CEO Allan Jones Pulls Ads, NFL Loses First Sponsor-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
Allan Jones, the CEO of Check into Cash and Hardwick Clothes, said he’d pull ads from NFL broadcasts and that on-air talent wouldn’t wear suits made by his company, Hardwick Clothing, during games because of unpatriotic player protests.
Allen Hardwick has publicly stated that his companies won’t advertise during NFL broadcasts, and that on-air talent won’t be wearing Hardwick Clothing suits in the future, because of “unpatriotic” player protests during the National Anthem.
Jones, a vocal supporter of President Trump, made the announcement via Facebook after Trump called on NFL owners to fire the “sons of bitches” that protest racial inequality by kneeling during the National Anthem in September 2017:
Jones’ public announcement led to widespread reports that the NFL had lost its first sponsor over National Anthem protests. And, what that appears to be true, it’s not clear how much support Jones’ companies were providing to the NFL for the 2017 season to begin with.
In the post, Jones includes a screenshot of an email to his ad agency stating “please remove all commercials for Check Into Cash, Buy Here Pay Here USA, or US Money Shops from airing during NFL games this entire season.” But Jones declined to provide details about how many ads, if any, the agency had purchased on behalf of his companies before his order.
Jones also concludes the post by stating, “don’t look for Hardwick on the NFL either.” That’s in reference to an agreement with NBC in which Hardwick Clothing provided apparel for on-air talent during NFL broadcasts. That agreement, however, ended more than a year before Jones made the announcement in 2017.
Hardwick first announced in 2015 that it would dress NBC’s on-air talent during NFL broadcasts for 16 weeks of the 2015 season, the Cleveland Times Free Press reports:
Hardwick officials say NBC talent will be wearing Cleveland-made suits, slacks and blazers for the next 16 weeks during NFL broadcasts.
“It’s huge for the brand,” said Jake Cremer, director of brand and digital strategy at Hardwick. “This is really our first opportunity on a national stage for wardrobe.”
Cremer said Hardwick started out providing wardrobes for NBC during hockey telecasts earlier this year, and through that agreement fostered a good relationship with the network, which led to Hardwick becoming the clothier of choice for NBC’s big-time pro football broadcasts.
By 2016, however, David Donahue had replaced Hardwick Clothing as the provider of clothing for NBC broadcasts during the 2016 and 2017 NFL seasons. Hardwick, meanwhile, provided clothes for NBC’s on-air talent during the Summer Olympics in Rio. We couldn’t’ find any evidence that Hardwick had moved back to NFL sponsorship after that.
In conclusion, it’s true that Allan Jones announced he was pulling his companies’ ad support and clothing from NFL broadcasts because of unpatriotic player protests. It’s just not clear how much support there was to begin wth.