Kendall Jenner is the new brand ambassador for Adidas Originals
Adidas is definitely on a roll, having recruited the 21-year-old superstar model Kendall Jenner as brand ambassador. The partnership is part of a recent spate of powerhouse celebrity collabs engineered by the German sportswear giant.
The 21-year-old model announced on Instagram that she would be joining the sportswear company as a new brand ambassador. Jenner has recently landed a series of high-profile partnerships, including a highly-criticized ad with Pepsi.
Jenner shared with her 81 million followers on Instagram a Boomerang of her wearing an Adidas tracksuit and driving a golf cart with the caption, “officially joining the adidas fam!” Earlier in the week the model and reality TV star also teased the collaboration by sharing a photo of herself wearing an Adidas shirt as a child. Jenner has also been photographed frequently in recent months wearing pieces from the German sportswear brand.
The new partnership makes Jenner the latest young model with a large social media following to align herself with a sports brand. Sisters Gigi and Bella Hadid have deals with Reebok and Nike, respectively, while Cara Delevigne and Jenner’s younger sister Kylie are ambassadors for Puma. Jenner’s brother-in-law Kanye West has also produced his popular Yeezy clothing collaborations with Adidas.
“A longtime fan of the brand, Kendall embodies the spirit of Adidas Originals as a creative force shaping the world today by challenging the status quo in her very own way,” the German company said of the partnership in a statement.
Adidas is itself riding a steady wave of pop culture buzz, powered in large part by its increasing skill to partner with high profile celebrities and tap into their social media firepower. A distinct turnaround for Adidas and its marketing came with its 2013 deal with Kanye West and especially with the wildly successful launch of the Kanye West x Adidas Originals Yeezy Season during New York Fashion Week in early 2015.
The German sportswear giant has since kept up the momentum, recently also aligning itself with hipsters like musican Pharrell Williams and cult streetwear brand Kith. The strategy is definitely working. Adidas posted stellar first quarter results earlier this month with double-digit growth, especially in the U.S. The German company is meanwhile outdistancing Nike on its home turf, unthinkable only two years ago, to the point that Adidas is now the cool sneaker company, which no doubt has Nike marketing executives on edge.
The new Adidas deal adds to Jenner’s partnerships with major companies. Jenner recently starred in a campaign for Italian lingerie company La Perla, and is also a spokesperson for Estée Lauder.
The reality star has faced significant backlash for some of her recent work. Pepsi’s recent ad campaign starring Jenner was quickly slammed on social media for its appropriation of protest imagery, with many calling it disrespectful to the Black Lives Matter movement. The ad depicted Jenner joining a protest and giving a Pepsi to a police officer. It was quickly pulled, with Pepsi apologizing for the ad.
Jenner was also shot by Mario Testino for the May 2017 issue of Vogue India, as part of a series of covers celebrating the magazine’s 10th anniversary. Many criticized the magazine for choosing Jenner over an Indian model, but the publication defended the choice and stated that the October issue will be the official anniversary issue.
Adidas has not stated in what way she will act as a brand ambassador, or if she will collaborate on a collection or merely star in campaigns.
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