Adidas on Thursday tapped popular artist Beyoncé as a creative brand partner and also announced that she would relaunch Ivy Park with Adidas, which had previously been sold through Topshop.
The relationship will include co-creation of new products, including performance and lifestyle, as well as a "purpose-driven program focused on empowering and enabling the next generation of athletes, creators and leaders," according to a company press release.
High-profile partnerships with celebrity musicians is nothing new for Adidas; the sportswear brand also partners with Kanye West on his popular Yeezy line and Pharrell Williams, as some indication.
Adidas has carved out a different path for itself in the athletics space, banking more on streetwear and athleisure styles than some of its competitors, and also not being afraid to stray away from the traditional marketing playbook.
While Under Armour is well known for its celebrity partnerships with the likes of Steph Curry and Misty Copeland, and Nike's recent expansion into yoga featured athletes that ranged from NFL linebacker Khalil Mack to sprinter Christian Coleman, Adidas has had no problem deviating from professional athletes. And Adidas' celebrity tie-ups haven't been small either: Between Beyoncé and Kanye West, the company has landed two of the most iconic artists of the day.
These kinds of partnerships, along with limited-edition drops, are part of what's driving the popularity of the sneaker market, a big piece of the athleisure movement in general, and Adidas' focus on hip-hop might serve to differentiate it from some of its competitors. Indeed, the athletics retailer was focused on messages of creativity throughout the announcement.
"As the creator sports brand, adidas challenges the status quo and pushes the limits of creativity through its open source approach," Eric Liedtke, executive board member of global brands at Adidas, said in a statement. "Beyoncé is an iconic creator but also a proven business leader, and together, we have the ability to inspire change and empower the next generation of creators."
Beyoncé, too, highlighted Adidas' "success in pushing creative boundaries" as her reasoning for partnering with the brand. "We share a philosophy that puts creativity, growth and social responsibility at the forefront of business," she said in a statement.