It should come as no surprise that musician sneaker collabs, such as Kanye’s Yeezys, Travis Scott’s Air Jordan 4s and Rihanna’s PUMAs, are selling much better on the secondary market than sneakers of athletes themselves.
According to Stadium Goods, Kanye West sells 70.9% more sneakers than Steph Curry, and he makes 9.4% more overall sales than LeBron James. But Kanye isn’t the only artist who is experiencing tremendous sales in the sneaker business. Stadium Goods also notes that Pharrell makes double the amount of celebrity sales than LeBron. When combined with Kanye, the two Adidas ambassadors, sell 80% more sneakers than Curry, Damian Lillard and Paul George combined.
While a LeBron James, Stephen Curry or James Harden sneaker offers a technically sound, fully functional basketball sneaker, the influence of artists outweighs them all in the fashion world. Not to mention, the exclusivity of these artist collabs drives the prices on the resale market, whereas most athletes’ sneakers are readily available at most major sneaker retailers.
As Stadium Goods’ co-founder Jed Stiller explains (H/T Forbes), “Artists influence on culture is only becoming more impactful in today’s style landscape with larger social media followings and media attention in general. Also, where athletes signature shoes are more designed for performance, artists can focus more on aesthetic and truly embody their point of view and taste in the product. It ultimately leads to flexibility in creating “cooler” styles that consumers tend to embrace mixed with the perfect storm of marketing via the artists’ following.”