Adidas has announced a new partnership with Kanye West in what the shoe and apparel brand is calling "the most significant partnership ever created between an athletic brand and a non-athlete."
The new deal is driven by the fact that everything West has touched at Adidas has turned to gold, as evidenced by the company's 2015 sales growing by 10% and their Originals division (which houses Ye's Yeezy brand) showing a 45% growth in the 4th quarter of last year.
In the announcement, Adidas Group Executive Board member Eric Liedtke highlighted the new frontiers the company is exploring with West:
With adidas + KANYE WEST we are exploring new territories by opening up the sports world to Kanye's creativity. This is what Adidas has always been about, empowering creators to create the new.
The new deal will see a dedicated team devoted to the development of Yeezy brand products and, in what is the biggest news of all, Adidas announced that they will be opening brick and mortar Yeezy branded store locations. For his part, Ye says the new deal shows, "that anyone with a dream can dream without limitations."
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There is no disputing that Kanye has been a cash cow for Adidas (and likely has Nike questioning its focus on North) but the partnership with Kanye and the Yeezy brand doesn't come without risks for the company. As seen with the recent release of his "Famous" video and basically every time Kanye tweets, he is and has always been a lightning rod of controversy:
It's safe to assume the terms of the new deal, which have not been disclosed, would have a morality clause, but really, how do you control Kanye West? The reality is Adidas has evaluated the success of the Yeezy brand against any long-term effects Yeezy's future actions or remarks may have on the company and has determined that after all is said and done, they are still in the black.
They say "all publicity is good publicity" and in the fabric of the entertainment and business world, no one has proven this more to be true than Kanye West. He continues to speak his mind, dress the way he wants, and come up with seemingly outlandish ideas and the public still lines up for every Yeezy sneaker release and pop-up store.
It's clearly Kanye's world, we're all just living in it.
By @brokencool, a guy who needs some Yeezy Boost 750's.
Photo Credit: Adidas