Without Ye, Adidas will still sell 'Yeezys' — and save about $302M in the process

Nov 10, 2022
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PHOTO: Photo illustration by Spin.ph staff

ON THE DAY it dropped Ye (the rapper formerly known as Kanye West) for his antisemitic remarks, global sports brand adidas asserted that it remains the “sole owner” of all rights to the popular Yeezy brand that Kanye and the Three Stripes launched back in 2015.

In an earnings call yesterday, November 9 (New York time), adidas chief financial officer Harm Ohlmeyer reiterated adidas’ plans to move forward with Ye-less Yeezys.

“Going forward, we will leverage the existing inventory with the exact plans being developed as we speak,” the CFO said in a report from CNN Business’ Nathaniel Meyersohn.

Meyersohn also repeated that adidas did not own the Yeezy name, but that the company does own all intellectual property, designs, versions, and colorways. “It’s our product,” he said in a Bloomberg report.

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    No more Ye in Yeezy means more savings for Adidas

    The CFO said that a Ye-less Yeezy would save the company around EUR 300 million (around $302 million or P17.4 billion) in royalty and marketing fees.

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    For adidas, this seems like a fair exchange. The Germany-based brand previously said that it is forecasting a loss of EUR 250 million (about P14.4 billion) in profit because of the termination of its Ye partnership.

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    With adidas offering no official breakdown beyond this statement, Yeezy’s overall impact on the company’s earnings remains hazy. Analyst Morgan Stanley estimates that Yeezy accounts for up to 8 percent of its total sales, according to CNN. Bloomberg, however, says Yeezy’s contributions are much greater.

    “Yeezy has accounted for almost half of adidas’ total profits, said analysts,” wrote Bloomberg’s Tim Loh.

    Earlier this week, adidas also announced that a new chief executive officer will be taking the helm at the Three Stripes beginning January 2023.

    Bjørn Gulden, who was previously the head of Puma, will be stepping into the CEO chair that will be vacated by Kasper Rorsted, who led the company since 2016.

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    PHOTO: Photo illustration by Spin.ph staff
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