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."

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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Since: Aug 11, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 10:55 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

That could be the most intelligent comment I've ever read on a cbs thread.

Since: Oct 20, 2007
Posted on: May 8, 2011 10:22 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

bad example with Dixie Chicks and Green Day - if the Dixie Chicks had written a song ripping Bush like Green Day, they would have gotten MUCH less attention than travelling overseas and expressing an opinion ripping Bush at a live concert.  A song is different from a public statement.  i know it sounds trivial, but it's actually not....not with the general public.  just next time, try to understand the court of public opinion a bit better.

Since: Jan 8, 2010
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:47 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Actually, Champion is trying to place this in their favor.  They believe they are in a better position to gain sales by hyping the fact that they got rid of Mendenhall who made questionable comments about a hot political topic.  They likely wouldnt lose much sales by having him but they are just like everyone else and trying to cash in.  Basically, they are using their first amendment rights just like he did. 

Since: Nov 14, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2011 9:25 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

I didn't realize Champion was around anymore.  They used to make jerseys, but you never see the "C" on anything these days.  

Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2011 5:53 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Who are you people to say whether he was wrong or right?
Here's a good example of what 75 years of unrelenting propaganda in every aspect of American life will buy you. Who are we? People who understand what the First Amendment means. People who know that Mendenhall's "opinions" are actually factually wrong, ignorant statements and should be treated as such. If I say that papa jayjay has sex with spiders, that's not an "opinion". It's a statement intended to establish a proposition - a proposition we assume to be incorrect.

Its like cutting your nose off to spite your face.
You know what's like cutting off your nose to spite your face? Buying into corporate propaganda that indoctrinates people into believing that the government is an unreachable, unchangeable, irretrievably evil insitution. Hey, guess which institution is both influenced by the will of the people AND big enough to stand up to the huge, multinational corporations which control nearly every aspect of your lives? The government.

Small wonder billions are spent each year keeping people from the only means to make change. Small wonder a generation of morons are jumping at their own shadows, distrusting everyone, buying into crackpot theories that promise comforting answers, and turning to religious extremism. Yes, I call them idiots and morons, but you know what? I don't hate them. I pity them. They are victims, just like the poor, the shrinking middle class, the Tea Party, and the left. All groups who have more in common than not, and all groups who are set up against each other while the high-tech feudal lords laugh all the way to their bailed-out-at-taxpayer-expense banks.

Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2011 5:28 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

shut up you liberals Mendenhall is a bastard
Apparently the voices in his head all vote Green and tell him that Rashard's parents weren't married.

Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posted on: May 8, 2011 5:20 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Come on you guys.  The towers were obviously brought down by the government.  As a matter of fact, they used the same guys that framed Pete Rose and have helped JFK be in a secret relationship with Elvis all these years.  Plus they released bigfoot into the wild from his holding cell in area 51 and arranged for the guy who did the Texas bell tower shooting to assist the unibomber.  How can anyone not know this?  These things are clearly facts.  I am moving to Malaysia where the government cares about its citizens.  I can pay your way if you want to come with me.  Meet me there and I will reimburse you.

Since: Nov 5, 2008
Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:58 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Just as Mendenhall has the "right" to speak his mind, Champion also has the right to fire him.  Nuff said.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 3:04 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

This has probably already been stated on the million blog entries here, however...

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  That is what this country stands for, correct?  Whether you think someone is right or wrong, it is their opinion and that's their business.  However, in reverse, everyone is also entitled to how they feel and react to that original opinion as long as it is responded to in a legal fashion.  Champion obviously doesn't feel like they want someone representing them who has pity for a man like Bin Laden who is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Americans.  Fair enough.  Now I just don't want to hear Mendenhall whine about how this has turned out.  He's an adult and he spoke his mind.  Now be man enough to live with the consequences. 

Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 1:11 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

I was thinking the same thing donkeykong...They should thank Mendenhall for giving them some press.

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