Adidas CEO says he doesn't 'sign up' for Kanye West's comments, but partnership is 'extremely successful'

Key Points
  • Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted tells CNBC his company had a "very strong third quarter" in the Yeezy line, where it partners with rapper Kanye West.
  • Rorsted says he doesn't "sign up" for all the comments West makes with respect to politics, but the sneaker maker's partnership with West is "extremely successful."
Adidas CEO on Kanye, earnings and midterm elections
Adidas CEO on Kanye, earnings and midterm elections

Kanye West might be an increasingly controversial name in the world of media and politics, but Adidas won't stop doing business with the rapper anytime soon.

"We don't sign up to all the statements he makes," Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted told CNBC's Sara Eisen on Wednesday morning after the company raised its profit outlook for 2018 on the heels of its third-quarter earnings report. "We sign up for all the creative work we jointly do, which has been extremely successful for both parties."

Just last month, West tweeted he wanted to move away from politics, after being "used to spread messages" he doesn't believe in.


The tweet followed a recent visit by West to the White House to see President Donald Trump in the Oval Office and discuss prison reform. He'd also frequently been sporting a "Make America Great Again" hat, despite facing backlash for it.

Rorsted told CNBC on Wednesday his company had a "very strong third quarter" in the Yeezy line, which West is collaborating on with the sneaker maker. The CEO said he expects Adidas' relationship with the rapper to last "for years to come." He added there's been "absolutely no slowdown" in the Yeezy business, despite reports that have said otherwise.

"If [West] stays away from politics, that's his choice," Rorsted said. "We've had a great relationship with him." The CEO added West was at Adidas' global headquarters for a brand meeting just earlier in the week.

More broadly, Adidas says it's expecting a strong holiday season, especially in China, where the retailer will participate in Alibaba's 11:11 shopping extravaganza.

Read more: Adidas hikes 2018 profit guidance, trims sales outlook