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Adidas ends Kanye West’s partnership over anti-Semitism and hate speech

Adidas ends Kanye West's partnership over anti-Semitism and hate speech
  • Adidas ends the partnership immediately
  • A decision that weighs $250 million on net income for 2022
  • Adidas sole owner of the design rights

Oct 25 (Reuters) – Adidas AG (ADSGn.DE) The sporting goods maker said Tuesday it would immediately end its partnership with Kanye West, in response to a spate of aggressive behavior from the American rapper and designer.

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

“Yi’s recent comments and actions are unacceptable, hateful, dangerous and violate the company’s values ​​of diversity, inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” she said, referring to the rapper by his legal name.

A lawyer representing Kanye West did not respond to a request for comment.

Ending the partnership and producing Yeezy-branded products, as well as stopping all payments to Ye and his companies, “would have a negative short-term impact of up to $250 million” on Adidas’ net income this year, in part because the Christmas quarter tends to see typically greater demand, the company said. .

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

Yi has sparked controversy in recent months by publicly ending big business ties and due to social media revolts against other celebrities. His Twitter and Instagram accounts were restricted, as social media platforms removed some of his online posts that users described as anti-Semitic.

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In a now-deleted Instagram post earlier this year, the Grammy-winning artist accused Adidas and US clothing retailer Gap Inc. (GPS.N) From failing to build contractually promised permanent stores for products from his Yeezy fashion line.

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

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

Adidas hunts Ye from rival Nike Inc (NKE.N) in 2013 and they agreed on a new, long-term partnership in 2016 in what the company called at the time “the most important partnership ever created between a non-sportsman and a sports brand”.

The association, which has spawned several of Adidas’ bestselling Yeezy sneakers costing between $200 and $700, helped the German brand bridge the gap with Nike in the U.S. market.

Yeezy generates about 1.5 billion euros ($1.47 billion) in annual sales for Adidas, and makes up just over 7% of its total revenue, according to estimates by Telsey Advisory Group.

Shares of Adidas, which cut its full-year forecast last week, fell 3.2 percent. The group said it would provide more information as part of its expected third-quarter earnings announcement on November 9.

Additional reporting by Merinmay Day and Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Tomasz Janowski, Sriraj Kalovila and Bernadette Bohm

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.