Live streamer and YouTuber Kai Cenat announced Thursday night he’s entered into a partnership with Nike. The company confirmed the relationship to Footwear News but declined to give any specifics on what the deal will entail.
“We are officially a part of the Nike family,” Cenat said in a stream while sitting in the basement familiar to his 9 million Twitch subscribers.
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Cenat has been named Streamer of the Year for the last two years of the Streamy Awards and at the 2023 Streamer Awards. The 22-year-old New York City native became the most-subscribed Twitch streamer of all-time in February 2023 as part of a month-long “subathon.” Cenat originally made his start in 2018 on YouTube, where he now has 5 million followers, before joining Twitch in 2021.
A number of high-profile rappers have joined his streams as guests, including 21 Savage, Lil Baby, and Bobby Smurda. He’s also appeared in a music video for Offset while directing another for A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie.
Bringing Cenat into the fold broadens Nike’s portfolio outside of sports after musicians, predominantly, have long since proven it isn’t just athletes who can sell sneakers. It appears to be the first such deal the Swoosh has signed with a streamer, bringing further corporate validation for an entertainment category particularly popular with Gen-Z.
Last summer, many people outside of Cenat’s audience became familiar with him because of his alleged role in causing a riot in New York City’s Union Square. Cenat announced a giveway of Playstation 5 consoles and gift cards, drawing thousands of fans to the area that eventually rioted. The NYPD arrested Cenat and charged him with first-degree rioting, inciting a riot, and unlawful assembly. An additional 65 other people were also arrested.
About the Author:
Ian Servantes is a Senior Trending News Editor for Footwear News specializing in sneaker coverage. He’s previously reported on streetwear and sneakers at Input and Highsnobiety after beginning his career on the pop culture beat. He subscribes to the idea that “ball is life” and doesn’t fuss over his kicks getting dirty.
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