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Adidas Terminates Partnership With Kanye West at a Cost of $246 Million

Sports brand Adidas has terminated its partnership with Kanye West over his antisemitic comments in a move it estimates will impact its bottom line by up to €250 million ($246 million) this year alone, the company said Tuesday.

In a statement, the sneaker brand, referring to West by his “Ye” pseudonym, said: “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”

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West and the sports company first joined forces for a fashion collaboration — known as Adidas Yeezy — seven years ago.

Adidas said that after undertaking a “thorough review,” it had decided to end the partnership, stop producing Yeezy branded products and cancel all payments to his companies. “Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect,” the statement said.

Citing the “high seasonality of the fourth quarter” — which includes Black Friday and Christmas — the brand estimated terminating the Yeezy partnership will negatively impact Adidas’s net income in 2022 by €250 million, although the company added it expect the dip to be short-lived.

Adidas also added in the statement that it is the “sole owner of all design rights” under the partnership, no doubt a warning to West’s camp should the rapper attempt to reproduce the designs with a new manufacturer.

In an article published by Forbes, it was confirmed the move had also cost the rapper his status as a billionaire. According to the report, approximately $1.5 billion of West’s net worth was attributed to his partnership with Adidas, meaning the loss of the deal decreased his fortune to $400 million. The publication estimated his remaining net worth to be led by his music catalog, real estate holdings, cash and his 5% stake in Skims, his ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s shapewear firm.

Universal Music Group, the parent company to West’s longtime record label Def Jam Recordings, was also prompted to release a statement despite West no longer being signed to Def Jam.

“Def Jam’s relationship with Ye as a recording artist, Def Jam’s partnership with the GOOD Music label venture and Ye’s merchandise agreement with Bravado all ended in 2021,” the company said in a statement shared with the press on Tuesday. “There is no place for antisemitism in our society. We are deeply committed to combating antisemitism and every other form of prejudice.”

All of these events follow West’s repeated attacks on the Jewish community in recent weeks. Earlier this month he posted on social media that, among other things, he planned to go “death con 3 on Jewish people.” This was followed by an appearance on Revolt TV’s “Drink Champs” talk show where he went on an antisemitic tirade.

Following West’s comments, a banner was hung by a white supremacist group above the 405 freeway in Los Angeles reading “Kanye is right about the Jews.”

Since West’s repeated antisemitic remarks he has been dropped as a client by CAA while a completed documentary about the rapper from MRC has been shelved.

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