Brandon Brown, the NASCAR driver who unintentionally sparked the “Let’s go Brandon” phenomenon, says he is having sponsorship struggles as a result of the chant.
In October, Brown was being interviewed by Kelli Stavast on NBC after he won a race at Talladega. The crowd was chanting “F–k Joe Biden,” and Stavast talked about how they were chanting “Let’s go Brandon!” The phrase quickly became a rallying cry amongst conservatives who believe President Biden gets treated with kid gloves by the media, and has endured in the political lexicon.
Brown, 28, says the affiliation with the chant is costing him marking opportunities.
“It got extremely difficult for us,” Brown told Sports Business Journal. “If you’re a national corporation, that means you sell to all consumers … and unfortunately, when you get dragged into the political arena, people want you to take a side. I’ve never been put in a position where it’s, ‘OK, what side are you on? Left or right?’ So it’s hard for a brand to want to attach to somebody who might be kind of divisive in their consumer base.
“If I’m going to divide Coca-Cola, why would they want to talk to me? So the short answer is it’s been tough to connect with partnerships just because it’s kind of viewed as a ticking time bomb: ‘What is he [g]oing to choose or say and how would that effect our consumer base?’ It’s too much of a risk. I understand it on their side but it’s made it really hard to tie everything down.”
In a separate interview with the New York Times, Brown said that he is a Republican, but is not hyper-focused on politics.
“Our whole navigation is, you want to appeal to everybody, because, all in all, everybody is a consumer,” Brown said. “I have zero desire to be involved in politics.”
Brown has been making the rounds in the media, insisting that he does not want to be associated with divisiveness.
“Racing at 200 miles per hour doesn’t give me a lot of time to think about politics,” Brown wrote in an op-ed for Newsweek. “And even if it did, I have always preferred the roar of the engine to the roar of my voice.”