Adidas Expands Kanye West Tie-Up With More Shoes and New StoresBy
Sportswear maker will introduce ‘Yeezy’ shoes for athletes
Plan includes dedicated team to manage West’s product line
Adidas AG has deepened its ties with singer Kanye West, carving out a separate brand encompassing an expanded line of products and retail stores in a move that could provide a further boost to the shoemaker’s resurgence.
West, whose “Yeezy”-branded casual sneakers have helped Adidas gain some fashion credentials since they were introduced last year, will lend his name to athletic shoes, clothes and accessories plus a line of stores, the company said in a statement Wednesday. Adidas will also have a dedicated team led from Portland, Oregon to manage West’s line of products.
The new brand, called “Adidas + Kanye West,” will offer “options for both sport and street,” the Herzogenaurach-based company said.
Adidas has turned its U.S. business around as stylish men and women have embraced its retro-casual Stan Smith and Superstar sneakers, prompting retailers like Foot Locker Inc. to stock more of its products and pressuring longtime rival Nike Inc. That’s fueled a run of sales and earnings increases that’s made Adidas the best performer in Germany’s benchmark DAX index this year as it prepares for new Chief Executive Officer Kasper Rorsted to take the reins in October.
Still, it’s unusual for a sportswear maker to link a pop-culture star with athletic shoes that are more typically associated with big-name soccer and basketball stars like Nike’s longtime pitchman Michael Jordan. That’s starting to change, though, as evidenced by Puma’s deal with the singer Rihanna, where the company has used her likeness and designs to promote sneakers intended for the gym.
The announcement comes after Nike on Tuesday reported orders below some analysts had expected, sending its shares down in late U.S. trading. Shares of Adidas were up 0.9 percent to 123.75 euros at 1:56 p.m. in Frankfurt, extending their gain this year to 38 percent.