The NASCAR driver who recently rose in fame after unintentionally sparking the "Let’s Go Brandon!" phrase says he’s had a hard time finding corporate sponsors following the chant going viral.
"It got extremely difficult for us. … 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,’" Brown told Sports Business Journal in a recent interview.
"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?"
The phrase "Let’s Go Brandon" took over social media In October after an NBC interview with Brown. Fans of NASCAR were chanting "F--- Joe Biden" during the interview, and in an apparent attempt to steer the interview away from politics, reporter Kelli Stavast said they were chanting "Let’s Go Brandon" in support of Brown.
The phrase soon became synonymous with criticisms of President Biden, and rang out at concerts, sports games and events where Biden has spoken.
"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 doing 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," Brown continued.
Just on Christmas Eve, controversy was sparked when a dad of four called to speak with Biden and the first lady during a holiday-themed event and said the phrase live on the call.
"I hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas as well. Merry Christmas and Let’s go, Brandon!" the dad, identified as Jared Schmeck from Oregon, said at the end of the call.
Biden responded: "Let's go, Brandon, I agree."
The president then asked Schmeck where in Oregon he is from, but no one responded.
"I think we lost him," Biden said.