Yeti isn’t having a good week. First, they canceled a bunch of NRA-related orders, then they tried to tell people that it had nothing to do with the heat the NRA is experiencing these days. A lot of people weren’t buying it.
Among those people were the folks at the NRA.
“Yeti severed ties with the NRA and is now engaging in damage control after a backlash from many of its customers,” Marion Hammer, past NRA president and head of the group’s affiliate organization in Florida, told Guns.com.
“In early March, Yeti refused to place a previously negotiated order from NRA-ILA, citing ‘recent events’ as the reason – a clear reference to the tragedy in Parkland, Florida,” said Hammer, going on to say the company then delivered notice to the NRA Foundation that it was ending a seven-year agreement and demanded that the gun group remove the Yeti name and logo from the NRA’s websites and print material.
“While Yeti is trying to spin the story otherwise, those are the facts,” Hammer said. “While Yeti can choose to run from the NRA, they can’t run from the facts.”
In response to Yeti’s post laying out their side of the story, some 11,000 have commented, with some accepting the company’s assertions that NRA jumped the gun, with many others choosing to take a different path.
“And this folks, is what is called a ‘back pedal’ in marketing terms…” wrote commentor Kory Gausen, in a comment liked over 2,500 times. Others pointed to an incident where Yeti backtracked when called out on a “gun free zone” established in their flagship retail store in Austin last year.
In other words, this ain’t looking good for Yeti.
I’ll be honest, when I first heard of what was happening, I wondered if it was just a general kind of thing that the NRA happened to get wrapped up in. But when I found out that orders had to be canceled, I knew the truth.
When programs are discontinued, businesses generally handle it is by sending out an email to all who are participating. It’s a formal letter kind of email explaining that they’re canceling this discount program and what, if anything, will take its place.
I’ve gotten dozens of them through the years.
What doesn’t typically happen, however, is to have existing orders canceled. Nor is it typical for “recent events” to be referenced in any way, other than referring to something that happened at the company where there’s no ambiguity.
Yeti made a decision. Now they’re having to live with that decision, and they don’t like it. They really don’t like that so many of their competitors have stepped up to fill the void for many of their potential customers. In addition to RTIC, Pelican Coolers is offering to make a donation to the NRA when customers make certain purchases. Other companies who make similar coolers are making it clear they support the Second Amendment, as well.
While Yeti is making the noises, it’s hard to take them seriously in light of what we know. Besides, they’re overpriced anyway.