YETI Competitors Swarm On NRA Controversy

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As The NRA Foundation and YETI Coolers squared off online, RTIC, ORCA, and Pelican Coolers issued not-so-subtle pro-gun Facebook posts.

It took only a couple days for a heated controversy between two massive U.S. entities – YETI Coolers and the NRA – to blaze across the internet. And while the two titans of conservative America took shots at one another, YETI’s competitors saw an opportunity.

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.

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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.

“For every cooler purchased this month, we’ll donate $10 to the NRA + and give you a FREE 22oz tumbler of your choice. Promo code: PELICANPROUD.”

ORCA, another U.S. manufacturer of coolers, also jumped into the fray. It proclaimed support of the Second Amendment and a discount of 20 percent through April.

RTIC, Pelican, ORCA Side With NRA

It appears RTIC, ORCA, and Pelican capitalized on YETI’s lag. Whereas its competitors made unwavering statements in support of the Second Amendment, YETI posted a longwinded statement. And followers have been harshly critical.

If YETI’s statement is true, it appears the move was not politically motivated. But regardless, the damage of a major public relations debacle was done.

By
Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.
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