Vultures by nature are birds or carrion. They survive by scavenging on the remains of the dead, making them one of nature’s most disgusting opportunist. To locate food, some vultures follow the crowds, waiting for their opportunity to come scavenge a meal.
Vultures it seems aren’t always birds. Enter stage-left Pantone 294, with their Kobe Bryant spirit jersey, priced at a whopping $60-talk about a mark-up. We see this time and time again, an icon passes, companies jump to profit off of the passing, and we as consumers usually don’t blink or give a second thought to it. We’re more or less as consumers desensitized to big corporations utilizing this vulture tactic to gain profits. Pantone 294 is no corporation though. It is a traveling Dodger fan-club that plans trips for road games to go support our boys in blue, this isn’t cheap and it requires some level of fundraising. I get it. When I saw them attempting to profit off of his death, regardless of their reasoning as a Dodger fan, it angered me.
I wasn’t the only one outraged and they ended the sale with an apology which went like this;
“We want to apologize for the timing of our “Kobe” inspired spirit jersey. It was short sighted to not take the recent events into consideration prior to continuing with the launch of this item. This was unfortunately a tragic coincidence and we apologize for any pain this has caused. At this time, we have discontinued the sale of this item. For the sales made today, we will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant foundation.”
They had a choice, to run this promotion or to not run it. They said in a later explanation/apology that it was because their “family and followers” expressed interest in the release that prompted them to go forth. To quote; “But after receiving a lot of emails asking if we were still going to release it, we thought that there was no way that our family/followers would have any doubts on our intentions.”
Big Swing! Big Miss!
The last thing I want to do is preach from a pedestal about right and wrong, because frankly I’ve screwed up just as many others have. What I’ve learned in my life is the only way to grow from a screw up is to own it and make NO EXCUSES. Pantone 294 isn’t an evil corporation or a group of greedy capitalist pigs trying desperately to rake in money hand over fist. They simply just screwed up. Pantone 294 gets the L here and If they want to make things right they need donate ALL the profits made to the GoFundMe for the Altobelli family. If not then the Vulture perception will continue, and as the saying goes “perception is reality”.