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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Adidas Opts to Sell Yeezy Sneakers, Donate Proceeds

  • Adidas has adjusted course on its $1.3 billion in unsold Yeezy merchandise, choosing to sell it and donate the proceeds.
  • The company cut ties with Ye after he made anti-semitic comments on social media.
A Yeezy-branded Adidas sneaker for sale.
Eric Seals/Imagn

Adidas has finally chosen a course of action for its Yeezy merchandise.

After months of weighing various options regarding its $1.3 billion worth of inventory associated with Ye — formerly known as Kanye West — Adidas has opted to sell the merchandise and donate the proceeds.

Adidas cut off its previously lucrative relationship with the celebrity after he made antisemitic comments on social media. The decision left the company with over $1 billion in unsold stock.

“What we are trying to do over time is to sell parts of these goods and then donate to organizations that help us and that also have been hurt by Kanye’s statements,” CEO Bjørn Gulden told investors.

The decision could help Adidas recover some of its losses associated with the split, which had the apparel giant potentially looking at its first-ever annual loss. Ye could profit from the decision, as well.

A view of the outside of Adidas' flagship store in Shanghai.

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Investors are suing Adidas, claiming that the company should not have been so financially exposed to the celebrity given his history of volatile statements and behavior.

The company is looking to refocus its U.S. efforts on athletics, particularly basketball and soccer. Adidas is the apparel provider for Major League Soccer and is hoping to benefit from soccer’s growth in the U.S. — especially with the 2026 World Cup coming to North America.

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