Yeti said the “facts directly contradict the inaccurate statement” made by the National Rifle Association, which claimed the cooler company dropped a subsidiary of the gun lobby without notice or reason. In Monday’s statement, the Austin-based company explained it had eliminated discounts offered to the NRA and a number of other organizations as well but then made available an alternative customization program.
Yeti went into damage control after the NRA released a statement Friday, saying the cooler company “declined to do business with The NRA Foundation.” The group then called its members to take action by contacting Yeti to voice their concerns. And it worked. The gun lobby’s statement sent NRA members into a tizzy as many took to social media to air their grievances and made videos of themselves destroying Yeti products with firearms and explosives.
When the NRA released the initial statement, some understood it as Yeti joining the dozens of other brands that opted to cut ties with the gun lobby in the wake of a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Companies ranging from car rentals to airlines to medical care services ended partnerships over the NRA’s stance on gun control policies. Yet, some also think in doing so, Yeti would alienate a large customer base.
The cooler company has become somewhat of a fixture at trade shows, like the Shooting Hunting Outdoor Trade Show, the gun industry’s annual convention in Las Vegas. In turn, Yeti defended itself against the NRA’s other charge that it “declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities.”
“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,” Yeti said.
However, Yeti’s competitor Orca made a splash at SHOT Show earlier this year, holding media demos with football legend Brett Favre. Ocra, which offers NRA-branded coolers, released a statement Monday, saying “ORCA will always support our 2nd Amendment rights- period. Our roots have always been with the outdoor industry – hunting, fishing, camping and enjoying our tailgates at sporting events. Our coolers are Made In The USA and we’re very proud of that.”