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Yeezy Product Purge Generates Over $170 Million for Adidas on Day 1

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
With the Three Stripes sitting on over $1 billion in unsold Yeezy product, the first of three sell-offs — with proceeds going to charity — began June 1.

Based on early returns, Adidas‘ choice to sell the Yeezy sneakers and apparel left in stock has proved to be a smart decision. In May, the sportswear giant announced plans to sell the remaining merchandise from the company’s now-extinct Yeezy partnership with the product line’s namesake, controversial musician Kanye West.

Rather than pocket all the profits, Adiads promised to donate a portion of sales to organizations Ye offended with his past extreme, anti-Semitic comments.

On June 1, Adidas began rolling out the first of what will ultimately be three Yeezy drops in order to liquidate some portion of the reported $1.3 billion in unsold stock, and the financial return has been rather lucrative for the Germany-based company. As Hypebeast notes, the 682,300 units of Yeezy product yielded $170.5 million in return.

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Notably, although Adiads and Ye formally severed ties in October, the rapper still stands to make significant money from the recent income generated. As previously agreed upon in their contract, Ye will reportedly receive 15% of sales proceeds — based on this initial release alone, Ye’s deal would entitle him to about $25.6 million.

Toward the end of May, there was another interesting revelation discovered by reporters at Law360 that further effects the financial dynamics of this tumultuous relationship. In November of 2022, Adidas sought an order in federal court to freeze $75 million in Yeezy-related assets in bank accounts linked either directly or indirectly to Mr. West. The request was successful at the time, and Adidas has since returned to court to ask for the freeze continue to be upheld.

“[T]he court is satisfied that there is a risk that Yeezy will remove or dissipate assets if notice of this request for attachment is given to Yeezy,” US District Judge Valerie Caproni of the Southern District of New York wrote on Nov. 11. of her decision.

Perhaps his take-home from this latest Adidas product sell-off alleviates some risk that Ye would necessarily yank assets out of the accounts in question, but if we’ve learned anything about the increasingly erratic artist, we can throw conventional wisdom right out the window.

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About The Author
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi
Vinciane Ngomsi is a Staff Writer at Boardroom. She began her career in sports journalism with bylines at SB Nation, USA Today, and most recently Yahoo. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Truman State University, and when she's not watching old clips of Serena Williams' best matches, she is likely perfecting her signature chocolate chip cookie recipe or preparing a traditional Cameroonian meal.