Adidas announces it will donate revenue from Yeezy sales to anti-hate groups

The German sportswear brand intends to donate any profits from their remaining Adidas Yeezy products to groups tackling antisemitism and racial injustice.
adidas + KANYE WEST New Partnership Announcement
adidas + KANYE WEST New Partnership Announcement / Jonathan Leibson/GettyImages

Adidas announced they have donated more than $150 million from their former Yeezy product line sales to various anti-hate groups. The company intends to continue directing the earnings to charitable endeavors following their cutting ties with Ye (the artist formerly known as Kanye West), who garnered backlash for his antisemitic remarks and questions concerning the validity of George Floyd's death.

In the fall of 2022, Ye had a multitude of controversies come about including wearing a shirt reading "WHITE LIVES MATTER" during Paris Fashion Week, and a tweet reading "death con 3 ON JEWISH PEOPLE", amongst other antisemitic and racist remarks.

Ye's ill-minded behavior on social media and at high-profile events put a definitive end to the Yeezy x Adidas partnership.

It did not take long for prominent figures and brands previously associated with Ye to denounce his behavior, including Ari Immanuel of Endeavor (formerly WME-IMG), Balenciaga, his talent agency CAA, and MRC Entertainment studio. Of course, the largest hit to Ye's sponsorship deals was the end of his Yeezy-Adidas deal, which ultimately cost the sportswear brand over $250 million in profits.

Given the sudden nature of the collaborative fallout, Adidas was stuck with over $1.3 billion worth of remaining Yeezy products in their warehouses and mulled over the next steps to take with the excess inventory. Adidas sold the final batch of Yeezy sneakers with two releases in the Summer of 2023 and another drop just last month. In both instances, Adidas ensured a portion of the proceeds would be donated to groups fighting racial and ethnic hate.

Some groups Adidas donated the proceeds to include the Anti-Defamation League, a human rights organization specializing in combatting antisemitism, and the Philonise & Keeta Floyd Institute for Social Change, a group run by Philonise Floyd, who is the brother of George Floyd.

The fire sale of leftover Yeezy stock brought in over $800 million in 2023, as opposed to the $1.3 billion made by the company in 2022. Adidas is still reeling from the effects of their Ye partnership falling out, as they have taken a plunge of $540 million in their struggles to sell surplus Yeezy products. Adidas highlights North America as the primary region wherein the negative Yeezy impact was felt, as revenue dropped 16% in 2023.

Be that as it may, Adidas has its other casual lines of sneakers that consumers are clamoring for, including the Samba, Gazelle, and Campus 00s. Where Adidas goes next in a post-Yeezy world remains to be seen. In the meantime, they'll continue to draw out what's left of the products and put the proceeds towards good causes.

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