In yet another display of corporate ineptitude, wildly popular cooler manufacturer, YETI, has pandered to the left and pissed off a huge portion of their customer base.
On Friday, the NRA-ILA issued this statement announcing that YETI had cut ties with the pro-gun organization without warning:
Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI has declined to do business with The NRA Foundation saying they no longer wish to be an NRA vendor, and refused to say why. They will only say they will no longer sell products to The NRA Foundation. That certainly isn’t sportsmanlike. In fact, YETI should be ashamed. They have declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities. These activities enable them to appreciate America and enjoy our natural resources with wholesome and healthy outdoor recreational and educational programs.
Immediately social media went ablaze. If you aren’t familiar with how brand loyal YETI fans are, then you might not understand why. How could a cooler company cause this big of an uproar?
Well, it’s because of the type of person that buys a YETI. Hunters, avid outdoorsmen, sports fans, and college males have been die hard fans and loyal buyers for around a decade. This is a brand where people sport the sticker on the back of their truck. Customers are willing to shell out $400 for a robomolded cooler that their competitors sell for half the price.
All because of those four letters: YETI.
Anyone who has spent any time in Texas during the summer (YETI is based in Austin) would have been able to tell the YETI execs that cutting ties with the NRA was a really dumb move, but the folks in charge didn’t have that foresight.
The blowback was immense. Leading to gun rights activists shooting up or even blowing up their coolers.
With all that bad press and angry response to the NRA’s press release, it appears that YETI still hasn’t thought this through. They issued a boneheaded statement.
“A few weeks ago, Yeti notified the NRA Foundation, as well as a number of other organizations, that we were eliminating a group of outdated discounting programs.” YETI claimed in their statement. “When we notified the NRA Foundation and the other organizations of this change, Yeti explained that we were offering them an alternative customization program broadly available to consumers and organizations, including the NRA Foundation. These facts directly contradict the inaccurate statement the NRA-ILA distributed on April 20.”
Yep, YETI is calling the NRA a bunch of liars, but it doesn’t add up.
It’s certainly true from this statement that YETI is dropping the NRA from the previous relationship and changing the terms without prior notice. They claim that they offered a different generic customization program, but that is exactly the opposite of what the NRA has said.
Regardless of the facts, as disputed as they are, the damage is done to YETI. Every NRA member is now an enemy of the brand. This should have been easy to see for YETI’s corporate office, but they were clueless.
And YETI’s competitors have seized the opportunity to pick up new customers that have turned on the leading brand.
Fellow Texas brand, RTIC, posted this after news started spreading:
Iowa based Grizzly Coolers took it a step further by showcasing the fact that they are the only NRA partner listed on the gun organizations website:
Grizzly Coolers is the ONLY cooler company listed on the Friends of NRA Industry Supporters that manufactures rotomolded…
But the biggest step taken was by Pelican, who announced they’d give a $10 donation directly to the NRA with every cooler purchase PLUS a tumbler to replace the extremely popular YETI model:
For every cooler purchased this month, we’ll donate $10 to the NRA + and give you a FREE 22oz tumbler of your choice….
Needless to say, YETI really stepped in it.