Chobani, a leading maker of Greek-style yogurt, is an official sponsor of Team USA at the Sochi, Russia Olympics. It has paid a lot of money for this right and is advertising during NBC’s Olympic coverage. Nonetheless, Chobani yogurt has been barred from being received by Team USA athletes at the 2014 Winter Games.
The New York-made yogurt is being held up by Russian customs officers at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey due to ‘unattainable’ Russian customs certifications, according to NY Senator Charles Schumer. ‘Unfortunately, this protein-packed, New York-made food has met a serious roadblock in the Russian government, thanks to an unreasonable customs certificate and they will not allow the yogurt into the country,’ Schumer said in a release.”
USNWR’s Katherine Beard further notes that: “Another factor in play could be the continuing controversy over Russia’s much-publicized anti-gay laws. Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya told CNBC Wednesday, ‘We oppose Russia’s anti-LGBT law.’ That makes Chobani the third official Olympic sponsor to condemn the laws.”
So, Chobani really is at the Olympics: The ban on the yogurt has gone viral, giving tremendous free publicity. Chobani has gotten praise praise for being courageous enough to take a public stand (although there are some critics of its position). And Chobani is running ads during Olympic programming — such as these.