YETI vs the NRA, It’s About More Than Discount Coolers

Opinion

YETI vs the NRA, It's About More Than Discount Coolers
YETI vs the NRA, It's About More Than Discount Coolers

USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Before I get started, let me thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of my entire family. The last seven months have been difficult at AAR Ranch (my house). With the exception of my two radio broadcasts, I've spent the last few weeks focusing on my family, in particular, my wife's full recovery after a frightening breast cancer diagnosis back in October of last year.

Today I can report here on these pages that after six chemotherapy treatments over an eighteen week period (and everything that goes with it) and a successful double mastectomy surgery, she has been declared cancer free. Many of you have sent prayers and well wishes to my wife and my family, and I want you to know that you made the difference. Thank you!

On to YETI Coolers! What the hell, right?

I mean seriously, what gives? When did coolers of any brand have anything to do with our gun rights? Here's my take (and I may be wrong) but the evidence thus far seems conclusive. Of course, I'm talking about YETI coolers and their apparent decision to bail on the NRA Foundation 501(c)(3) by asking for the removal of their products and discontinued use of logo's, etc. Where have we seen this dance before? It appears, if Marion Hammer is accurate and truthful, that YETI took a big, giant dump in their product on this one. Regardless, they're paying a terrible PR price for whatever happened, and again, if and only if Marion is right, deserve everything they get.

In a nutshell, Marion Hammer, past president of the NRA accuses YETI of pulling out of the Foundation, YETI then sends AmmoLand News a statement essentially calling her account a lie, Marion doubles down and tells YETI they're full of crap and then offers up a triple down:

“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 seven-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. Whether this is due to the recent cancellation of their IPO from their New York City owners is a question only they can answer.”

The backlash she is referring to is columns like this, and people blowing up their YETI coolers filled with Tanerite or merely filling them full of holes. It's people like me telling listeners that I've bought a new RTIC brand cooler at one third the price (it delivers today, YAY!) and won't be using my two YETI's anymore. (I'm not going to blow them up, I'm considering selling them to someone and giving the money to the Second Amendment Foundation).

Yeah, the backlash has been swift and painful for YETI, and whoever in the boardroom decided to do whatever they did in today's charged political climate, whether it was innocent or not, really blew it and in the process, helped make a massive statement to the PC crowd and gun-grabbers. More importantly, this sends a message to any other company that thinks they might want to piss off gun owners after pretending to be one of us.

This fiasco is far more significant than a cooler.

I believe this whole dust-up sends the needed signal that we're sick and tired of the attacks on our way of life. We're fed up with being called murderers by 16-year-old teenagers, and we're tired of being spat upon by a bloodthirsty media quick to push the anti-gun narrative. In this case, the message is clear: If you pretend to be one of us then decide to play politics with our loyalty to your brand you will be dealt with swiftly and severely. You will find that this blade has two sharp edges and cuts both ways. The mere appearance of abandoning support for millions of NRA members (read: any lawful gun owner) who have been loyal customers will have painful results.


Whether this was a “misunderstanding” as YETI has called it or a more sinister move to join the other PC companies who sowed their oats, we no longer care. Fed-up law-abiding citizens are sending a message to YOU that your actions will be dealt with swiftly and you will pay the price for abandoning our loyalty. This is the straw that says (loudly) to other companies that we will act, and you must know that when we as a block decide to move, it is permanent. We don't blow with the wind like snowflakes.

Yes, this is much bigger than a cooler, right YETI?

Mark Walters
Mark Walters

About Mark Walters

Mark Walters is the host of two nationally syndicated radio broadcasts, Armed American Radio and Armed American Radio's Daily Defense with Mark Walters. He is the Second Amendment Foundations 2015 Gun Rights Defender of the Year award recipient and co-author of two books, Lessons from Armed America with Kathy Jackson (Whitefeather Press) and Lessons from UnArmed America with Rob Pincus (Whitefeather Press)

  • 19 thoughts on “YETI vs the NRA, It’s About More Than Discount Coolers

    1. Instead of selling or donating the cooler, you should return it for a refund – assuming it’s within the refund window. Let YETI find someone to promote their brand.

    2. Correction and Update to Previous Post. Correction: My previous post should have read “backpedaling” instead of “back-peddling” lest I be be accused of being an ‘ignorant NRA-type.’ Update: I placed my order with Pelican on April 26th to take advantage of the limited time $10 Pelican donation to the NRA. Today, I received a message from Pelican stating “…Due to the overwhelming and much appreciated support, we are experiencing shipping delays…” Instead of being disappointed, I am elated that so many other orders must have been placed to create this backlog! I am going to take this to also mean that Yeti has shot itself in its ‘Big Foot’ (pun intended). Yeti will soon be as visible in the U.S. marketplace, as its company namesake is visible to anyone other than oxygen starved sherpas. Yeti’s knee-jerk PC stupidity will bring about its extinction unless there are enough PC customers who are willing to drop major bucks on very expensive coolers for their twice-a-year mountain bike getaway. I don’t think this is plausible and Yeti knows that they have just killed the goose which laid the golden eggs. Yeti will end up being remembered in a business textbook with a chapter entitled “Stupid Business Decisions Which Alienated Core Customers.”

