Yeti Breaks up With the NRA
Russ Chastain 04.23.18
[UPDATE 4/24/18: Yeti has issued a statement explaining the situation, saying they are “unwavering in our belief in and commitment to the Constitution of the United States and its Second Amendment.” Read more here.]
In a move destined to create a chasm between gun owners and high-priced hipster gear, Yeti has allegedly decided to stop selling merchandise to the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), according to a statement posted on the NRA-ILA website Friday.
For years YETI Coolers have been a hot item for sportsmen at the Friends of NRA Foundation Banquet and Auction events around the country.
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 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.
The NRA Foundation is 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization.
So, there you have it. It seems the management at Yeti have decided to cut ties to the NRA. Is this an anti-gun move? Probably not. It’s more likely an attempt to become politically neutral on the topic of gun rights. And why not?
Millions of sportsmen and women have vowed this weekend to boycott Yeti, throw away all their Yeti gear (what a bad idea… I hope they throw it my way), while wishing all sorts of doom and gloom upon the company. But is there really a good reason for such fury?
Let’s think for a moment about freedom. If you’re reading this article, you probably like freedom–when it suits you, at least. What about when a company decides to make its own decisions about where their products are sold?
You don’t want bakers to be forced to make cakes for just anyone, do you? That’s purely un-American.
Yeti is most likely just trying to do some CYA work here. And yes, it’s almost certainly fueled by recent anti-NRA sentiment generated by those misguided children with well-financed backers, among other things. But what’s important to a business is making money–without that, there will be no business–and it appears Yeti is simply trying to retain the business of Soccer moms and milquetoast males who are scared of things that go bang.
If that ticks you off, you should probably boycott Yeti. And that’s increasingly easy to do. Knockoffs are everywhere, most of which work just as well for a fraction of the price.
But let’s face it, Yeti has so far shown incredible marketing genius. Who else could take old tech like double-walled stainless steel drinkware and make it mainstream at a whopping $30 a pop? If their track record is any indication, this is not likely to hurt their sales enough to matter.