Coors Light embraces Denver Pride Parade despite potential backlash
Coors Light is standing firm as the title sponsor of the Denver Pride Parade.
State of play: The Coors Light Denver Pride Parade this Sunday is the largest to date with an estimated 15,000 people marching and another 100,000-plus expected to watch along the route, according to organizers.
- None of its major sponsors — including Target, Nissan, U.S. Bank, Absolut Vodka, Visa and Wells Fargo — have expressed concerns, according to Rex Fuller, CEO of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado, which organizes the parade.
What they're saying: The Center's Fuller sees this moment — when conservatives are pushing anti-transgender legislation and leveling attacks — as an opportunity to make a point and "not the time to give into bullying."
- "This is kind of the hard part of allyship," he said, referring to the sponsors' support. "We are in a time period when it can be quite fashionable in some corners to pretty openly express homophobic, transphobic (sentiments) and racism, and I think that can make this uncomfortable at some points."
Of note: Molson Coors, the Chicago-based parent of the Golden brewer, declined to discuss its sponsorship, but spokesperson Adam Collins said in a statement that the company has sponsored the parade for decades and will continue to support LGBTQ pride "for decades to come."
The other side: Other brands are retreating from their support for the LGBTQ community. Anheuser Busch, the parent company of Bud Light, Kohl's and Target, saw a $29 billion loss in market value amid the controversy.
- Bud Light is no longer America's top-selling beer after the boycott, and Target pulled its Pride displays amid threats against workers.
- The company's reactions only deepened the controversy and drew ire from both sides of the political aisle.
The intrigue: The boycott against Bud Light is actually straight from the playbook of the gay rights movement.
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