Adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted made his media rounds following the release of the company’s Q1 earnings, speaking with CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe” and “Bloomberg Markets: European Open.” And the hottest topics were Beyoncé and Kanye West.
Rørsted was questioned on “Squawk Box Europe” about the divisive social and political views of West, arguably the most polarizing public figure attached to Adidas. And he said he’s not concerned with them.
“I know Kanye quite well. He’s a fantastic creative force. He has his own opinions, [and] we don’t always stand for his opinions, but there’s no doubt that for both sides, this has been a great relationship. And the overall on the bigger picture, we’ve been super happy with that relationship,” Rorsted told the CNBC program. “We don’t always subscribe to every opinion he has but it’s not something I worry about when I wake up in the morning because he’s been a great addition to our brand, not only in the U.S. but in China, in Russia, in Latin America.”
Also on “Squawk Box Europe,” Rørsted was asked about Adidas’ efforts to make inroads with the fashion-focused audience, making mention of its recent Ultra Boost collaboration with high-end Italian fashion house Missoni. And he said Adidas’ newest ambassador, Beyoncé, would help with that.
“Beyoncé, she’s the most influential female in the world; she’ll be a great addition to our company,” Rørsted said. “The core of our business continues to be sport, but the athleisure brand — we’ve seen this with Kanye, we’ve seen this with Stella McCartney or Pharrell Williams — and there’s no doubt that Beyoncé will be a great addition to our dream team.”
On “Bloomberg Markets: European Open,” Rørsted further spoke about the importance of Adidas having a team of global superstar ambassadors to drive business.
“What drives sales globally is the right products in the right channels with the right ambassadors. And we actually believe we have the right products, the right ambassadors,” Rørsted said. “With the signing of Beyoncé in combination with Kanye West or Pharrell Williams or Stella McCartney, we have a dream team off the pitch.”
As far as soccer stars, Rørsted highlighted the recent accomplishments of Adidas ambassadors including Lionel Messi scoring his 600th goal in club competition on Wednesday.
Adidas confirmed a 17.1% rise in net profits for Q1 today, boosted by double-digit sales increases in greater China and a 40% bump in e-commerce sales. The company also stated like-for-like net profits advanced to 633 million euros ($707.5 million) in the three months ending March 31, and net sales for the period climbed 6.1% to 5.8 billion euros ($6.49 billion), thanks to the success of its Sport Inspired and Sport Performance categories.
Watch our behind-the-scenes video below with Adidas ambassador Hailey Baldwin.
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