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Sports Show Losing Many Celebrities

January 23, 2013
By Brian Miller - OV Times Field Editor , Ohio Valley Outdoors

The Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show put on by Reed Exhibitions in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania used to be one of the largest shows in the nation. To sportsmen this show is similar in size and significance as the Detroit Auto Show to a gear head. Two weeks before the show Reed Exhibitions decided to prohibit the display and sale of tactical weapons and high capacity magazines. This decision has caused pandemonium from the vendors, celebrities, speakers, and the attendees.

As the news spreads across the nation, Reed Exhibitions has received an amazing amount of bad press. Sportsmen across the nation have banded together to boycott the show. This uproar has caused the show to lose a majority of their TV celebrities. Leading the way was Lee and Tiffany Lakosky with most other large celebrities deciding to not attend. Lakosky stated, "This was a hard decision, not because of the show and what they did, but that we won't have the opportunity to talk and shake hands with the fans that will be at the show. But, we can't support a show that doesn't completely support the Second Amendment."

Within days of their announcement two of their main sponsors, Cabelas and The Outdoor Channel, pulled their sponsorship. At the same time many vendors began pulling out of the show due to this decision. The vendors themselves will lose $2,500-$10,000 already paid for show space along with the lost revenue. Their decision does not come easy but supporters of the 2nd Amendment cannot tolerate the show decision. Hundreds of venders are not attending and many more are still contemplating the decision. Those venders choosing to stay, many small businesses, cannot take the loss in revenue that would be gained from sales.

Article Photos

Cabela's is one of the many key outdoor businesses that will boycott the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show.

Today's social media networks allow the people to voice their opinions faster and in a more predominate way than ever before. A Facebook page "Boycott the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show," was created on January 15th and a mere 9 days later on January 23rd over 15,000 people liked the page. This supersedes the Eastern Sports and Outdoors Shows Facebook likes by 7,000. It is not just Facebook "likes" they are loosing. Sportsmen across America are boycotting the show. And it is not just gun advocates, all sportsmen have united. For example Matthew Bows, a company that does not manufacture guns, released this statement, "Corporately, Mathews doesn't attend the show and of course will not be in attendance in 2013."

As a result of the decision the National Rifle Association (NRA) asked Reed Exhibition to reconsider their decision. With no forward progress the NRA had no choice but to withdraw from the show and stated, "We will not be participating in the upcoming show in Harrisburg or in any other shows hosted by Reed Exhibitions that maintain this policy. We are disappointed that Reed Exhibitions has ignored the concerns expressed by attendees, the outdoor industry and the NRA in not reconsidering their position to ban the display of Modern Sporting Rifles."

I am someone who lives and breathes the outdoor lifestyle and supports the 2nd amendment. Never before have I seen so many sportsmen join together within days to show their support. I do not believe Reed Exhibitions understood their decision would have this big of an economical impact on their show. In prior years this was one of the largest shows in the nation, this year it will certainly not be well attended.



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