Adidas’ breakup with Beyoncé would join the one that occurred with Kanye West in its day, although for different reasons
It’s the end of an era: Beyoncé and Adidas, the world’s second largest sportswear brand, mutually agree to part ways.
Ivy Park sales fell more than 50% to $40 million in 2022, well below the $250 million forecast by Adidas.
This has prompted a profit warning to investors as the brand tries to climb out of its billion-dollar hole and focus on core products.
The breakdown you need to know
CultureBanx reported that Adidas’ main problem has been its strategy in recent years, centered on partnerships with other artists, such as Bad Bunny, Pharell Williams and rapper Ye (aka Kanye West). Only one of those associations consistently met or exceeded its financial expectations.
Specifically for Ivy Park, in 2021 revenue was $93 million, in 2022 revenue was $40 million vs. $250 million forecast. In 2023, revenue is projected to be $65 million, far from the $335 million target, according to the Wall Street Journal. Adidas’ contract with Beyoncé pays her $20 million a year and was due to expire at the end of this year.
“Adidas has all the ingredients to be successful, but we need to refocus on our core – product, consumers, retail partners and athletes,” Bjørn Gulden, Adidas CEO, said on his earnings call in early March. There have been significant creative differences between Ivy Park and Adidas, and Beyoncé, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Perhaps for this reason, the CEO of Adidas declared that athletes, and not artists, should be the center of attention. Overall, though, it’s been a rough ride for the sportswear and footwear company which projects an operating loss of 700 million euros by 2023. It would be Adidas’ first annual loss in 31 years.
Let’s not forget that Adidas has $750 million worth of Yeezy-branded inventory that it may never sell, after breaking up with Ye.
Earlier this month, the company reported a large fourth-quarter loss and slashed its dividend following the costly end of its partnership with Ye’s Yeezy brand in October 2022.