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Kanye West Cuts Ties With Nike, Announces Partnership With adidas [VIDEO]

Kanye West stopped by the Angie Martinez show on Hot 97 in New York to reveal he was cutting ties with Nike after (un-officially) striking a deal with adidas. In recent interviews and rants, Kanye has been very vocal about seeking a joint-venture partnership in order to get out his design ideas and “revolutionize” fashion and apparel.

It looks like Ye got just that.

It was only a matter of time until someone saw the potential of a Yeezy partnership, but a lot of people are left puzzled (read: tweeting out loud) as to how Nike couldn’t see the value in a partnership with Kanye West – including West himself.

The fallout is a result of Kanye wanting a percentage of the royalties, kind of like Michael Jordan, who gets 5% of what his Jordan brand sells. Yeezy says Nike shot down his request, stating that royalties couldn’t be justified since he wasn’t actually professional athlete.

Nike did, although, offer Kanye a deal to create two collections of 30 items per year after hearing his numerous rants dissing their brand. Though West admits the offer did spark his interest, he had to pass because there was no promise of him ever getting a bigger cut.

The old me, without a daughter, would’ve taken the Nike deal because I just love Nike so much… but the new me, with a daughter, takes the adidas deal.

The Yeezy sneakers were insanely successful, and the hype alone surrounding the Red October release is bigger than any current Nike shoe in existence. Why wouldn’t Nike be salivating at a partnership opportunity with Kanye?

nike air yeezy 2 red october
NiceKicks.com

It’s pretty simple, actually.

Contrary to popular belief, (especially Kanye’s) Nike doesn’t “need” Kanye West. They never did. They never will.

As a matter of fact, Kanye may have driven this point home best during any one of his numerous rants (including the one above) where he claims that no one can deny his design genius because as far back as when he was in fourth grade he was “drawing Jordans” when his “mama couldn’t afford them.”

Guess who created those Jordans that inspired you, Kanye?

Michael Jordan Shoes
Getty Images Sport

Nike has built a billion dollar empire on creating the future and pushing envelopes and boundaries. CEO Mark Parker was recently criticized by Ye in the same rant that mentioned his design of Jordans back in elementary school for saying that he “didn’t understand why people liked the Yeezy’s so much.”

On the surface this question would be considered ridiculous if it was coming from someone who was merely the CEO of a $25 billion dollar brand, but Mark Parker is more than just the CEO – he literally is the brand.

A recent article in Complex goes even further to explain his position with Nike since 1979, and this quote from Parker makes total sense when you step back and look at the big Nike picture.

Any business that wants to realize its potential needs to have good design. The world doesn’t need anymore mediocre product, and designers are all about creating great design. And it should be the same with any company, any brand. It’s really about making sure you’re creating the future. You’re thinking about what’s possible, not just re-hashing what exists.

No matter how cool they look, or how impossible they are to get, or how much they are going for on eBay; the truth is, Kanye’s Air Yeezy is just a “re-hash” of a bunch of things that already exist, with a luxury price tag and a super-limited quantity.

Parker’s opinion is pretty valid when you think about how much innovation has been a part of Nike’s M.O. since day one. From revolutionizing the running shoe, to the Jordan brand, Air Max pockets, and most recently, Hyperfuse and Flyknit – Nike puts the “it” in “Just Do It.”

Nike Introduces New Basketball And Training Technology
Mike Lawrie, Getty Images

Will a partnership with adidas help the rapper surpass Nike and make them regret sleeping on Ye?

Only if they build a time machine.

[via Complex]

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