October 5, 2013

LETTER: An Apology From the Athletic Department

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To the Editor:

Re: In order to publicize Cornell’s Oct. 5  football game against Colgate, the Athletic Department worked with a local radio partner to develop a Cinco De Mayo themed promotion. While the promotion was intended to get the crowd excited for the game, some perceived it as offensive to Latino heritage and culture. The Athletic Department has stopped the promotion and taken down all social media posts regarding the theme.

Cornell athletics apologizes to the community for an insensitive marketing campaign launched to promote the Oct. 5 football game.  On Oct. 2, we began an effort to attract attendance through materials that made inappropriate cultural references to the Latino community. We appreciate that student leaders brought this issue to our attention. As a result, we immediately ended all promotional activity. This has been a learning opportunity for me and for our marketing group, and we are committed to working with our community so this does not occur again.


Jeff Hall, Associate Director of Athletics for Sales and Marketing