Today has been a busy one for the American cooler industry as word reverberated around the nation that the company Yeti was taking a stand against the Second Amendment.
Yeti, who is famous for their double-walled insulation and exorbitant price tag, recently, and secretly, pulled their support of the NRA, nullifying a long term deal to extend discounts to members. The offer was a no brainer, given the extreme overlap between the hunting, camping, and firearms markets. The reaction was swift.
With Facebook Live already rolling, Bryan Atkinson stepped out of a pickup truck into an empty South Carolina field and spoke to the camera.
“Here’s the famous YETI,” he said of the high-end ice chest. He then opened the top of the cooler, revealing a duct-taped cardboard box.“There’s the famous 22 pounds of Tannerite,” he said, referring to the explosives often used for firearms practice. “This YETI ain’t ready.”After his friends drove the cooler to the middle of the field, Atkinson got down on one knee, readied his rifle and fired. With a resounding boom, the remains of the cooler exploded into the air.“(If) YETI can’t stand behind the NRA, I ain’t standing behind YETI no more,” he said in the video.
On Sunday, former NRA President Marion Hammer slammed Austin, Texas-based YETI for “suddenly, and without prior notice” cutting ties with the NRA Foundation and “America’s young people [who] enjoy outdoor recreational activities.” YETI fired back, saying the letter was an “inaccurate statement” and that it was an ardent supporter of both young outdoor enthusiasts and the Second Amendment.
But while the two exchanged fire, RTIC quietly but conspicuously chimed in. The Houston-based rival to YETI posted an image of the Second Amendment – complete with old-timey script – on its Facebook page.
The image quickly received thousands of reactions, many of which proclaimed users would be purchasing from RTIC going forward. In the days between Hammer’s letter and YETI’s response, numerous headlines proclaimed YETI no longer supported the NRA.
And RTIC wasn’t the only company that noticed. Hours before YETI issued a statement, Pelican Coolers announced its own commitment to gun owners.
Now, even after Yeti was forced into a half-assed apology via Twitter, the NRA is saying that’s not enough, blasting Yeti for their ridiculous set of self-serving demands when breaking up.
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 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 refrain 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, they can’t run from the facts.
If true, this would wholly negate any social justice points that the Yeti folks were trying to garner, and simply be another marketing ploy meant to play on the millennial demographic who will soon be tasting their first bit of disposable income.