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25th Oct 2022

Kanye West loses over $1.5 billion after Adidas ends Yeezy partnership

Then it All Falls Down

When Forbes determined Kanye West had a net worth of $1 billion two years ago, the rapper hit the roof, saying he was worth three times that amount.

Tuesday, after Adidas ditched the Donda rapper over his anti-Semitic comments with “immediate effect”, the publisher re-estimated his worth, and now he’s no where near making the cut.

It suggested Ye’s net worth has dropped from $2bn – estimated within recent days – to $400m.

After days of relentless pressure, the footwear giant released a statement saying Ye’s recent remarks and actions were “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous” and violate the company’s values of “diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness”.

Ye had goaded the footwear giant on the Drink Champs podcast, saying Adidas was powerless when it came to their partnership. He bragged: “I can say antisemitic s*** – and Adidas cannot drop me.”

Forbes calculated the deal to sell the highly popular, expensive Yeezy line of sneakers was worth $1.5bn to Ye, across several years.

The new estimate, is based on his real estate portfolio, cash, music catalogue and a five per cent stake in ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s firm Skims. It also comes as big business continues to severe ties with Ye, his brands and his money.

Fashion House Balenciaga, Vogue magazine and talent agency CAA are among several companies to have already axed partnerships with Ye. Johnny Depp’s lawyer also closed the door on the rapper and film company MCR said it would refuse to distribute a recently completed documentary on the 45-year-old.

Prior to the Adidas announcement, The Independent spoke to several experts who said Ye’s net worth would be rendered meaningless should the contract be ended.

“The brand is valued based on its ability to grow into the future. That’s what’s at stake here. It’s absolutely foolish to say I’m worth X, Y and Z so I can do whatever I want,” said Americus Reed, a professor of marketing and branding at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Adidas said parting ways with Ye will have a short-term negative impact of up to €250 million on the company’s net income in 2022 “given the high seasonality of the fourth quarter”.

“Adidas is the sole owner of all design rights to existing products as well as previous and new colorways under the partnership,” the statement concluded.

Read the Forbes article here.

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