The tweet announcing the deal between “America’s Team” and “America’s Coffee” drew around 200 comments in the first few hours, most of them critical and suggesting the timing of the announcement was poor.
“Maybe read the room guys a bit,” one person posted, while another wrote, “Dallas Cowboys just lost one of their biggest fans. Integrity matters.
The Cowboys declined to comment.
The tweet is linked to a contest offering two tickets to a Cowboys home game and a one-year subscription to the coffee company. Most of the company’s sales are direct to consumers.
Black Rifle was founded by U.S. Army veteran Evan Hafer, who made supporting veterans one of his company principles.
“The BRCC is proud to partner with the Dallas Cowboys, who are strongly committed to our mission of supporting veterans, first responders, and American men and women in uniform,” a Black Rifle spokesperson said. “The long-planned announcement was timed to coincide with the Independence Day holiday – America’s Team. America’s Coffee. America’s Birthday.
Reaction to the marketing deal suggests a “shared identification among fans” with the Cowboys, according to T. Bettina Cornwell, academic director of the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marketing Center.
“For those who oppose gun violence, there is no right time,” Cornwell said in an email. “The trade question is, ‘Have the Cowboys taken a misstep in terms of their relationship with their more moderate fans? “”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ unwavering support for the military was best exemplified when he was one of the most outspoken owners in the NFL against players kneeling during The Star-Spangled Banner before games to protest the racial injustice and police brutality.
The Black Rifle brand is popular among conservatives and gun rights advocates, and the Salt Lake City-based company has ties to Texas. The first physical store opened in San Antonio, where the company has a second headquarters.