NRA: YETI Adds Insult to Injury Over Cut Ties

The Cooler (and Tumbler) Wars

The National Rifle Association is, again, calling out YETI as “Fake News” after the cooler company issued a statement that called out the NRA for calling out YETI for cutting ties with the gun-rights organization. Confused yet? It’s getting deep, so watch where you step as we wade into the online peeing match that other cooler companies are cashing in on.

Last Friday, NRA past-president and current head of United Sportsmen of Florida, Marion Hammer sent out a letter laying into YETI for allegedly “cutting ties with NRA”. In the letter, Hammer describes the youth and educational programs that are supported by Friends of NRA Foundation banquet and auction events. The letter continues:

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.

YETI returned fire with a statement of their own, calling Hammer a liar:  

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ago, YETI notified the NRA Foundation, as well as a number of other organizations, that we were eliminating a group of outdated discounting programs.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

Backlash during the back-and-forth has been harsh from Second Amendment supporters, who took to social media to bash the cooler company, calling for boycotts and going as far as crushing their overpriced insulated tumblers and blowing up coolers. All I know is that my Magpul-Hula-Girl-stickered Camelbak tumbler is doing OK.

Meanwhile, savvy competitors are cashing in on the fiasco.

Pelican Coolers hosted a new page on their site saying that they are “Proud to Support the Constitution” and offering to donate $10 to the NRA for every cooler purchased this month as well as including a FREE 22oz tumbler when the purchaser uses code “PELICANPROUD”.

Cliff Walker, CEO of ORCA coolers issued a statement on Facebook, saying “We’ve gotten a lot of questions about ORCA’s stance on the 2nd Amendment, so I wanted to set the record straight. I often think bigger companies forget what got them there. ORCA will always support our 2nd Amendment rights- period.” As a “token of customer appreciation,” Walker also offered a site-wide 20% off with code “USA20” through the end of the month.

RTIC coolers is also getting in their jabs by advertising special “price war” discounts in addition to posting, without further comment, the text of the Second Amendment on their social media.

In the latest communique from the NRA, they claim that YETI merely “added insult to injury” with their “damage control” statement. In a follow-up statement sent Tuesday, the NRA wrote:

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.  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.

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.

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