Blog Entry

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Posted on: May 5, 2011 10:54 pm
Edited on: May 6, 2011 11:22 am
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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: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: May 9, 2011 9:12 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

, 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.
So Champion's values don't include someone's right to excerise their 1st Amendment rights?  Interesting.



Since: Nov 30, 2008
Posted on: May 9, 2011 8:18 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Who buys Champion anyway ! It would be like Starter firing someone ! LOL 



Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2011 5:37 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Not a very smart comment. His football salary is for what he does on the field.  Endorsement deals are to promote product brands by people they feel will help them sell. If this guy has angered the public from statements that are contrary to most people's opinion, then the business paying him for endorsement should drop him right away.

When you are paid to represent a company or product, you do so by their rules.




Since: Jun 17, 2009
Posted on: May 9, 2011 4:59 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Why is this so difficult for people to understand? Champion is a BUSINESS and is making a business decision. Mendy ruined his image and thus his effectiveness to make Champion money.  This should be a lesson to athletes who want endorsement money... KEEP YOUR MOUTHS SHUT. That includes twitter and facebook.  Poor idiot.



Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2011 4:43 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

This is awful. He is fired for speaking his mind. Such cowards.



Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: May 9, 2011 4:43 am
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

This is awful. He is fired for speaking his mind. Such cowards.



Since: Feb 22, 2010
Posted on: May 8, 2011 11:47 pm
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Like they stated: Rashard did not do anything illegal, he just did something stupid....and haven't we all. 

Champion on the other hand, is taking this opportunitiy to come off looking "righteous" in the eyes of American and their customers.  Their right?  Sure it it buts, the timing really stinks and of course comes down to $$$$, like EVERYTHING else in this world.




Since: Oct 27, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 11:37 pm
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Wow,

I know what he said was pretty idotic but his endorsment deal was for what he did on the field. I think Champion was simply trying to cut costs in this economy and the uncertain situation with the NFL.

Go Raiders!!!



Since: May 2, 2011
Posted on: May 8, 2011 11:33 pm
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

ANYTHING BLACK AND GOLD SUCKS DONKEYS



Since: Nov 18, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 11:28 pm
 

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Honestly....who really cares? Anyone?


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