Manchester United and Adidas are in the headlines because of Kanye West – but for different reasons.
West, one of the most popular musicians of our time, has got United fans talking after wearing the club’s retro jumper. The Umbro manufactured top had a base colour of grey with red stripes and the vintage United logo on the opposite sides of the stripes. It appears the 46-year-old superstar admires England’s most popular club, as this isn’t the first time he has flaunted their colours.
In 2018, United posted an image on their social channels of West wearing a club jacked with the initials ‘WK’ printed on. Their caption read: “International breaks got us like…”
The Red Devils faithful certainly love the idea of the legendary rapper supporting their club, akin to other famous figures like Usain Bolt and Stormzy.
But social media users have brought up another theory behind the latest West act, suggesting the ‘collaboration’ has more to do with the 46-year-old’s ‘battle’ with Adidas than his affinity for the Old Trafford outfit.
Adidas and Manchester United are currently in an agreement that sees the German apparel and footwear giants pay the Premier League side £75m a season to make their kit. The deal that replaced Nike as the official shirt manufacturer for the club in 2014 expires next year.
As such, West’s decision to wear an Umbro jumper – especially considering the nature of his relationship with Adidas – got a few fans wearing their detective hat.
Last year, Adidas announced that it would no longer produce Yeezy products amid controversy over West’s offensive comments. He posted anti-Semitic comments on social media.
Yeezy is Ye’s famous sneaker brand, and the decision to cut ties with rapper-cum-fashion entrepreneur has had a negative impact on their profits. At the time of the decision, they had $1.3 billion worth of unsold Yeezys. Adidas ultimately confirmed that it would be selling the shoes, with a “significant amount” of proceeds going to “the organizations that help us and were harmed by what Ye said.”
Accordingly, fans on social media think there’s more than meets the eye in Ye’s decision to don a United kit with the Umbro logo on it. “That’s United and Umbro think it’s more of a message,” tweeted one user.
Whether West is sending any message and underlining his distance with Adidas or he just likes the look of that Umbro-United kit remains up for interpretation. But one thing is certain: fans in the USA are talking about West wearing a retro United kit, which is only going to be positive for the English side ahead of their summer plans.
United will return to the United States of America this summer for their pre-season tour and will face the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Wrexham A.F.C. in the country. Considering West’s popularity stateside, such pics will only attract more fans to stadiums for United matches and might even increase their shirt sales.
On Tuesday, Adidas released the club’s home kit for the 2023-24 season with a rose theme dedicated to ‘the streets of Manchester.’