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Everything We Know About Ye and adidas’ New Agreement

Kanye West adidas New Partnership 2023

Weeks after it was announced that adidas’ revenue would take a $1.29 billion hit in 2023 and following the end of the Yeezy partnership in 2022, rumours suggest that Ye may be returning to Team Trefoil.

Here’s what we know...

ICYMI: Here’s What Happened Last Year

It’s been almost a year since Kanye West, now known as Ye, began his social media tirade, spreading misinformation, discriminative speech and firing shots at his closest business partners. After his removal from Twitter and Instagram and after being dropped by Balenciaga, the CAA talent agency and Def Jam, Ye used a plethora of mainstream media platforms, including the hip-hop podcast Drink Champs, to project his antisocial views.

While on the show, he stated, ‘I can say anti-Semitic things, and adidas can’t drop me.’ Following a public uproar, which included a petition with upwards of 160,000 signatures, adidas took action, issuing a statement that declared ‘the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately’. Of course, due to the swift contract cessation, adidas were still stocked with yet-to-release Yeezy product, as they are the sole owners of the design rights. The rumour mill fired up not long after, stating ‘non-Yeezy branded Yeezys’ are the future of the defunct line. However, that didn’t come to fruition.

How Much Money Are adidas Losing?

Kanye was adidas’ golden child and generated gargantuan revenue, so in the months following the ousting, it’s understandable that the question on people’s minds was what would happen to Team Trefoil.

In adidas’ official statement from last year, there was information that the termination was expected to have ‘a short-term negative impact of up to €250 million.’ Although, in early February, adidas shared their financial outlook for 2023, which looked decidedly bleaker than expected. According to their in-house report, their revenues will be lowered by approximately $1.29 billion, with operating profits taking a massive $537 million hit. The brand has clearly not found their financial footing following the termination, as they’re sitting on allegedly $500 million of unsold Yeezy stock. While adidas are likely still reviewing their options, the scene is rife with gossip alleging the duo might reunite.

Why They (Could Be) Reuniting

Although rumours alleging that Kanye West and adidas could be in talks about a new agreement began circling the internet around February 20, it’s unclear where they actually started. Currently, multiple sources state that a new contract has allegedly been signed, suggesting Ye would help adidas sell the remaining $500 million worth of Yeezy stock. Although, from what we can tell, once all products have been sold, the contract will once again be put to bed.

There are two sides to this contract coin. On adidas’ end, they have a billion dollars burning a hole in their pocket, and the worrying revenue figures could impede the brand’s growth. Producing footwear is a costly task, both timely and financially, so this large amount of excess and unsold product undoubtedly means some execs will feel the pressure. Money talks, and with other aspects of their business also struggling, re-signing Ye could be a safe option, financially speaking. Despite the rapper’s recent behaviour, his core fanbase seems to have stuck by his side.

Contrary to the aforementioned positives, it makes sense that adidas aren’t super interested in reneging on their word. In their termination press release, they said, ‘adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.’ Ultimately, a new partnership with Ye would go back on what the brand believes in, leaving them open to public scrutiny.

It’s clear Ye still wants to be in sneakers and fashion. But thanks to his most recent MO, he’s been all but exiled from the industry and left without a new business partner (if you remember, the rapper even rocked up to Skechers’ offices, only to be hastily escorted out). This deal has no downsides for Kanye, but a signed contract would surely show that, no matter what he says or does, he’s essentially untouchable.

If the rumours are true, and adidas does re-sign ye, it’s a controversial decision that could end up paying off financially at the cost of the brand’s broader public image.

Keep up to date on the latest Kanye x adidas news here.

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