Thursday, June 30, 2016

Kanye West inks expanded deal with Adidas for new stores

Whatever you think of his music, Kanye West is officially the biggest non-athlete endorser in the sneaker world.
Adidas on Wednesday unveiled a major expansion of its partnership with the singer-turned-designer, building on the success of his hugely popular Yeezy Boost sneakers.

The German athletic giant described the deal with West as the most significant partnership between a non-athlete and a sports brand and said it plans to open up retail stores that will stock only Yeezy products.


The Adidas + Kanye West partnership will also include new sports performance shoes, clothing and accessories — a bet that West can fuel interest in shoes both in the streets and on the field.

Adidas poached West two years ago from market leader Nike. West has said he made the switch because Adidas gave him more creative freedom and higher royalties.

Adidas declined to give financial details, specify the length of the new deal or say when it would open up Yeezy stores. Several media reports pegged the value of their previous deal at $10 million.

After falling to third place in the US behind Nike and Under Armour, Adidas has regained some ground in recent months. It reported a 31 percent jump in first-quarter sales of its core brand in North America, thanks in part to its Yeezy shoes.

The Yeezy Boost retails for $350, but regularly sells for hundreds more on eBay and other reseller sites.

The singer calls himself the first “hip hop designer” and says he hopes to surpass the world’s biggest retailer, Wal-Mart.

“This partnership illustrates that anyone with a dream can dream without limitations,” he said on Wednesday.

The company went out of its way to praise the notoriously prickly rapper as a “true creator,” “globally influential artist” and “creative pioneer” in announcing the deal.

West lately has been taking his queues from contemporary art, such as his controversial music video for “Famous” that riffs on the Vincent Desiderio painting “Sleep.”

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