It has been a rough year for Adidas. The German company was forced to cut ties with the highly-controversial rapper Ye (formerly known as Kanye West). Not only are Adidas and Yeezy breaking up, but there is a Three Mile Island-level cleanup taking place after the rapper created toxic workplace conditions.
Most of the last decade in sneakers will be remembered for the history created between the two partners. Yeezy sneakers became ubiquitous and spurred many copycats from all corners of the industry.
According to The Washington Post, Yeezy generated an estimated $2 billion a year, close to 10 percent of the company’s annual revenue. Small ideas will not be able to fill a void that massive. Below are three viable approaches Adidas can take to move forward.
Give Bad Bunny the Keys
Few, if any, artists are currently as famous as Bad Bunny. The Puerto Rican rapper and singer has broken language barriers and shattered preexisting ceilings for Spanish-language artists.
Even better, Bad Bunny already has a business relationship with Adidas. The two partners formed a relationship in March 2021 and have created several exciting collaborations.
Now could be the perfect opportunity to toss the car keys to Bad Bunny. The 28-year-old is a global superstar with a strong affinity for sneakers and fashion.
Trust Women Stars
Adidas already has women capable of replicating and surpassing the work done by Ye. Beyoncé and Adidas founded an activewear brand called IVY PARK which focuses on gender-neutral sneakers and apparel. NFL players like Von Miller have already embraced the burgeoning brand.
In addition to music icons, Adidas has an All-Star roster of athletes. WNBA legend Candace Parker has enjoyed two installments of her signature collection with no end in sight. If history has taught us anything, trusting women to outperform men is not a risky proposition.
Invest in Future
Nike has owned American professional sports leagues for some time now. Not only by signing apparel deals with leagues and teams, but even most athletes wear the Swoosh.
However, it was not always like that. Nike took a major swing by investing heavily in an unproven rookie of out North Carolina in 1984. That gamble on Michael Jordan permanently changed the landscape in America and around the world.
The first selection of the 2023 NBA Draft will be Victor Wembanyama. Former Nike and Adidas executive Sonny Vacarro told TMZ Sports that the 7'4" prospect from France could earn a "blank check" for his sneaker deal. If Adidas signs Wembanyama, it could be their Jordan moment.
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