Kanye West 'is a very important part of our strategy,' Adidas CEO says

Adidas is standing behind Kanye West after the rapper described slavery as a choice.CEO Kasper Rorsted said Th...

Posted: May 4, 2018 8:58 AM
Updated: May 4, 2018 8:58 AM

Adidas is standing behind Kanye West after the rapper described slavery as a choice.

CEO Kasper Rorsted said Thursday that Adidas had not considered dropping West as a designer and celebrity ambassador. West designs clothing and shoes for the German sportswear company under the Yeezy line.

"Kanye has been, and is, a very important part of our strategy and has been a fantastic creator," Rorsted said in an interview on Bloomberg TV. "I'm not going to comment on every comment he or somebody else [is] making."

West caused an uproar earlier this week when he told TMZ, "When you hear about slavery for 400 years ... For 400 years? That sounds like a choice."

He later tried to clarify his comments on Twitter.

"Of course I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will," he wrote. "My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved."

In another tweet, Kanye wrote, "The statement was an example of free thought. It was just an idea."

Rorsted said the company would speak with West about the matter, but had not done so yet.

Adidas has never broken out how much revenue the Yeezy line brings in.

"Kanye and the Yeezy are a very important part of our brand, from a revenue standpoint less so," Rosted told Bloomberg. "Adidas is a large global company with a very strong presence around the world, and will continue to perform well. "

Experts agree.

"Adidas sold 400 million pairs of shoes last year. West sold tens of thousands of pairs," said Matt Powell, senior industry adviser for sports at NPD Group. He said West has even less impact on clothing sales at the company.

Related: Lululemon has made a big comeback since its sheer pants nightmare

Adidas has partnered with West since 2013, when the company signed him away from rival Nike. In 2016, Adidas expanded its relationship with the rapper, calling it "the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand."

Since West signed with Adidas, Powell said Nike and other rivals have also signed more deals with non-athletes. But he said it's not clear whether those deals are really bringing in the additional sales to justify their cost. And he said the controversy over West's remarks could hurt the sales of even Adidas' non-Yeezy products.

"It depends on how long the story lasts," Powell said. "I think Rosted's comments today, that they would be talking with West, were appropriate. But you never know what kind of celebrity backlash there is going to be in these cases. I think today's consumers want to know what a brand's values are. If those values don't align with their views, they're prepared to take their business elsewhere."

The company on Thursday reported a 21% increase in North American sales over the past year, beating Nike and Under Armour.

- CNNMoney's Alanna Petroff contributed to this story.

Huntsville
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 61°
Florence
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 62°
Fayetteville
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
Decatur
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 60°
Scottsboro
Clear
61° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 61°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 22566

Reported Deaths: 364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Davidson504062
Shelby4943111
Trousdale13924
Rutherford119623
Sumner88145
Hamilton79415
Bledsoe6071
Williamson55210
Putnam4795
Robertson4653
Tipton4423
Out of TN4184
Lake4140
Wilson4078
Knox3755
Bedford2834
Montgomery2693
Rhea2100
Hardeman1960
Madison1752
Loudon1430
McMinn14114
Macon1363
Cheatham1230
Bradley1221
Fayette1152
Cumberland1121
Dickson1090
Unassigned920
Blount913
Maury890
Sevier812
Washington750
Coffee730
Wayne640
Gibson631
Monroe622
Sullivan602
Hickman580
Lauderdale561
Franklin531
Greene502
Dyer500
Marion401
Anderson401
DeKalb370
Hamblen362
Smith341
White330
Hawkins332
Lawrence310
Grundy311
Haywood312
Marshall311
Obion301
Henry300
Jefferson280
Carroll271
Overton260
Meigs260
Weakley260
Lincoln250
Warren230
Cannon210
Perry210
Cocke200
Carter191
Campbell181
Morgan170
Jackson170
Crockett162
Roane160
Polk160
Johnson160
Henderson150
Hardin152
Sequatchie150
Humphreys131
Fentress120
McNairy120
Chester120
Giles120
Scott120
Stewart110
Claiborne90
Houston80
Grainger80
Clay70
Benton71
Decatur50
Unicoi40
Union40
Van Buren40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Moore30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events