Global apparel juggernaut Adidas recently made headlines when it announced that it would be severing its relationship with artist Kanye West in October 2022. Many people are now doubting the ten-year alliance between Kanye and himself in light of the unexpected disclosure of his alleged antisemitic sentiments and terrible behavior.
The Initial Meeting:
The New York Times reported recently that Kanye West and Adidas had a contentious start to their 2013 partnership. It is said that West voiced his displeasure with the concepts that were offered at a meeting to discuss the design of his first shoe at Adidas’ German headquarters. Shockwaves rippled through the room as, in an unexpected turn of events, he took a sketch of a shoe and scribbled a swastika on the toe.
Offensive Behavior and Antisemitic Remarks:
The NYT article goes on to describe a troubling pattern of abusive behavior and antisemitic remarks made by Kanye West during his nearly ten-year partnership with Adidas. With reports that West was encouraging a Jewish Adidas manager to kiss a picture of Hitler every day and showing appreciation for Hitler’s “command of propaganda,” Adidas insiders became extremely concerned about West’s actions.
A Financial Aspect and Ongoing Cooperation:
Adidas reportedly kept up their profitable alliance with Kanye West in spite of the disturbing behavior. During contract discussions in 2016, the firm agreed to quadruple West’s guaranteed annual compensation. The contract contained a morality clause, but it wasn’t used until last year.
The Point of Breaking:
The rapper’s public antisemitic outbursts in October 2022 marked the breaking point in the relationship between Adidas and Kanye West. The sportswear company ultimately broke off its relationship with West, citing “no tolerance for hate speech and offensive behavior,” following weeks of announcements about a review of the alliance.
Financial Repercussions and Other Partnerships Terminated:
According to reports, Kanye West’s net worth decreased by $1.1 billion following the breakup of the partnership. Following suit, other big businesses including Gap, Balenciaga, and Vogue ended their collaborations with the discredited rapper.
Adidas responded to the situation by reiterating their “no tolerance for hate speech and offensive behavior,” highlighting the rationale behind the breakup of their collaboration with Yeezy.