YETI Drops NRA — A Knee-Jerk Political Reaction?

By Ace Luciano published on in Consumer Information, General, News

If you’ve been in social media “jail,” or on a temporary break from Facebook and the national news, you may not have heard that YETI severed its ties with the National Rifle Association, at the cost of a significant amount of controversy. The issue was brought to light by a letter from NRA director and past president Marion Hammer.

“For years YETI Coolers have been a hot item for sportsmen at the Friends of NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction events around the country.”

YETI boycott banner

Gun owners have resorted to destroying expensive YETI coolers in protest.

These Foundation events raise money to support youth programs and educational programs nationwide. The youth of America who benefit from these programs are the future hunters, hikers, fishermen/women, bikers, campers, wildlife photographers, mountain climbers, sportsmen/women and conservationists who will protect our natural resources and recreational lands.

Suddenly, without prior notice, YETI declined to do business with The NRA Foundation saying it no longer wish to be an NRA vendor and refused to say why. YETI will only say it will no longer sell products to The NRA Foundation. That certainly isn’t sportsmanlike. In fact, YETI should be ashamed.YETI has 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.

The NRA Foundation is 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization.

In this day and age, information is power. We thought you needed this information.”

This caused a social media uprising with noticeable silence from Yeti for a period of several days. Yeti responded Sunday evening/Monday morning with the following:

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ago, YETI notified the NRA Foundation, as well as a number of other organizations, that we were eliminating a group of outdated discounting programs,” explained YETI in a statement sent to The Inertia. “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.

Furthermore, the NRA-ILA stated in that same public communication that ‘[YETI has] declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities.’ Nothing is further from the truth. YETI was founded more than 10 years ago with a passion for the outdoors, and over the course of our history we have actively and enthusiastically supported hunters, anglers, and the broader outdoor community. We have been devoted to and will continue to directly support causes tied to our passion for the outdoors, including by working with many organizations that promote conservation and management of wildlife resources and habitat restoration. From our website to our film footage and from our social media posts to our ambassadors, YETI has always prominently featured hunters pursuing their passions. Moreover, YETI is unwavering in our belief in, and commitment to, the Constitution of the United States and its Second Amendment.

YETI’s competitors were quick to act, with Pelican offering a $10 donation to the NRA and a free 20 oz. tumbler to anyone that purchased its coolers, and YETI Nemesis, RTIC, placed a photo of the Second Amendment on ita profiles across social media.

After much digging and many calls and messages, we recently acquired the following information—an additional quote from Marion Hammer-regarding the YETI/NRA back and forth.

“YETI severed ties with the NRA and is now engaging in damage control after a backlash from many of its customers. In early March, YETI refused to place a previously negotiated order from the NRA-ILA, citing ‘recent events’ as the reason—a clear reference to the tragedy in Parkland, Florida.

YETI then delivered notice to the NRA Foundation that it was terminating a 7-year agreement and demanded that the NRA remove the YETI name and logo from all NRA digital assets, as well as refraining from using any YETI trademarks in future print material. While YETI is trying to spin the story otherwise, those are the facts.

While YETI can choose to run from the NRA, it can’t run from the facts. Whether this is due to the recent cancellation of its IPO from its NYC owners is a question only YETI can answer.”

Note:

Numerous attempts made to contact YETI, resulting in our being referred to YETI’s PR person, who would only furnish its previously quoted response.

Now, there is another, new response circulating the web to YETI from Fletcher’s Outdoors—one that could be a glimpse into what could be devastating financial consequences for one of the outdoor industry’s major brands:

We at Fletchers Outdoors have pressed Yeti for statements and answers since early Monday morning. An email was circulated on Monday, addressed to Yeti managers, NRA Foundation, National Shooting Sports Foundation executives, Fletchers buy group executives and local press Andalusia Star News Michele Cox Gerlach and WAAO Blaine Wilson, written by M Anthony King. Yeti, in damage control mode, called M Anthony King ahead of its released statement Monday afternoon. King told them YETI’s statement did not explain its actions and lacked substance. The NRA has rebuked the YETI statement today.

Fletchers Outdoors has asked its buying group to revoke its vendor agreement with Yeti, an estimated $150 million value in some 500 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

We have frozen all orders with Yeti and will reject any shipments in transit. We will replace them with a firearm-friendly cooler manufacturer. Our current inventory of Yeti products will be flushed through the store, by sales or any other method necessary. Additionally, and for the record, we will continue to sell all legal firearms and ammunition to our customers. We will not destroy any firearms. Furthermore, we will not do business with any company, entity, or person that diminishes the Second Amendment rights of the American people.
Best Regards & Merica”

AK

One must ask, “Why would companies with such a broad base of hunters and shooters distance themselves from the NRA, the oldest civil rights organization in the U.S.?”

