Kanye West Ends Partnership Over Adidas, Anti-Semitism, Hate Speech

  • Adidas is ending the partnership with immediate effect
  • Decision to weigh $250 million in 2022 net income
  • Adidas is the sole owner of the design rights

Oct 25 (Reuters) – Adidas AG (ADSGn.DE) The sporting goods maker said on Tuesday it is ending its partnership with Kanye West immediately, responding to the American rapper and designer’s abusive behavior.

“Adidas does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other form of hate speech,” the German company said.

“‘s recent comments and actions are unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and violate the company’s values ​​of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” it said, using the rapper’s stage name.

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An attorney representing Kanye West did not respond to a request for comment.

Ending the partnership and production of Yeezy-branded products, as well as ceasing all payments to Ye and his companies, would have a “short-term negative impact” on Adidas’ net income of up to $250 million this year, the company said. The Christmas quarter usually tends to see the highest demand.

Adidas put the partnership under review in October “after repeated attempts to resolve the situation privately.”

He has also been embroiled in controversy in recent months by publicly ending major corporate tie-ups and lashing out at other celebrities on social media. His Twitter and Instagram accounts were restricted, and social media sites removed some of his online posts, which users denounced as anti-Semitic.

In now-deleted Instagram posts from earlier this year, the multi-Grammy award-winning artist blamed Adidas and US clothing retailer Gap Inc. (GPS.N) Failed to build contractually promised permanent stores for products from his Yeezy fashion line.

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He also accused Adidas of stealing his designs for their own products.

Gabe and Ye ended their partnership in September. European fashion house Balenciaga has also severed ties with Ye, according to media reports.

Adidas was poached from rival Nike Inc (NO.N) in 2013 and agreed to a new long-term partnership in 2016, in what the company later called “the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and a sports brand”.

The tie-up, which produced several “Yeezy”-branded Adidas sneakers priced from $200 to $700, helped close the gap with Nike in the U.S. market.

The Yeezy generates about 1.5 billion euros ($1.47 billion) in annual sales for Adidas, according to estimates by Delsey Advisory Group.

Shares of Adidas, which last week cut its full-year forecast, fell about 3.8%. The group said it will provide more information as part of its upcoming Q3 earnings announcement on November 9.

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Mrunmai Dey and Uday Sampath report in Bangalore; Editing by Thomas Janowski, Sriraj Kalluvila and Bernadette Baum

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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