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.

As reported by U.S. News & World Report:

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.



13 Replies to “Chobani IS at the Olympics, Even If Its Yogurt Is Not”

  1. I think it is a great job for Chobani. First, they sponsored Team USA is, no doubt, a great way to enlarge their influence. And also, they hold a very positive idea about oppose the anti-LGBT in Russia, which will express a positive idea of Chobani themselves.

  2. Chobani is taking a big risk, I feel, about taking a stand on Russia’s anti-gay laws. It’s great that they did that, but that is such a controversial topic in the US that it could affect Chobani negatively. It’s also unfair that Russia wont let Chobani sell their products there. If they are sponsoring team USA, they should be allowed to show that with their products at the Olympics.

  3. I love that Chobani is taking a stand. It’s very risky, because they’re going to have people on both sides of the issue. Personally, I feel that our generation of people are much more accepting of the gay communities. And for Chobani to nationally take a stand against anti-gay laws is very important for the whole world to see.

  4. Alright Chobani. Fine. I don’t hate you as much now.
    After Chobani was banned from Whole foods for being “all natural” but NOT organic as it was perceived, I dropped Chobani real quick on ethics and diet. I am a total organic snob but for good reason but the fact that they were, in a way, saying one thing and doing another really got to me, especially when they responded to a tweet of mine in a very ‘Bad PR’ format. As a PR major, that got to me.
    BUT I am happy to hear that they are standing up against the anti-gay laws, although that isn’t really the true way to put it. They are against the PDA aspects, which is still wrong, but still. Anyway, good for Chobani. I may also be a bit biased because the one ad with Zach Parise.. I’m a very huge hockey fan..

  5. Although I am not a very big fan of Chobani, I think that they took a big risk in expressing how they are against the anti-gay laws in Russia. It I a great thing that they stood up for what they believe in and Russia should have let them in the Olympics being that they are a sponsor of the USA team. I understand they do not want them to sell there products there, but for the Olympics it should have been allowed. Chobani however, voiced there selves being against there laws knowing most likely knowing that Russia was going to have a problem, but instead of being greedy and dealing with there law and being able to sell there product in Russia, they are barred but looked at positively.

  6. Chobani is taking a huge risk by expressing to the world their opinion on Gay Rights. As a regular customer of Chobani, I believe that although this is a huge risk, it will benefit the company. Today many people are extremely accepting of gays in the community and by taking this leap of faith, more consumers may buy their product because they agree with their opinion. Since they are sponsoring the Olympics, millions of people will see their brand name while tuning into the Olympics and may be more inclined to buy the yogurt at the supermarket.

  7. If Chobani has paid their fair share to be a sponsor of the Olympics, there should be no reason why the yogurt shouldn’t be allowed into Russia. I’m sure they didn’t expect this sort of backlash at the time of taking a public stance pro-LBGT, but I am hoping that all of this free publicity will benefit them in the long run. When it comes down to it, Chobani is just a yogurt company and regardless of what they believe in or don’t, their job is to provide delicious yogurt to the U.S. athletes. If Russia is so concerned about what Chobani stands for, just don’t let your athletes eat it!

  8. I think it is fantastic that 1. Chobani is sponsoring Team USA in the Olympics and 2. Chobani is opening against Russia’s anti-Gay laws and policies. I also think it is absolutely ridiculous for Russia to ban the yogurt. The athletes should be able to eat whatever they please before they compete. The only thing that the Russian ban on Chobani has done is bring more attention to Russia’s anti-gay policies. If Russia simply allowed the yogurt to be a part of Team USA’s diet, there would be little to no discussion about Russia’s policies. All the talk to making Chobani admirable and Russia look horrible. Chobani is really winning in this entire situation. All of this discussion about the yogurt is bringing basically free advertising in for the company. People who support LGBT rights, or are proud that Chobani is sponsoring the Olympics may go out and purchase the yogurt Also, the fact that Chobani released that they are donating the yogurt not getting into Russia is smart. This was a great move on the part of Chobani, because not only does it make Chobani look even better than it already does, but it is going to people who can really use the food.

  9. I believe that Chobani is doing two great things here. One being they are supporting the USA olympic team, but the other being that they are standing up for the rights of lesbian and gay people all throughout the world. The olympics is an international event, so this is not just about the U.S

  10. I would believe that although Chobani wasn’t allowed to be distributed to the Olympians due to their LGBT views they are very happy due to the publicity they recieved. Chobani has been all over news stations which as the article said, is advertising them for free. Recently Chobani decided to donate their yogurt which promotes their company even more.

  11. Chobani has really grown recently and I see so many people talking about it and having it when I go to see them. In these videos however I think that Chobani is taking a risk by speaking about Gay Rights. Many people get very defensive and have their opinions and it has been a huge controversial issue for so long. Although this is involved a risk, it will also benefit the company. Many people are very accepting of gays in the community more than they used to be and by doing this, more consumers may buy their product because they agree with their opinion. Since they are also sponsoring the Olympics, millions of people will see their brand name while watching and might look into it after seeing it and having the curiosity

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