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 22, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2011 12:45 am

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

shut up you liberals Mendenhall is a bastard

Since: Jan 30, 2009
Posted on: May 7, 2011 8:52 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

I didn't even know Champion endorsed Mendenhall.  I don't think the fact they did would sway my purchasing power.  Let the man speak his mind, more players should do that, then we won't hold them up to such a high standard.  We want them to run, pass and catch, sometimes kick.  We want them to make our fantasy football teams better then our friends.  We already know some might shot themselves in the leg or put their foot in their mouth, that's OK, their human.

Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: May 7, 2011 7:16 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Nov 1, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2011 6:50 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Why are people acting as if our government never lies to us and is perfect??  If you criticize our government, you hate America??  People are so clueless, our forefathers said it was our duty to question government, not bend over and take whatever they stick up our butts.  Why couldn't our government just arrest Bin Laden and put him on trial instead of murdering him??  Doesn't first degree murdering somebody make us like him??  I like how Obama talked about how Bin Laden killed a bunch of children, when we just killed Gudafi's innocent  kids and grandchildren in an attempt to murder him.  Oh, by the way, the Rebels we are defending in Libya are backed by Al Qeuda. 

Since: Oct 16, 2010
Posted on: May 7, 2011 6:09 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Everybody are entitled to there own opinion and because we live in a country whose sons and daughters, Mothers and fathers have given the ultimate sacrafice of life itself in order to preserve that right of speach that so many seem to take for granite, Mr. mendenhall not only offers up his opinion but arrogantly displays it publicly and virally for us and the media to digest and odds are the percentage of people that actually agreed with Mr. Mendenhall 'IN THIS COUNTRY' is so microscopic that it does not even warrant recognition other than the fact that Mr. Mendenhall does have an example of good charactor to maintain for the public . It is my opinion and wishes that Mr. Mendenhall be boycotted from all fantasy leagues and sponsorships at this time.     

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2011 5:50 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

I have to agree with Papa....the Steelers must go!!!

Since: May 15, 2009
Posted on: May 7, 2011 5:36 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Can we fire the Steelers?

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: May 7, 2011 5:08 pm

Rashard Mendenhall hates women. Also America

Rashard Mendenhall should have been fired for tweeting that if a girlfriend didn't suck her mans dick that girl didn't deserve a man.

But yeah, hating America is also a fireable offense.

Since: Oct 8, 2007
Posted on: May 7, 2011 4:50 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

There is no problem. He spoke his mind, now Champion spoke theirs. I don't see a problem on either side. 

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: May 7, 2011 4:42 pm

Champion fires Rashard Mendenhall as endorser

Everyone should respect his freedom of speech...he is such an idiot that he made his tweet public which in turn shows how stupid this man really is.He is an athlete he is also a business with his marketing power and have not,and should have kept his thoughts out of the public eye and in his circle,knowing it would hurt him in the wallet if he were to talk like this.He also needs to remember the pain Americans felt on 9-11 even if it didn't effect him in that way.I'm sure he has jumped up and down and rejoiced when he has won a big game,many Americans felt as though they had just won big with the killing of Bin Laden.......he also needs to remember who spends their hard earned money watching him play,and most of all don't forget he is a FREE American and be grateful for the sacrifices people have  endured protecting his freedom.....slave my a**

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