Kanye West is at it again.
The rapper/designer, who recently turned Twitter into his virtual soapbox, took to the microblogging platform yet again to make a bold claim — that is, his alleged status as “the single highest-paid person in footwear.”
“That means I make more money on shoes than Michael Jordan,” West said, referencing the legendary basketball superstar who nabbed a deal with athletic giant Nike in 1984 valued at $500,000 per year for five years — at the time an unheard-of deal between a professional athlete and a brand.
The Air Jordan 1’s launch marked a milestone moment for modern sneaker culture, propelling the former Chicago Bulls rookie’s footwear legacy. Fast-forward to 2013 when West entered the market, reportedly signing a $10 million deal with Adidas and introducing the highly anticipated Yeezy Season 1 apparel and footwear collection.
West suggested he made the jump to Adidas after Nike was unable to provide him creative freedom and royalties that were reserved for professional athletes such as Jordan, who is said to rake in upwards of $100 million per year from his deal with The Swoosh and other endorsements, according to Forbes. (In 2016, Adidas and West signed a new and expanded deal that insiders suggest was likely larger than West’s first deal with the German brand.)
In Nike’s most recent annual report, the company said Jordan Brand made $3.1 billion in fiscal year 2017, while Adidas reported sales of 4.8 billion euros ($5.8 billion) for fiscal year 2017 — although it is unclear how much of that came from sales of the Yeezy sneaker. Some insiders, most notably sports industry analyst Matt Powell of The NPD Group Inc., have suggested West’s highly sought-after Yeezy releases may have created more of a halo effect for Adidas, as opposed to contributing significantly to sales.
The Adidas collaborator went on to make multiple claims about the sales of several Yeezy releases — tweeting that the Yeezy 350s sold 400,000 pairs in four hours and that the Desert Rat 500 (or the Yeezy 500) sold 250,000 in one hour during Coachella weekend (although it is unclear which weekend West is referencing).
West’s comments come just a little over a week after his return to Twitter following a nearly yearlong hiatus. The rapper then called out Nike in a now-deleted tweet suggesting that its upcoming M2K Tekno silhouette ripped off his Adidas Yeezy Boost 700 Wave Runner.
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