Blog Entry

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Posted on: May 5, 2011 10:54 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2011 11:22 am
 
R. Mendenhall (US Presswire)Posted by Will Brinson

In case you hadn't heard, Steelers' RB Rashard Mendenhall did some tweeting recently about Osama Bin Laden. It did NOT go over well with the general public. And it apparently didn't go over well with athletic wear company Champion, who fired Mendenhall on Thursday.

Mendenhall inked a post on his site attempting to explain his Twitter burst, but clearly that wasn't enough, as the company, who's paid Mendenhall to endorse their products, decided that Mendenhall's tweets were "inconsistent with the values of the Champion brand." So, they fired him.

"In light of these comments, Champion was obliged to conduct a business assessment to determine whether Mr. Mendenhall could continue to effectively communicate on behalf of and represent Champion with consumers," Champion spokesman told told Michael McCarthy of USA Today"While we respect Mr. Mendenhall's right to express sincere thoughts regarding potentially controversial topics, we no longer believe that Mr. Mendenhall can appropriately represent Champion and we have notified Mr. Mendenhall that we are ending our business relationship."
Mendenhall

It's not surprising at all to see Champion -- whose logo is colored red, white and blue, by the way -- pull this move from a public relations standpoint, as Mendenhall's comments alienated many a fan. But it is interesting from the perspective of how a brand, an endorser and a demographic interact.

For instance, here's an example of something similar from another form of popular culture: the Dixie Chicks, once upon an election or two ago, decided to speak out against George W. Bush. Because they are a country music band who caters to a particular, shall we say "more American" demographic, overcoming that sort of statement in public was nearly impossible. (Conversely, Green Day, a rock band whose listeners tend to be more liberal, can write an entire song ripping Bush, and the only consequence is that they sell more records.)

I'm not saying that Champion is a country band, but I do think that it's substantially more difficult for Champion to overcome a slew of average, everyday Americans refusing to buy their brand because they endorse Mendenhall.

And, of course, there's the fact that Mendenhall isn't exactly Tiger Woods, whose value as an endorser holds greater weight.

Look, Mendenhall didn't do anything wrong, he just did something stupid. Athletes -- and everyone -- today simply have to understand that using Twitter is just like being a at a press conference. While Twitter and Facebook and all forms of social media are a fascinating and fun way for athletes to communicate with fans and media alike, it's also a part of an individual's brand.

And as we've seen countless times, you don't need to break any laws to ruin your image in this country.

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Comments

Since: Sep 7, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2011 3:24 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

SMH ask yourself why haven't we been back in all these years.  Makes you say Huuummmmmmm.

really? that's an extremely easy question to answer. What would we actually gain by going to the moon again? There isn't anything of value to gain from it that would match the 100s of millions we would have to pour in to fund another project like that... it would just be senseless



Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: May 6, 2011 2:56 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

This is sad, really.  This young man is wise beyond his years.  It's unfortunate some C-list sporting goods company would do something this ignorant.  Verily, verily, Mendenhall now has far more to gain than Champion.  He's exploded on Twitter, and for good reason.  I guess Champion is simply choosing a side here...opposite the American people.  Yep, it ain't 2004 anymore.  People are mad at these lying crooks called Obama, the white house, and Congress.  Eat your heart out, Corporate America!



Since: Jan 21, 2008
Posted on: May 6, 2011 2:52 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

The moral of the story is like the Rock says, "Shut your Mouth and Know your Role"!!!



Since: Nov 27, 2010
Posted on: May 6, 2011 2:15 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Why do you say he's not allowed to speak his mind?  He IS allowed to speak his mind.  And he exercised that right.  And he lost an endorsement contract.



Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2011 1:47 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Ameirca...If you dont love it leave it Medenhall is a coward you can speak your mind all you want dosent mean everyone is going to accept this horshit we as America want to unit and we dont need this fool trying to be a horrible example of athletes



Since: May 6, 2011
Posted on: May 6, 2011 1:36 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Whatever happened to his first amendment right.  Just because he's a famous athelete, he's not allowed to speak his mind.  Some people in this country have a lot of nerves.  How can we totaly believe what our military says, when our Government wants the general public to believe that we actualy landed on the Moon.  SMH ask yourself why haven't we been back in all these years.  Makes you say Huuummmmmmm.  I don't agree with what Mendy said, but hey, OUR GoVERNMENT said Osama was the head man in charge.



Since: May 6, 2011
Posted on: May 6, 2011 12:22 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

"...as Mendenhall's comments alienated many a fan."
Actually, his fans on twitter have increased three-fold, from 14,000 to 43,000, in less than a week.
If more people spoke up, such as he did, our government might not appear so dumbed-down.



Since: Jul 14, 2008
Posted on: May 5, 2011 11:24 pm
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

this is funny


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