Yeti Cooler with #Boycott YETI

America’s hunters, shooters and gun owners are extremely loyal to their base and to companies they perceive are “on their side.”

In the end, I believe we will chalk this one up as another win for America’s supporters of the Second Amendment.

You make the call. Did YETI pull away from the NRA and Second Amendment for political reasons or was this simply a case of bad timing and optics? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (141)

  • Allen Cain

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    I will no longer buy any Yeti products. I have to wonder how much money Yeti has made from hunters and other NRA members who have bought their products in the past? This type of action is a response to bullying by anti-gun groups and is cowardly at best. Disgusting!

    Reply

  • Rodney

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    I bought a yeti cooler about 6 years ago, because of the rules in Wyoming, in storing your food. When I read this BS, I fired up my back hoe and crushed it up. Yeti coolers maybe bear proof, but not back hoe proof!!!!! LOL!!!!! I sent and email to them and told them the same thing. I am a life member of the NRA!!! I have also boycotted every store that have stopped selling any type of weapon!!!! I believe in the 2nd Amendment nd the NRA, and I will protect my rights right down to the last drop of blood of the gun grabbers!!!!!

    Reply

  • Tom

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    Good for Yeti. I support the second amendment, too, but it shouldn’t extend to buying any weapon you choose and certainly not battlefield weapons. Rolling back the ability to buy an AR-15 and the like is really just correcting an earlier mistake – it should have never been allowed in the first place.

    Reply

    • joefoam

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      All you anti gun types always preface their comments with how they support the 2nd amendment when they really don’t. If you really support the 2A, the type of weapon really doesn’t matter. And as for describing the AR-15 as a battlefield weapon displays your ignorance about the subject. It was never issued as a weapon for the armed services.

      Reply

    • Rodney

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      joefoamingmouth::: You can say anything the you like, because you have the 1st Amendment right to do so. I served and I know what it means to take a oath!!! Most people that have not served, do not understand the meaning of “DEFENDING THE CONSTITUTION AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, BOTH FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC!!!”””” After reading your comments, I feel, and this is just my opinion, you are a spit stirrer!!!! When was the last time you “THANKED A VET” for the freedoms that you have??????

      Reply

    • joefoam

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      Maybe when I buried my brother, an Army Veteran.

      Reply

    • joefoam

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      Rodney, after re-reading your comment I am confused at your response. I was replying to Tom for supporting Yeti and claiming to be a pro 2A guy not you.

      Reply

    • Rodney

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      Sorry for doing and saying what I said to you!!!! I lost my cousin over there and I am sorry to here about your brother!!!! As you know your brother took the same oath that I took and knew what it meant!!! Please accept my apologies for my out burst!!!! Some times I engage my mouth before my brain!!!!

      Reply

    • joefoam

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      Rodney, Apology accepted. I believe we are on the same side. Help keep up the fight to retain our rights.

      Reply

  • Bill

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    Yeti not. Don’t see many liberals sporting overpriced yeti coolers. With so many choices on good to very good coolers why buy a name. Maybe George Sorus will support yeti and buy coolers for his minions marching for his socialistic agenda.
    Buy pelican coolers. Boycott yeti.

    Reply

  • Terry B

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    I am running a customer facing promotion where normally YETI would have bee my first choice. Purchased 9 RTIC 45s instead and will repeat the order in another 2 weeks. Sad thing, in distributing the RTICs to my customers, each one of them thanked me so they didn’t have to have the YETI discussions with their customers. You won’t see me protesting in the streets, but I will move my money to those that support my beliefs. Chick Fil A also gets a lot of my. Haines for the same reason

    Reply

  • BubbaJ

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    First off “who in their right mind” would spend the money they want for their product?
    I spend my $300 on Ammo or a new Weapon, not a “glorified” cooler!

    Reply

  • Lee Fisher

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    This move by Yeti has all of the earmarks of somebody at the company who is upset over the election of Donald Trump and finally, just snapped

    Reply

  • longshorts

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    Yeti has condemned itself to be connected to all liberal cries to repeal the Second Amendment, part of our Bill of Rights in the Constitution. Now, I can see YETI sustaining a large loss in profits, perhaps bankruptcy. I wonder what its stock holders think when they have no rise in their shares after this huge mistake? In any case, no matter what YETI does, we will not buy from them at all. Financial suicide follows them like a skunk’s spray.

    Reply

  • Andrew

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    I was at a Friends of NRA Banquet tonight and they were attempting to raffle off one last YETI cooler. Over 200 people booed YETI and they didn’t sell very many tickets. They had to keep sweetening the pot to get people to buy the raffle tickets.

    So long YETI, you can join Colin Kaepernick in the unemployment line!

    Reply

  • Dale Gustafson

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    Political correctness out of control. I’ll buy a different brand that supports the Second Amendment

    Reply

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