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“‘The big mystery is how someone like Kim isn’t part of the Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and the Olympics sponsor push,’ (Rhode’s agent Patrick) Quinn said by phone from Chicago. ‘It would be nice to have an Olympic sponsor recognize the magnitude of her accomplishment.”’ Really? You don’t need to be Columbo to unravel why the Cokes and P&G’s of the world haven’t snapped up an athlete/mother/multiple medalist like Kim Rhode. Unlike a Katie Ledecky or a Simone Biles, Rhode’s won her six medals using a gun.

So while companies like Winchester, Beretta and Otis Technology support Rhode, she doesn’t have a single sponsor from outside the firearm industry.

The same is true for USA Shooting, even though the sport has since 2000 been the fifth-highest medal producer for the US team at Summer Olympics. The very first gold medal for any sport awarded in Rio went to Ginny Thrasher, 19, in her Olympics debut.

To be fair, the Olympic shooting sports attract a tiny fraction of the public’s attention and TV audience that high profile events like swimming and gymnastics do. NBC hardly mentions skeet or trap results in their coverage, let alone broadcasts a match on some cable outlet at midnight. So for a chief marketing officer allocating an annual budget, athletes in the glamour sports, while commanding significantly more sponsorship dollars, have far more caché and name recognition with the public.

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But let’s not kid ourselves. We all know the real reason Rhode’s photo can only be seen on Winchester boxes, but not Wheaties. It’s that Beretta over her shoulder.

“A lot of times they say, well, we really like you, you’re great and your credentials speak for themselves, but we’re not sure how we can really fit you in,” (Rhode’s teammate Vincent) Hancock said. “It seems like they want to, but don’t want to get caught up in the media backlash that may arise if something were to come about with, say, one of the shootings.”

Translation: No CMO wants their PR people dealing with the inevitable media emails and phone calls when Shannon Watts and Ladd Everitt try to shame companies into dropping their sponsorship for a skeet shooter when another jihadi wanna-be pulls off the next San Bernardino or Orlando.

So don’t look for American success stories like Rhode to break out of the gun ghetto and into the mainstream any time soon. The first woman to win medals in six Olympic games will have to continue to get by on the support she gets from USA Shooting and corporate patrons within the firearms industry. It’s something she’s certainly excelled at.

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  1. The mainstream media makes our heroes. It will take a real standout to break through the media’s bias against shooting sports.

  2. I caught the interview NBC did with Kim Rhode this morning. There was about 5 seconds showing her shooting. Most of the interview was about her medical issues resulting from a difficult pregnancy and a gall bladder removed.

    The good news is Kim hinted she was in for 2020 in Tokyo. Can you imagine the “horror” if a 6 for 6 medalist was our flag bearer in Tokyo?

  3. “Public relations,” Has got to be the dumbest idea ever, “We know that it’s not true or relevant, but because someone could say something or feel a certain way, we have to accept it as reality”. Crap

  4. Hey sorry-sometimes 6 freakin’ medals ain’t enough even for gun companies. Take a close look at gals like Tori Nonaka or Jessie Duff. Cute. Pretty. Attractive. Sexy. And champions. It’s not just mainstream companies who diss our Olympians. A big black gal just won the Olympic shot put(exceeding her best by a lot). I really doubt she’ll “cash in”. Whether us guys admit it-sex sells. You can’t make non-gun companies push gun competitors. And I’m happy gun companies help out Kim Rhode.

  5. Can someone PLEASE tell me how to get rid of the R-rated ads? I’m scrolling down and I’m seeing ads that I don’t want to see and I don’t want me children to see. I’m starting to contemplate taking TTAG off of my browsing rotation.

    • I used Ad-block Plus, + anti-Adblock Killer (to block the sites the block my use of ad blockers)

    • Yeah me too. Not so much the nudity rating, just the absurdity and grossness of the click bait in general. I have definitely paired down my trips to TTAGs site, primarily due to this garbage in the margins. Makes me ill and insults me to scroll past it. This from someone who avoids all network TV and commercial radio as well.

      I am Looking for an add blocker for my hand held device to block this garbage.

