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Will These 8 Brands Also Distance Themselves From Pacquiao?

A look into the possible future of Manny's endorsement deals—and his personal billboard, his boxing shorts
by Mars Salazar | Feb 19, 2016
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Manny Pacquiao became headline fodder this week after his "masahol pa sa hayop" comment on same-sex marriage which caused the whole Internet to explode.

And like having millions of strangers bash you online for your beliefs isn’t enough, one of his biggest sponsors, Nike, has decided to drop him as endorser. "Nike strongly opposes discrimination of any kind and has a long history of supporting and standing up for the rights of the LGBT community," the company said in a statement. "We no longer have a relationship with Manny Pacquiao."

Soon, another company, Wonderful Pistachios, distanced itself from the Filipino boxing icon. "Wonderful Pistachios is not currently affiliated with Manny Pacquiao nor do his views align with ours," said the company. "Wonderful Pistachios stands firmly for diversity and equality, and we proudly support marriage equality and inclusion around the world."

With these recent developments, which brands do you think would follow suit? Here’s our fearless forecast!

Disclaimer: Though this list includes companies that are both currently and previously affiliated with Manny Pacquiao, it is not meant to exert undue influence on their contracts with him. We fully respect their business decisions, whether they maintain or terminate his endorsement deals.


Bench

The Pacquiao connection: This proudly Pinoy brand, led by business mogul Ben Chan, carries everything from hair and skincare products, to underwear, to comfy basics. The brand also has a diverse roster of endorsers, and they have perfumes inspired by both Manny and his wife Jinkee Pacquiao.

The LGBT connection: Bench is a vocal supporter of LGBT rights, and they even displayed a billboard of Preview Magazine creative director Vince Uy and his boyfriend Niño Gaddi on EDSA early last year. The said billboard caused a ruckus after Vince and Niño’s hands, which were seen clasped together, were painted over in black.

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Pull-out probablity: Not that high. After last year’s billboard commotion, the company has clearly cemented itself as an LGBT advocate. On the other hand, there’s always the possibility that they won’t want to severe their ties with the Pac-Man given their predominantly God-fearing Filipino market.


AirAsia

The Pacquiao connection: Southeast Asia’s top budget airline is paying big money just to have its logo plastered on Pacquiao’s trunks...and that’s just one logo out of at least five brands decorating his lower extremities. Imagine all the cash he’s raking in for his trunks alone. AirAsia also provided charter flights for the boxer's contingent (and you know the guy has dozens of hangers-on!).

The LGBT connection: Back in 2013, AirAsia sponsored the Sydney Mardi Gras celebration , marking the first time an Asian company became an official sponsor for a gay-related event.

Pull-out probability: Not that high. AirAsia might have sponsored an LGBT-related event, but the fact remains that the company’s based in Malaysia, which is an extremely conservative country when it comes to LGBT rights.


McDonald's

The Pacquiao connection: Manny is one of McDo’s more high-profile Pinoy endorsers, having made a handful of commercials for the fast food favorite in the past few years. The company even cheered him on during the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight via witty ads with the tagline "Beat the May Weather" in 2015.

The LGBT connection: McDonald’s’ Australian offices have openly declared its support for same-sex marriage, along with other big brands like Twitter, Telstra, and Airbnb.

Pull-out probability: High. As far as we know, McDo doesn’t have any Pac-Man ads at the moment, so they could ditch him quietly. Besides, they already have AlDub.


Foot Locker

The Pacquiao connection: The US sneaker haven came out with a hilarious commercial in 2014 that features an excited Pac-Man getting hyped up after hearing that his fight with Floyd Mayweather will finally push through. Talk about self-fulfilling prophecies.

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The LGBT connection: Foot Locker was involved in a discrimination case back in 2002, when a gay employee was harassed by his co-workers due to his sexual orientation. The issue was solved with a settlement, and the company has apparently taken steps to ensure that their employees will be shining examples of LGBT equality.

Pull-out probability: High. Foot Locker has yet to respond to requests for comment on Manny’s new debacle, but they’re a US company, and the folks over there are quite sensitive about LGBT matters. Besides, Nike is one of the brands they’re carrying, so it’s so easy for them to follow suit.

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Alaxan

The Pacquiao connection: Manny’s actually the perfect endorser for Alaxan. The dude gets pummeled on a regular basis, which makes him a pretty convincing spokesman for a muscle pain reliever.

The LGBT connection: None that we know of. This painkiller brand’s pretty low-profile when it comes to matters like this.

Pull-out probability: Slim. His commercials might lie low for a while, but we bet most Alaxan users don’t even care about its endorser’s controversies as long as it can remove their muscle pain.


Xtreme Magic Sing

The Pacquiao connection: Xtreme Magic Sing’s another perfect brand for Manny Pacquiao to advertise given his penchant for singing. In fact, he even recorded a jingle titled "Champion sa Kantahan" for the brand.

The LGBT connection: It’s called Magic Sing, and weeeell...there’s a movie called Magic Mike? (Yeah, we’re really stretching it here.)

Pull-out probability: Slim. People who bought the mic due to Manny’s endorsement most likely know what they’re getting into. Besides, there’s nothing a good old karaoke session can’t fix!


EastWest Bank

The Pacquiao connection: Manny signed an endorsement deal with EastWest Bank back in 2015 in preparation for his bout with Mayweather. As far as we know, their partnership is still going strong, and Manny’s face is still on the bank’s ads.

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The LGBT connection: Nothing, as far as we know. We can’t dig up anything scandalous involving the bank. We’ve only heard one complaint about them so far, and it’s about their sparse branches.

Pull-out probability: Not that high. Whether you like it or not, Manny’s still one of the most loaded folks out there. The fact that a millionaire like him entrusted his wealth to this bank speaks volumes about the company’s capabilities. When his net worth starts dropping (which could be a long-term effect of this issue), that’s when it could get tricky. 


Pizza Hut

The Pacquiao connection: It seems that even the boxing great isn’t immune to the lure of good pizza, having signed on as the brand's endorser in 2014. You can still see his standees in some branches nationwide.

The LGBT connection: We found a few reports about Pizza Hut branches abroad being discriminatory towards our LGBT friends, but there are not a lot of them, and certainly no concerns about the local franchise.

Pull-out probability: Not that high. They probably won’t pull out Manny’s standees in one go, but there's always the risk of them not renewing his contract given this scandal for PR reasons.

 

Images via Zalora.com.ph, Wikimediacommons.org, Tahonews.com
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