YETI fires back at NRA over sponsorship shoot-out. Hammer: Shame on you again!

YETI-COOLER-01-800x416With social media posts of folks shooting up their YETI mugs and coolers, or repurposing them for less sanitary activities, the Texas-based company responded yesterday to attacks from gun owners.

The flap started after YETI withdrew its discounting and sponsorship for the NRA Foundation, a non-profit that’s focused on youth and education programs, according to the gun-rights group.

YETI’s decision sparked an outcry from NRA supporters, who quickly launched a #BoycottYETI social media campaign.

But, yesterday, YETI released a statement saying the NRA’s statement issued on April 20 was “inaccurate.” And the company denies it targeted the NRA, saying it had eliminated “a group of outdated discounting programs” for the NRA and “number of other organizations.”

The company also took issue with the NRA’s accusation that YETI had abandoned its commitment to helping young people enjoy the great outdoors.

“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,” the company said.

Here’s the YETI statement, issued on Twitter yesterday:

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ago, YETI notified the NRA Foundation, as well as a number of other organizations, that we were eliminating a group of outdated discounting programs. 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.

Further, 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 response only seemed to inflame the already red-hot NRA.

Marion Hammer, the NRA’s Florida lobbyist, blasted the Austin company for “calling us liars” in an alert issued this morning.

“Perhaps the people writing YETI’s damage control statements are not talking to the people who enforced YETI’s decisions and refused our orders. We had even offered the YETI Roadie in one of our sponsorship levels for 2018 – which we’ve had to cancel,” Hammer wrote. “We told you the truth.”

Here’s Hammer’s missive:

“If it wasn’t bad enough that YETI dropped The NRA Foundation as a client, now they’re calling us liars because we informed our members and friends of their actions.

The NRA Foundation has over 1,100 “Friends of NRA Committees” around the country. These committees host banquets and auctions that are attended by hundreds of thousands of guests each year.  These events raise funds to support charitable causes and programs.  The NRA Foundation supports the needs of  youth programs for education, safety and training, as well as law enforcement needs, shooting ranges and conservation programs.

For many years we have purchased coolers from YETI for our auctions. We have auctioned off many thousands of YETI coolers each year. YETI recently dropped The NRA Foundation as a client.  Not only would they not take our orders for more coolers, they forced us to cancel orders already in the system that they said they would not fill.

Three days after we notified you of YETI’s decision to drop The NRA Foundation, YETI issued their prepared statement in which they admit they dropped us but claim they simply eliminated the discount program and dropped other (unnamed) organizations as well.  That’s news to us.

Perhaps the people writing YETI’s damage control statements are not talking to the people who enforced YETI’s decisions and refused our orders. We had even offered the YETI Roadie in one of our sponsorship levels for 2018 – which we’ve had to cancel.

We told you the truth.

YETI’s attempts at damage control is to say our statement is not accurate.  Shame on you again YETI.  You know you made a mistake.  A big one. Now you must live with your mistake.