      What really gets me is Someone must have the low IQ and lack of morals to click on this crap, or it wouldn’t be financially viable to post it. So what kind of company are we keeping by surfing this site ?

    • BTW, beside ad blocker (recommended by another poster), PEERBLOCK has worked well for me on my Windows laptop. It is a URL blocker and you can pick and choose what IP (address sources) you want to see or send to. Free and/or paid option for special customized and published address block files. Also check out EFF tool set on their site for Firefox and Chrome browsers on Windows OS.

    • Omer,

      Advertisements are a sneaky, complex affair. Your computer keeps track of the sites that you visit, the type of sites you visit, and the content that you search. Why is that relevant? Websites will access your browsing history and send highly specific targeted advertisements to you.

      There is a very high probability that you are getting R-rated advertisements because someone uses your computer to visit R-rated websites. So, the first and easiest thing that you can do is clear your Internet history and stop visiting R-rated websites.

      Beyond that, you can look into installing software that blocks advertisements and scripts.

  6. White female shooters win gold medals…

    Black female in a hijab wins bronze…
    Stop the freaking presses.

    I guess only guns are weapons used to kill and not swords… oh wait.

    • White female shooters win gold medals…
      Crickets. (And yet, 8,800,000 google hits, as of now)

      Black female in a hijab wins bronze…
      Stop the freaking presses. (And yet, only 1,050,000 google hits, as of now)

      Meh, media bias or no media bias, they can’t stop the signal. People will seek out the information on what matters or what they care about. That’s why you also cannot blame the media for idiotic, lazy Americans’ electoral choices, either. The information to make informed decisions is out there. Unfortunately, gathering it subtracts precious seconds from crucial “Pokemon Go!” playing time.

  7. There is a much larger, much more sinister trend afoot with respect to firearms users and manufacturers … a trend that goes way beyond snubbing sponsorship of great competitive sport shooters. Important business partners are beginning to refuse to do business with firearms users and manufacturers.

    You may have heard that FaceBook and YouTube are beginning to close down accounts for firearms content. You may have heard that credit card processors are beginning to close down accounts for firearms vendors and manufacturers. You may have heard that some banks are beginning to close down accounts for firearms vendors and manufacturers. And you should already know that legacy media will not run advertisements for firearm manufacturers or shooting sports. And, at this point, I suspect some businesses are firing employees for owning firearms or participating in a shooting sport.

    If a firearm manufacturer cannot get banking services (including credit and credit card processing), cannot get advertising, and cannot get outreach (via legacy media or social media), it gets very difficult to operate that business … which is the intention of course.

    I wonder how long before the raw materials suppliers refuse to supply the basic chemicals and metals to firearm manufacturers … or how long before utilities refuse to provide electricity, natural gas, water, and/or data (phone/Internet access) to firearm manufacturers.

    • Not gonna happen, at least not to that degree. The firearms business is simply too lucrative.

      • Lucrative has nothing to do with it.

        It’s about the *guns*.

        TTAG’s own perpetually annoyed Firearm Concierge had his major bank, the bank he has been using for years, unceremoniously dumped his ass just because his enterprise was firearm related…

    • So you’re saying that major competitors are voluntarily opting out of a massive, multi-billion dollar market, leaving it wide open to profit-seeking entrepreneurs? Oh no! Please don’t throw me into that briar patch!

  8. Let’s be real here. This lady could easily be a quintessential American success story wrapped up in a bow and the PR people know it.

    They’re not worried about the BS questions or propaganda from the grabbers per se. They’re worry about the fact that the grabbers have most of the media eating out of their hand and the last thing Wheaties needs is a week of stories, complete with “experts” and politicians weighing in on CNN, FOX, NBC etc about how Wheaties caused a shooting. That’s a problem by itself but it gets worse.

