Adidas has turned its back on the sporting world to collaborate with… Kanye West. It’s a deal that has opened the doors to the rapper’s close family – starting with Mrs West, Kim Kardashian. Bingo! Fans of the two stars are making a dash for Yeezy Boots.
In 1985, Nike broke into new territory by creating a brand of shoes named after its ambassador Michael Jordan. Thirty years later, 100 million pairs of Nike Air Jordans have been sold, and the Air Jordan business alone is continuing to generate 2 billion dollars a year! Today, Nike’s big rival Adidas has decided to take this approach itself, but by associating itself with a rap star rather than a sports star – Kanye West and his Yeezy Boots.
An increase in market share of 30% for Adidas
Yeezy is a top of the range brand designed by the rapper, derived from his limited edition T-shirt and trainer collection launched in 2005. Despite the price tag of 300 euros, Yeezy Boots 350 and 750 are selling like hot cakes. On eBay, the premium models are being resold these days for nearly 900 euros! The deal with Kanye West has seen a 30% increase in market share for Adidas in the secondary market for trainers.
And history is set to repeat itself this year with the new Yeezys. The product is coming, but nobody knows when, what it will actually look like or how much it will cost. Nevertheless, clues have filtered through onto Instagram – in photos by the West clan, such as that family outing where the children are wearing the two versions of the new shoes. Or where Kanye himself announces that he is wearing a previously unseen version. In short, real Apple-style marketing: prime the social networks – not too soon, not too late – and sell to hysterical fans at a premium. The result: a major success is on the cards!
The biggest contract with a non-sports star
One contract and two stars with different fan bases for the price of one! That’s what Adidas has managed to do by associating with Kanye West. Because wherever Kanye is, his wife Kim Kardashian is not far away. It’s bound to change Adidas’s rather serious, conservative image. But will it be enough to swing the balance?
The German brand seems to think so – it has just extended the partnership. Called “Adidas + Kanye West”, it will bolster the Yeezy brand, enable a business unit to be created within the three-stripe brand, lead to dedicated stores being opened and expand the range of sports clothing and shoes for both sexes. With a guaranteed one billion dollars for the rapper, which is more than he makes from his music. According to Adidas, it’s the biggest contract ever signed with a non-sports star. Has it hit pay dirt? Find out – on Instagram!