Adidas hauls Beyoncé on board
Adidas is teaming up with pop star Beyoncé Knowles to develop footwear and clothing as the sportswear group tries to boost sales in the face of fierce competition from Nike, Puma and Lululemon.
Beyoncé will become a "creative partner" of the €45bn (about R713bn) Germany-based company, the latest in a series of deals between pop superstars and the world's biggest consumer brands.
The feminism advocate launched her "athleisure" venture, Ivy Park, about three years ago with Philip Green, the British retail tycoon behind Topshop. He has since been the subject of racial abuse and sexual harassment claims, which he denies. Green relinquished his stake to Beyoncé last year.
In a statement on Thursday, Beyoncé said she was "relaunching and expanding" Ivy Park - whose offerings include hoodies priced at more than $200 (about R2,820) - on a "global scale" with Adidas.
"This is the partnership of a lifetime for me," she said.
Adidas said the deal "respects Beyoncé's ownership of her company". Financial terms were not disclosed.
Sportswear companies are seeking to strengthen their appeal to women amid the athleisure craze that has seen leggings worn outside the gym and even into the office.
They are also trying to cash in on the value of celebrity brands. Other tie-ups include Puma's deal with Rihanna, which helped boost sales to women. Adidas already collaborates with the rapper Kanye West through the Yeezy brand.
The company announced the partnership with Beyoncé, whose six albums have all reached No 1 in the US, three weeks after it warned investors it would miss its 2019 growth target.
It cited supply chain problems in North America. However, Adidas also had flat sales in Europe last year, and analysts noted that rivals Nike and Puma were growing faster.
Eric Liedtke, an executive board member at Adidas, said in the statement on Thursday: "Beyoncé is an iconic creator but also a proven business leader." -
© The Financial Times