Will Kanye West‘s deal with adidas turn into dollars? Forbes Magazine contributor Matt Powell says that according to history, no. In his most recent Forbes “Sneakernomics” piece, Powell distinguishes the differences between collaboration and commercial sales. Collaborations are produced in extremely limited numbers, typically less than 5000, compared to the 300 million pairs of sneakers that are sold each year (according to sportsonesource.com). Although highly coveted by a small market of collectors and fans, those special collaboration projects have historically only been successful in delivering hype, not directly deliver dollars. On the flip side, commercial sales are much larger quantities that actually result in hard revenue. Powell compares Kanye and fellow Three Stripe signature Pharrell to Jay-Z and 50 Cent when they were Reebok endorsers, a partnership that ultimately did not produce.
Matt Powell states that brands that are paying artists endorsements are gambling because fans now know that they are getting paid, reducing the specialness of an external collaboration, and because they will be pressured to monetize the deals by selling large commercial quantities of shoes. Read the rest of the researcher’s findings and opinions in the Forbes post here, and tell us if you think Kanye West’s deal will help adidas’ sales as a whole in the comment section below.