Google search volumes spiked on October 26th by 581% worldwide as fans checked online about whether they should sell their Yeezy products with the announcement by Adidas to drop their contract with Ye, the artist previously known as Kanye West.
A spokesperson for Celeb Tattler, who commissioned the data, commented on the findings, “Kanye West is once again in the news and once again not for a good reason. In fact, after the recent news of Balenciaga and Gap ceasing their partnership with him, Adidas has decided to follow suit, halting production of all Yeezy products. This decision comes after a period of reflection from the brand’s side after West has made public antisemitic comments.”
A String of Bad News for Ye
Ye has been in the news a lot recently. First, it was for wearing a shirt at the Yeezy Paris Fashion Week with the phrase “White Lives Matter,” which had antisemitic undertones. Next, he doubled down on his comments on social media. Multiple companies then dropped brand deals with the rapper including The Gap, Balenciaga, and more.
A few days ago, the Twitter account @StopAntisemites asked Adidas to drop the Yeezy deal.
Adidas finally dropping their deal with Ye was not unexpected and came late in the string of bad news. Some have even accused Adidas of acting too slowly to end the deal, given that Ye has been at the forefront of consumers’ minds lately.
About the Yeezy Deal
Yeezy was a collaboration between Kanye West and Adidas. Yeezy launched its first shoe model, the Boost 750, in February 2015 and has since grown its product line to include shirts, jackets, track pants, socks, slides, women’s shoes, lingerie, and slippers.
On October 25th, Adidas announced that it would cut ties with Ye stating, “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.”
According to TMZ, Adidas says that ending with Yeezy contract will result in a projected “$246 million loss this year.” Overall, the Yeezy partnership was set to bring in around $1.1 billion to $1.7 billion in annual sales, which would make up 4%-8% of Adidas’s group revenue. Adidas shares fell close to 5% after the announcement.
As for Ye, Forbes estimates that the Yeezy deal accounted for $1.5 billion of his net worth. Earlier this year, Forbes estimated Ye’s net worth at $2 billion, but now has a real-time estimate of $400 million. Without this deal, Ye is no longer a billionaire.
More Bad News at Adidas
Dropping Yeezy was not the only bad news to hit Adidas this year. Last week, Adidas cut its sales growth and profit forecasts for the next year due to China’s continued COVID-19 restrictions and lower demand in the US and European markets since September.
Earlier this year, the CEO, Kasper Rorsted, announced that he would step down next year. His successor will be left to find a better way to appeal to Gen Z customers. Adidas’ Gen Z sales have been trailing Nike’s, and ending the Yeezy deal makes closing the gap even harder.
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