Kohl's Says No To Sponsoring RNC, But What Companies Are Signing On To The Event?

Zinger Key Points
  • Kohl's announces it will not be hosting the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.
  • Corporations have been reluctant to sponsor political events in recent years.

Wisconsin-based retailer Kohls Corp KSS recently said it would not sponsor the Milwaukee-hosted Republican National Convention, July 15-18. Other companies will still sponsor the event; the convention comes just days after former President Donald Trump‘s New York trial sentencing.

Kohl’s Backs Out: CNBC reported on Thursday that Kohl’s would not sponsor the event.

"Kohl's is not a political organization nor donor and is not sponsoring nor engaging in any specific RNC events," a spokeswoman told CNBC. "We support the business community through the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.”

The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) disperses some funds to the RNC, according to CNBC.

Historically, corporations have sponsored both the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention as a means of gaining influence. Recently, corporations have been less likely to sponsor the events publicly.

Initial Reactions: Some figures, including attorney and Lincoln Project founder George Conway, applauded the decision, given the former president’s recent conviction for falsifying business records. Trump faces three other indictments: an election interference case in Georgia, a retention of classified documents case in Washington, D.C., and a Washington, D.C. election interference case relating to Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021.

“Good for Kohl's,” Conway said in a post on X. “No self-respecting business should support the cultish and mendacious idolation of a depraved sociopath and convicted felon.”

Others were more critical, opining that supporters of Trump should begin a boycott of Kohl’s similar to those of Bud Light, Planet Fitness and Disney.

Other Sponsors: The Milwaukee-based fintech company Fiserv Inc FI will sponsor both the RNC and the DNC, a spokesperson told NBC News in May. AT&T Inc T said it would provide “network connectivity.”

Other corporations will likely sponsor the event, either publicly or privately, as the event date draws nearer.

2020 RNC Sponsors: The 2020 Republican National Convention was held in Charlotte, N.C., and raised more than $38 million, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Bank of America Corp BAC and Wells Fargo & Co WFC both donated to the host committee but were not listed as sponsors per the Observer.

Charter Communications Inc CHTR was listed as a sponsor of the event along with Coca-Cola Consolidated Inc COKE and Dominion Energy Inc D, among others.

The decision to sponsor or not sponsor the event drew commentary similar to the reaction to Kohl’s in 2024.

KSS Price Action: Investors did not react much to Kohl’s decision. The stock was up 1.65% at $22.83 Friday afternoon.

Also Read: Kohl’s Q1 Earnings: Revenue And Profit Miss, Outlook Cut, Stock Tumbles

Photo: Shutterstock

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Posted In: Politics2024 electionDonald TrumpfashionGeorge ConwayRepublican National ConventionretailRNCStories That Matter
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