Like a jealous ex-spouse, Kanye West took to Twitter this week to slam Nike. West’s tweets praising alt-right pundits and President Donald Trump, understandably, received the bulk of media’s attention. However, his factually incorrect tweets about Nike are worth examining. Kanye West on twitter claimed that Yeezy is “hitting a billion dollars this year,” is “the 2nd fastest growing company in history,” that he is currently the single highest paid person in footwear,” and that Yeezy will become the biggest apparel company in “human history.” Although Kanye’s hero Donald Trump doesn’t believe in facts, we do.
On Wednesday Kanye started off claiming Yeezy is the 2nd fastest growing company in history:
We have 160 positions to fill by the end of the year. Yeezy will hit a billion dollars this year. It is the 2nd fastest growing company in history. It is a unicorn on its way to becoming a decacorn.
there's been a lot of fake news so I just wanted to give you the facts. Yeezy will become the biggest apparel company in human history by working with the most genius level talents and creating product at an affordable price. I hired the head of supply chain from the Gap.
I think it is best to start by saying that Yeezy is part of adidas. In 2017 Nike reported revenue of $21.08B while adidas reported revenue of $10.36B. It is important to note that in 2016, Nike’s revenue was $19.87B while adidas brought up $10.68B. In one year Nike boosted (no pun intended) revenue by $1.21B while adidas brought it less year-over-year. Although adidas hasn’t disclosed income from Yeezy, it is doubtful that Yeezy will hit a billion dollars this year. adidas business model for Yeezy is to sell at high price points in a model based on scarcity. It would also account for nearly 10% of adidas, which again seems so unlikely.
As GQ examined, only two jobs on the adidas site are listed for Yeezy. There are still seven months to hire 158 for Yeezy by the end of the year, however, does it really made sense of adidas to hire that many people just for one of their brands? Perhaps Kanye thinks adidas is also his?
Kanye then followed up claiming he is a visionary like Ford, Hughes, Jobs and, Disney
According to Forbes, Michael Jordan made $100 Million from Nike and it’s partners in 2015. In 2017, Nike reported that the Jordan Brand alone brought in revenue of $3.1 billion. To put that in perspective, it was only last year that Adidas (which includes Yeezy), was able to overtake Jordan Brand in U.S. market share. The Jordan brand has grown since 2015, and reports are that Jordan took home up to $125 Million last year. Sorry Kanye, Nike Still Rules.
adidas have been great partners and they've let Yeezy be Yeezy. This could've never happened at Nike
Remember that old saying, “don’t bite the hand that feeds you?” Kanye wouldn’t have a Yeezy line with adidas if it waren’t for Nike. Nike took risks on Kanye. Nike gave Kanye, the fashion designer, a platform and a legitimate brand he could associate with. It led to an iconic collaboration with LVMH’s Louis Vuitton. It was Nike’s success with Kanye that brought adidas to the table in the first place. And honestly, Kanye’s collaboration with Nike was better (and sold out quicker). The Red Octobers and Air Yeezy II are far superior to any adidas collaboration I’ve seen, yet. Nike, like any smart company, would want to have a certain amount of control over projects they work on. And sources at adidas have told me numerous times, which adidas often controls Yeezy, they just might be more stealth at hiding it from the Chicago Native.
Without Nike, there would be no Yeezy brand. If there is one visionary like a Jobs associated with Yeezy it has to be Nike’s Phil Knight or Mark Parker (or the folks at Reebok who kept up with the collaborations in the early 2000s) or whoever in 2005 decided to collaborate with Kanye West. And nothing says that you acknowledge that more than an anti-Nike tweetstorm.
Sorry Kanye, Nike and Michael Jordan still rule and probably always will. AND you know it.