      1. I just ordered a rtic. April 27th. Expected shipping date July 26th. So long Yeti, everyone else is getting your business.

      2. Check out Vibe coolers nt Vibe Kayaks too exact same construction as a yeti, better gaskets and literally over half the price. I paid 199 for a 75 qt Vibe cooler and it held ice for 9 days while redfishing in Louisiana this spring.

    3. Yeti is doing major back-peddling after their stupid Anti-Gun PC marketing decision. The NRA’s response clearly proves that Yeti intended to cut ties to the NRA by ‘REFUSING TO FILL CURRENT NRA-ILA ORDERS, REFUSING TO LET THE NRA USE THE YETI TRADEMARKS IN CONJUNCTION WITH NRA ADVERTISING, AND BY REFERENCING “RECENT EVENTS” (chronological connection to Parkland). Yes, Yeti may have discontinued certain discounted product marketing programs aimed at organizations, but if that was a ‘politically neutral business decision,’ then there would be no reason for Yeti to have made the other communications or taken the actions referenced by the NRA. I just placed an order for a new cooler from PELICAN. Pelican will DONATE $10 to the NRA and throw in a free tumbler for every order until April 30th when ordering from their website and using the PELICANPROUD promo code. This is an example of a company ‘putting up’ in support of a customer base. I am not associated with Pelican and I am not a previous customer of Yeti, but I am a Life Member of the NRA.

    4. Best response to Yeti I’ve seen is not to destroy an expensive product that you’ve purchased, but to sell it on e-bay for a ridiculously low price. That gets you back some of your investment (which you can donate to the NRA ILA like Mark did) plus it potentially deprives Yeti of a sale by offering a used unit at an attractive price. More effective at demonstrating our outrage at Yeti, albeit less satisfying than the Tannerite solution. 😉

      1. @Paul good point and you sure got that right. Who gives a rats behind about a discount program and how many people use it. I don’t.

    5. Mark, we will pray for your wife and family. I have one of your books that is signed by you. Loved it!
      I have some YETI products. I agree with the everyone who says they are WAY OVERPRICED for what you get. YETI says that some of these coolers have to be “broken in” before they will perform at maximum efficiency. As a Life Member of the NRA, we are currently exploring the possibilities of how to show America new ways to ” break in” their YETI coolers.
      Stay tuned, you are going to love this!

      Lake Erie Joe
      Parrish, Florida

    6. Great article and great video. All these companies that think they can throw Americans under the bus to make themselves more popular with the current crop of snowflakes need to take a step back. And this was an excellent wake-up call for them. Yeti? High priced crap that really doesn’t work any better than a cooler from Walmart that costs less than half the price.

      Guess what, Yeti? We really don’t need you as much as you need us.

    7. The NRA saw an opportunity to rile up the base over a pricing dispute. Marion Hammer lied, once again, and the lemmings are buying it hook, line, and sinker. The NRA has essentially a pricing dispute with YETI. I am an NRA Benefactor Life member, by the way, and didn’t join the NRA for their discount programs. The following e-mail was sent to Jay Stein of the Quail coalition:

      “Dear Vendor program manager,

      YETI recently completed an audit of it’s retail, corporate, and consumer programs. As part of this, we have made changes to support our pricing policy, revised and mailed new dealer agreements, and updated our various pricing programs to clarify and simplify the YETI approach As part of these changes, we have made the decision to to end a variety of legacy vendor programs including the Quail Coalition effective immediately. Please note that we will fulfill all existing orders that YETI has received as of today but we will no longer accept new orders under the legacy vendor program.

      As a result of ending our vendor program, we request that effective immediately you remove from your existing digital assets any intellectual property or trademarks belonging to YETI and you refrain from using any such IP or trademarks in any future print material.

      Should your organization wish to purchase customized YETI products, they can do so through our broadly available bulk discount program.”

    8. I haven’t been to a Dick’s Sporting Goods since they pulled ARs off the shelf after Sandy Hook. My local Dick’s Sporting Goods stopped selling firearms shortly thereafter. I haven’t purchased a single YETI product in my entire life. I am an NRA Benefactor Life member. I have never used any of the NRA discounts or products.

      What I do know is that YETI changed its discount program for the NRA, the Quail Coalition and The Safari Club International. Instead of offering individual discounts to each, they now have to go though the same discount program. The apparently NRA didn’t like that, so Marion Hammer sends out an e-mail with a bunch of lies to rile up the base over a pricing dispute. Lemmings, like you just follow the NRA blindly.

      Congrats, for being a lemming!

    9. Mark, good news about the Mrs. I totally understand the trama and stress, and are praying for you all.

      My Idea of the great outdoors is to go to my patio and BBQ, well, I and a few friends way back when did build some wood strip canoes and paddled the Voyagers route from Lake Superior to International Falls but that was a couple of life times ago.

      YETI is like Patagonia, over priced and idiotic with great marketing. If I had a YETI and was in a free state, I’d be more than happy to fill if full of holes and ship it to them.

      NRA-CalGuns Foundation-FireArms Policy Coalition-GOA

    10. Yeti is dead to me now
      I do like painting those cups in camo patterns
      I will switch to ammo cans for my duracoating hobby

      1. docduracoat rtic has the same type of cup as yeti. They also cost less than yeti and i am totally pleased with mine

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