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Adidas, you good?

Recently, Adidas has been going through it to say the least — or is it just us? Check the play-by-play. In October 2022, the brand announced they will sever ties with rapper Kanye West due to anti-sematic comments he made on social media. This break up led to a decision that will ultimately cost the company billions of dollars. Weeks later, reports revealed that Adidas might be bringing the Yeezy silhouette back without the Yeezy name or sell their remaining Yeezy inventory at a lower price to prevent the potential loss in funds. Social media buzzed with comments from people who agreed and disagreed with Adidas’ potential plans. 

“Sadly, the problem with today is, you can’t please anybody,” said Garrett Reed, content creator, automotive and sneaker expert. “If you say anything too controversial, a brand is going to step away from you. When you step into that wrong spotlight, brands are going to do what they have to do. They didn’t even give him a chance. It is what it is, the way I see it, if they do it from a brand perspective. From a business perspective, they need to be smart and try not to back-end him [Kanye].” 

And if that wasn’t enough, rolling into 2023, reports revealed that Adidas’ sales were down more than 50 percent with their collaboration with Beyoncé’s Ivy Park — ultimately leading to them mutually part ways after a five year partnership. 

“I still feel like Beyonce’s Ivy Park is just so shocking to me,” said Kayla Boyd, Senior Shopping Editor at Buzzfeed. “I wonder if maybe they [Adidas x Ivy Park] did a lot of drops too close together? Also, the clothes were pricier. I did one or two of the launches that were like a year-ish apart, but there were mini moments and it didn’t give time for people to breathe.”

But wait, there’s more

Then, in recent weeks, according to The Fashion Law, the global brand made headlines for attempting to block Black Lives Matter from using three stripes on their paraphernalia as they claim it’s infringing on Adidas signature 3-stripe trademark. Adidas then turned around and made a statement saying they “will withdraw its opposition to the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s trademark application and soon as possible.”  

But with all this news circulating in the media realm, does this sway people from purchasing from Adidas? Not at all. In a recent poll 360 Baseline conducted on Instagram, we asked people if they plan on buying Adidas sneakers anytime soon. 

The results: 75 percent said, “of course,” and only 25 percent said, “absolutely not.” In another poll, 74 percent of people said that they own Adidas and 26 perfect said that they were, “not really a fan.” 

“I definitely do own a ton of Adidas,” said Kayla Boyd, Senior Shopping Editor at Buzzfeed. 

“I also feel like on the other side, with street wear athleisure, there are so few that are major in the market. The rest of the street wear athleisure brands are exclusive, hard to get brands or more expensive and there is usually hype around them. So, if you’re looking for streetwear brands and athlesiure for a wide audience, you really have a few players. They are still going to be worn by athletes. Half of them wear Nike and the other half wear Adidas,” said Kayla. 

One person that is on the other side is Garrett. 

A predominantly Nike fan, the expert revealed that he’s never owned a pair of Adidas. Could it be that Nike’s marketing is more inclusive?

“From a branding perspective and the streetwear aspect, Nike and Jordan went to set out their core demographic. They did it right. I don’t know if Adidas’ thought process is that they had to be inclusive. When you think of Adidas, you think of soccer which, internationally, is not predominantly Black,” said Garrett. 

Is Adidas for us?

The more time we spend on social media, the more we think, is Adidas’ market aimed to connect with a Black audience? Would this explain the recent reports? Only time will tell and in the meantime, Adidas, we’re watching you.  

Sarai Thompson

Sarai Thompson is a multi-hyphenate digital content creator, social media coordinator, photographer, and event planner with a specialty in topics surrounding fashion and beauty. Sarai has written for publications such as, CNN, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Popsugar, Medium, Seriess Magazine and more. She received her B.A. in English with a concentration in creative writing and a minor in Journalism from Georgia State University along with an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper and Digital Journalism from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

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