YETI Coolers says that a scornful letter from a gun industry official is entirely inaccurate.
Marion P. Hammer, USF executive director and NRA past president, in a letter to USF and NRA members on Friday, said that after years of providing "hot items" for sportsmen, YETI cut ties with the country's leading gun association.
“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,” Hammer wrote. “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 press release ended with contact information for YETI’s corporate offices, and a note that “information is power...We thought you needed this information.”
Guns and the outdoor industry: SNEWS reported on how hikers and hunters need to work together.
But in a statement on Monday, YETI fired back.
“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ago, YETI notified the NRA Foundation, as well as a number of other organizations, that we were eliminating a group of outdated discounting programs,” the statement reads.
Back in February, YETI sent out letters to a number of its retailers, severing business relations. At the time, YETI's Senior VP of Sales Kirk Zambetti told SNEWS that the cuts were part of cleaning distributiong and that "we are highly committed to specialty retailers."
This latest move seems aligned with YETI regularly evaluating relationships.
“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.”
YETI responded to Hammer’s claim that the cooler company has “declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities.”
YETI continued, “Nothing is further from the truth. YETI was founded more than 10 years ago with a passion for the outdoors, and over the course of our history we have actively and enthusiastically supported hunters, anglers and the broader outdoor community. 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. From our website to our film footage and from our social media posts to our ambassadors, YETI has always prominently featured hunters pursuing their passions. Moreover, YETI is unwavering in our belief in and commitment to the Constitution of the United States and its Second Amendment."