Kanye West once again released a track on New Year’s Eve and once again the rapper used the occasion to let the world know his opinion on several hot topics. Kanye used the track “FACTS” specifically to once again underline his opinion on Nike, the sportswear brand that started to work with him on sneakers, before he left to work with adidas Originals in 2015. For adidas it has been a massive year, dominating the fashion sneaker collaboration market, releasing many much talked about Kanye West adidas YEEZY Boost items, as well as pushing ahead with innovations such as the Ultra Boost and classics such as the Superstar and Stan Smith.
Here below we now take a closer look at some of West’s statements in the song and see how they compare to reality.
1) adidas Yeezy line has “jumped over the Jumpman”
Without any doubt his YEEZY line had a lot of hype in 2015, sold out of all footwear in no time and had people line-up across the globe. At the same time Jordan Brand apparently started having issues selling out some of its Retro releases towards the end of the year. At the same time Jordan Brand of course had a lot more releases than YEEZY and is a Billion Dollar brand.
2) “If Nike ain’t had Drizzy man they would have nothing. If Nike ain’t have Don C. they would have nothing.”
Kanye goes on saying that only Drake and Don C. saved them with their sneaker collaborations. While those were among the most hyped Jordan brand releases of the year, one has to keep in mind that Nike has had its biggest year ever, announcing plans to reach $50 Billion in revenue by 2020, having hit $7.7 Billion in revenue in the last quarter already. Also Nike’s market cap of over $86 Billion is just above five times the market cap of adidas, who fell behind Sketchers in the US for biggest sportswear brands.
3) “I ain’t drop an album but the shoes went platinum.”
West mentions selling over a million shoes in 2015, which is impressive, but certainly nothing that will impress Nike.
4) “Tell adidas that we need a million in production. I done told y’all all I needed was the infrastructure.”
The rapper believes he could be selling a lot more sneakers, which is probably true, but the high resell prices would probably drop quickly if that was the case.
5) “James Harden, Swaggy P running up the budget.”
The $200 million deal with James Harden was certainly one of the biggest announcements of the year and it is likely to heavily impact the adidas Basketball business. But basketball is still Nike’s home turf. Having LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, Kobe Bryant and many other heavy hitters under contract, and with adidas not really having been able to push back with its D Rose line, it currently looks like adidas has to fight hard to keep Under Armour away. The brand has seen a 754 percent increase in basketball sneaker sales, thanks to Stephen Curry in 2015.
As much of an impact as Kanye West and adidas had this past year, the statements from his new song should obviously be taken lightly. By now we are all used to hear bold, many times over the top, statements of the rapper. Nevertheless Nike, as strong as they are at the moment, especially financially, has to keep an eye on adidas. The brand might not be there yet financially, but in terms of product it has made huge steps in 2015 and layed the groundwork for another strong year 2016 with its new NMD.