either as they are projecting a 10-12% increase this year as well. The success of the Yeezy Boosts is a big part of that growth. Meanwhile, Nike just reported a notable sales drop off and failed to meet expectations on orders for 2016, due in large part to increased competition from the likes of adidas and Under Armour.
So this could be a huge step for Kanye but he’ll have to show and prove. If everything goes as well as it has to date, he could end up claiming partial credit for reinvigorating one of the most iconic sportswear brands of all time, and possibly even knocking the Nike juggernaut from the top of the market. TMZ cites insider information from “sources” (surely adidas execs, but still), that project the deal could earn Ye as much as a billion dollars. You have to wonder if those Nike execs regret not just giving him everything he wanted when he was collaborating with them.