Adidas is stepping up its sports activities after the disastrous Kanye deal

Credit: Anthony Tedja

As part of its strategy to break away from its disastrous deal with Kanye West, Adidas says it wants to refocus on esports.

“We want to focus on all the things that are centered in the US, especially in sports,” said Rupert Campbell, Adidas President for North America. told the Wall Street Journal on the sportswear company’s shift in strategy. The German company officially ended a lucrative partnership with the rapper in October 2022 over a tirade by wayward, anti-Semitic statements in public.

Now the company wants to focus on rebuilding its reputation as a sports brand. The Company has opened a new facility in Los Angeles to house its new basketball product team. The company also modernized its main US hub in Portland, Oregon. Adidas will open more stores in the US and seek new partnerships with US athletes, with a renewed focus on Major League Soccer.

The ventures of high-profile celebrities just haven’t paid off for the company. Adidas says it expects that suffer a loss of $749 million Copying Yeezy Articles. By some estimates, sales of Yeezy gear account for 8% of Adidas’ annual sales — making it the first time Adidas has been in the red without those sales in 30 years. But the Yeezy partnership isn’t the only celebrity venture to have met with a harsh failure.

Adidas and Beyoncé mutually decided to end their Ivy Park collaboration in 2023. This is reportedly because sales of the celebrity-endorsed clothing line have fallen short of expectations. Meanwhile, its collaboration with Pharrell Williams fashion label Humanrace caused sales to fall 70% from their peak five years ago. Adidas says it will continue to pursue such celebrity partnerships, but that sport is now at the heart of the company’s US business.

Adidas wants its new Los Angeles location to be a place where the team can gather “real-time insights from a diverse consumer base.” It will also work closely with grassroots programs like the Drew League Pro-Am basketball competition in Los Angeles. This team will also be responsible for that Management of new celebrity collaborations go forward.