Kanye West Is A Billionaire
Kanye West designed his first shoe for Adidas in 2006. He then partnered with Nike, which produced several popular shoes, including the “Red October” Air Yeezy 2s. Seeking to form a long-term performance-based partnership with Michael Jordan, Kanye asked Nike to move from an approval agreement to a royalty agreement. Nike refused.
It was a mistake.
Adidas was waiting, ready to pick up Yeezy with the royalty deal of his dreams. The Yeezy 1 debuted in February 2015.
Fast forward five years, and the Yeezy / Adidas partnership has generated AT LEAST $ 2.6 billion in cumulative gross revenue in 2017, 2018 and 2019 alone. In 2020, the brand is expected to generate $ 1.7 billion. By 2025, Yeezy is expected to generate $ 3 billion in revenue.
If current projections are correct, Yeezy will have generated $ 20 billion in revenue between 2017 and 2026. Not bad for a company that, by that time, will be less than a decade away. For the context, Adidas, which was founded in 1949, generated $ 26 billion in 2019.
How did the transition from endorsement to royalty work for Mr. West?
In 2015, Kanye’s net worth was $ 175 million. Up to that point in his career, he had earned a total of $ 200 million (before tax) from his various activities (mainly music, concerts and merchandise).
Kanye earned $ 100 million in 2019.
As of this writing, Kanye is not just a billionaire. It is a multi-billionaire. We believe that Kanye West’s net worth is $ 3 billion.
So why does Kanye suddenly get billionaire status? It all comes down to some recently released financial projections for Yeezy.
In recent years, the top three celebrity wealth tracking publications (CelebrityNetWorth, Bloomberg, and Forbes) have struggled to put a value on Yeezy. Questions were asked about Kanye’s exact participation and royalty rates.
A year ago, a New York Times article stated that Kanye had received a 5% net royalty on sales of Adidas Yeezy. At the time, Yeezy would have been able to generate $ 1 billion in gross revenue, $ 200-300 million in net profit. At a 5% net royalty rate, that would have meant $ 10 or $ 15 in royalties to Kanye.
Yeezy’s recently released financial data shows that the brand actually generated $ 1.5 billion in gross revenue and that this passed on to Kanye West’s $ 154 million in net royalties. His royalty rate is difficult to determine as he earns a much higher reduction in sales generated by Yeezy.com compared to sales generated by Adidas.
Over the next six years (including 2020), Kanye is expected to earn more than $ 2 billion in royalties from Adidas. At this point, if all goes according to plan, the Yeezy brand will be worth $ 2-3 billion.
The whole and the combined present value of its future royalty payments and the future value of Yeezy is between $ 2.4 and $ 3.2 billion. This is the current value for Kanye today.
When combined with its roughly $ 200 million in other assets, its after-tax net worth today stands at least $ 3 billion. Other notable financial facts of Kanye:
- Kanye earned $ 437 million between 2007 and 2019
- Kanye owns $ 120 million in real estate, with about $ 50 million in real estate mortgages
- He has a collection of cars of 4 million dollars
- He owns $ 5 million in art
This $ 120 million real estate portfolio includes the following properties:
- A 320 acre estate on Stokes Canyon Road in Calabasas that is worth $ 16 million. This is where his Sunday services took place AND where he attempted to build a series of dome-shaped structures before being arrested by the LA County building commission for licensing issues.
- 6,700 acre ranch called Bighorn Mountain Ranch in Wyoming – $ 15 million
- 1,400 acre ranch called The Monster Lake Ranch – $ 14 million
- A $ 2 million commercial building in Cody, Wyoming
Celebrity Three Comma Club
Here are the other celebrities who are members of the “three point comma”:
Vince McMahon – $ 1.6 billion
Kylie Jenner – $ 1 billion
J.K. Rowling – $ 1 billion
Jay-Z – $ 1 billion
David Copperfield – $ 1 billion
Paul McCartney – $ 1.2 billion
Michael Jordan – $ 2.2 billion
Jami Gertz – $ 3 billion
Kanye West – $ 3.2 billion
Oprah Winfrey – $ 3.5 billion,
Steven Spielberg – $ 3.7 billion
George Lucas – $ 6.5 billion