Will Loss of NRA’s 5 Million Members Hurt Companies Severing Relationships?

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Some large corporations have ended their relationships with the National Rifle Association in the wake of its reaction to the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 people dead. The NRA has about 5 million members, according to its own estimates, so the effects on the companies that were former partners likely will be small.

The 5 million members figure was posted in a letter from the NRA on July 17, 2017. The comments were in reaction to a Pew Research survey about gun ownership levels, and NRA membership levels in particular. The 14 million Pew figure was too high, according to the NRA.

Among the companies that have ended relationships with the NRA are Delta Air Lines, United Continental, Hertz, MetLife and Chubb.

The NRA offers discounts for products and services provided by its corporate partners. At any one time, it is not likely many of the 5 million members are taking advantage of most of the offers. The products and services do have price tags, despite the discounts. Members can get the same products and services directly from the companies. NRA members who fly Delta probably will not stop flying Delta because of the loss of a discount. The same holds true of the NRA customers of most of the other former corporate partners.

It is also possible some people will begin to use the products and services of these companies to support the decision to end their relationship with the NRA.

What could the former NRA partners lose in terms of customer count as they severe relationships with the NRA? Hundreds of thousands of customers? That means a huge number of NRA members use the discounts these companies offered. And it means they will end their relationship with the companies, as per the Delta example. Tens of thousands of lost customers? Even this number seems high.

The end of NRA sponsorship relationships could cost former partners thousands of customers. However, those companies have millions of customers who have no relationship to the NRA.

Quitting the NRA is absolutely necessary for companies that do not believe they can ethically support the organization. However, the cost is very small.