Adidas Sued by Investors Over Failed Yeezy Partnership

Adidas investors have filed a class action lawsuit against the brand over its failed partnership with Kanye West. Click here to learn more about the suit.

kanye west adidas investigation

Image via Getty/Jonathan Leibson

kanye west adidas investigation

Adidas investors have filed a class action lawsuit against the sportswear brand following its fallout with former collaborative partner Kanye West last year.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in the U.S. district court for the district of Oregon, alleges that top executives at the sportswear giant, including Adidas chief financial officer Harm Ohlmeyer and former CEO Kasper Rørsted were aware of the risks of working with Ye “as early as 2018.” The suit claims that senior Adidas executives ignored signs that could affect the Yeezy partnership, namely Ye’s recent antisemitic remarks and disturbing comments about how slavery was a “choice” in an interview with TMZ in May 2018.

The suit points out that West’s Adidas Yeezy sneaker collaborations had a positive impact on the company and accumulated significant wealth as a result of the products, and despite him speaking openly about living with bipolar disorder, the brand “failed to take meaningful precautionary measures to limit negative financial exposure” if the partnership were to suddenly end.

“We outright reject these unfounded claims and will take all necessary measures to vigorously defend ourselves against them,” a spokesperson for Adidas said in a statement to CNN.

Adidas ended its long-term partnership with West in October after months of him publicly criticizing the brand and continuously expressing antisemitic views on various platforms. Earlier this year, the brand revealed in its 2023 financial guidance that it could lose up to $1.29 billion in revenue this year due to the unsold Yeezy sneakers still in its inventory.

The suit covers anyone who purchased a share of Adidas from May 3, 2018, when West made the aforementioned slavery remarks, through 2023.