Beyoncé Knowles, dubbed ” the first lady of Everything” by the New York Times announced on Thursday that she’s entering the sneaker wars in the “partnership of a lifetime” with adidas. The duo, according to Beyoncé, share a philosophy “that puts creativity, growth and social responsibility at the forefront of business.”
The Beyoncé x adidas partnership will include new performance and lifestyle gear that empowers the next generation of athletes, creators and leaders.
The pop star will retail ownership of Ivy Park, introduced in 2016 in a partnership with Topshop. Knowles acquired full ownership of the brand after allegations of sexual harassment were levied against Topshop’s owner Sir Philip Green.
Championing women and girls has become a key part of Adidas’s public relations strateg, given the positive impact that sports participation has on a girl’s life. This month, adidas announced a new phase of its “She Breaks Barriers” initiative, which highlights the lack of equal media coverage for women’s sports in the United States. adidas also jumped head-first into the ongoing gender discrimination battle between the world champions US women’s soccer team and the US Soccer league.
On International Women’s Day, adidas announced that all their athletes on the winning 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup team will receive the same performance bonus payout as their male peers. Their announcement came simultaneously with the US women’s national soccer team filing a gender discrimination suit against the US Soccer Federstion. The 28 players on the team have accused their employer of “institutionalized gender discrimination,” a violation of both the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
US women’s soccer has been battling the league for years, and the new complaint goes far beyond the wage gap, where the women are paid less despite having superior results over the US men’s team. It alleges “that U.S. Soccer treats the teams substantially differently, from support to training conditions to the coaching they receive to the medical treatment available to them–and even how the team is transported to and from games,” according to Fast Company.