When Tiger Woods’ indiscretions were made public and the athlete lost a host of corporate sponsorships, it came out of left field because Woods didn’t present himself as a dude who would smash 1,000 waitresses. But lately corporations have been quick to drop endorsements with figures they should have predicted would come back to bite them.
When rapper Rick Ross came under fire for describing a scenario where he date rapes a woman, slipping MDMA into her champagne, Reebok terminated their endorsement deal with him. Lil Wayne also recently lost his sponsorship with Mountain Dew because of his making light of Emmit Till’s demise to describe the vigor in which he uses to make the sex.
I’m laughing at these companies that dropped the stars because the whole thing reeks of a typical damage control maneuver. I’m sure before Reebok signed over millions of dollars to Rick Ross, they were familiar with the criminal and overall inactive lifestyle he portrays in his lyrics. They overlooked the fact that they were an athletic apparel company in an attempt to seduce the dollars of rap fanatics. Mountain Dew had to know that Lil Wayne only talks about soda pop when mixed with codeine (his soda of choice being their competitor, Sprite). They, however, overlooked the content of Lil Wayne’s lyrics in hopes that maybe next time a Lil Wayne fan wants to sip lean, they’ll choose Mountain Dew over Sprite.
Why does Reebok care if women’s groups organize protests against their company? Why is PepsiCo (maker of Mountain Dew) concerned about fallout from the Till family. It’s false. What’s really of concern is that they are PERCEIVED to have some sort of “corporate conscious.” To the average person, dropping these acts from their roster makes these companies seem responsible and more worthy of their dollar. Folks like me who question the link between these corporate entities and these branded rap personas in the first place, however, are laughing our collective nuts off!
EDIT: apparently, NY Times’ Jon Caramanica is laughing too! A day after I originally posted this blog (May 6th), the times ran an editorial where he basically says the same shit I said but more eloquently and without the mention of “nuts.”