    That right there is fertile ground for frivolous lawsuits from grieving family members being taken advantage of by unscrupulous lawyers caught up in a media frenzy where someone, anyone has to be blamed for the tragedy and nailed to a cross. Then there’s the concern about HRC wanting victims families to be able to sue a manufacturer and/or gun dealer. If the law is changed to allow that then what’s to stop a suit against an “enabler” as well? That’s especially worrying in a time when a sitting US Senator is willing to publicly say “Due process is killing us”. Now a company has to consider that putting her on a box might be argued to have “caused” a shooting and if HRC wins she changes the laws next year opening the company up to a lawsuit and Manchin’s comments make one think that perhaps the company wouldn’t get the most fair treatment in court under a Clinton administration.

    • “… Wheaties caused a shooting.”

      That”, right there, pretty much sums up the entirety of progressive “logic!”

    • They’d probably close down Rio by now, if someone caught glimpse of a Scary Moooslem Virgin with one of those evil guns.

  9. Lenin: The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.

    Ralph: The Capitalists will sell us out and hang us.

  10. “But let’s not kid ourselves. We all know the real reason Rhode’s photo can only be seen on Winchester boxes, but not Wheaties. It’s that Beretta over her shoulder.”

    Yes, it’s because of the Beretta, but not, or not just, in the way you think. Yes, there’s anti-firearms prejudice in Corporate America. However, let’s not forget, these are some of the most venal people on the planet. They’ll make a buck wherever they can make a buck, which brings me back to the Beretta.

    Lots of people don’t consider shooting to be a real sport, any more than they do auto racing. Purists want their Olympic sports to be virtually equipment-free, or at least involving no more equipment than the actual atmosphere you’re in or the obstacles you overcome, like running or swimming. I know, even in those, there’s still the shoes and shark suits to give people the edge.

    Still, short of Fully Nude Jumping Jacks, which sounds suspiciously like an event I just made up, you’re not going to get an absolutely pure, human body acuity only competition. Everything’s going to include some kind of equipment. Everyone’s going to draw their own line as to how much credit goes to the equipment or the contestant and what constitutes a “real” sport. For many people, shooting doesn’t cut it. For most others, there isn’t any explicit rationale, they just don’t care.

    In fact, the overt fighting or weapon-wielding sports generally don’t attract very much public attention. In terms of combat, Greco-Roman wrestling beats boxing, which beats freestyle wrestling, which beats judo, which beats fencing, which beats taekwondo, all of which are considered inferior to competitive diving. Go figure.

    If the interest were there, the money would follow. After all, there are plenty of black athletes who’ve racked up success this year and over the past twenty-five years in traditionally “white” sports like golf, tennis, gymnastics, and even swimming, gained commercial traction, despite America’s allegedly oh so racist culture.

    • “Still, short of Fully Nude Jumping Jacks, which sounds suspiciously like an event I just made up…”

      I fully support this being added to the Olympics next to “Fully Nude Trampoline Jumping” provided that they are female only sports. Of course we’ll need feeder teams based on college performance… so Title IX does have a use!

    • Greco-Roman wrestling more combat oriented than Judo? Really?

      I don’t think the equipment is that big of a deal, these days the people that make it to the Olympics all seem to be using equipment from the best in the industry. There are differences in configuration that come from personal preference or gun fit, but it would hardly consider anything outside of the 50m pistol to be an equipment race.

      • You need to read your history. In the original form wrestling allowed for the gouging of eyes and crushing of throats in ways no modern combat are allows in competitions.

        • And Judo is derived from jujutsu which was practiced by Samurais. They both have martial roots but have been civiled for competitive purposes.

          And considering that BJJ which is derived from judo, dominates MMA competitions and is now used in the other newer combat martial arts, I would say that judo is at least even to Greco-Roman wrestling in combat hstory.

  11. Let’s not kid ourselves here. We all know that the NRA completely dwarfs all other sponsors combined and Kim will walk away with millions more than any other athlete. The media and even a couple of our fellow readers make that very clear!

  12. I’m always amazed/amused at the double takes from tourists passing through our airport when their gaze passes over the Daniel Defense (hometown company) ads posted along the concourse.

    Hopefully Polycase (another hometown company) will also advertise locally.

  13. She does not need to have an expensive sex change operation to get hired.
    All she has to do to get sponsors is come out as a white blue eyed homosexual.

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