The sportswear giants are running into hurdles

Following a series of anti-Semitic outbursts in October, Kanye West, a rapper and fashion entrepreneur (who insists on being called Ye), bragged that Adidas would never get rid of him. Within days, the German sportswear giant proved him wrong, ending a lucrative seven-year relship. Mr West’s line of Yeezy sneakers added €1.5bn ($1.5bn) to Adidas’s revenues in 2021, or 12% of its entire shoe business. After the announcement, the company’s share price fell to lows unseen since 2016. On November 9th Adidas cut its profit forecast for the fourth time this year. The previous day it had named a new chief executive, Bjorn Gulden, to clean up the mess.

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Mr Gulden, who had helped turn round Adidas’s German arch-rival, Puma, will have to deal with more than just misbehaving pop stars. Much like the rest of the…

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