Following the recent signings of Drake to Jordan Brand and Kanye West to adidas, TIME has taken a closer look at the phenomenon of celebrity sneaker endorsements. Using insights from Matt Powell, an analyst at SportsOneSource, the article contrasts the differences between athlete and celebrity endorsements, the numbers involved, and how West’s partnership with adidas might play out. A brief excerpt is included below, the full piece can be read at TIME here.
Some celebrity shoes have been both commercial and marketing successes in the past. When Jay Z released his S. Carter sneaker line in 2003 through Reebok, it became the fastest selling shoe ever for the company. But it can be challenging for celebrities to create a line that has the year-after-year success of athlete-branded shoes. Powell says the S. Carter line declined in popularity after its initial hype, and he can see the same happening to a mass-produced Kanye shoe. “It will be interesting whether Adidas maintains the same kind of control over the quantities,” he says. “My gut is if they made a lot of Kanye West shoes, they’re going to find that the demand goes way down.”