Businesses attempt to walk away from Trump’s business after invasion of Congress – 1/13/2021 – Worldwide

In four days, the family business of President Donald Trump lost its online store, the box of promotional tweets about its luxury hotels and the right to boast of hosting one of the most prestigious golf tournaments in the world .

The attack by the mob of Trump supporters on Congress last week sparked an account with the Trump organization by businesses and institutions, on a much larger scale than their previous acts of polarization.

And the Trump brand, based on gold-plated luxury and a very affluent clientele, may not fully recover from the consequences of its supporters having violently invaded and vandalized the United States Capitol, according to hotel analysts and those close to the industry.

Other companies linked to Trump, including Deutsche Bank, the president’s biggest creditor, and Signature Bank, are also looking to distance themselves from him and his company.

The reaction is part of a greater rejection of Trump and his allies after the attack on Capitol Hill. Schools have withdrawn the president’s honorary degrees, some prominent Republicans have threatened to quit the party, and the New York State Bar Association has opened an investigation into Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph Giuliani, this which could lead to its withdrawal from the entity.

While Democratic lawmakers on Monday presented an impeachment article, more than a dozen major corporations have pledged to withhold some political donations. Coca-Cola has said it will suspend donations from its political action committee, saying in a statement that “these events will be remembered for a long time and will affect our future contribution decisions.”

The giant hotel chain Marriott has said it will suspend donations from its political action committee “for those who voted against the certification of the election,” referring to Republican congressmen who joined in the false allegations of Trump’s election fraud. Morgan Stanley and AT&T have said they will also cancel contributions to those lawmakers.

The Trump Organization was already facing considerable financial problems. Many of its golf and hospitality properties have lost money, and the pandemic has forced it to shut down some restaurants and bars and drastically reduce hotel occupancy rates, including one a few blocks from the White House.

And, with more than US $ 300 million (roughly R $ 1.5 billion) in debt in the coming years, with a personal guarantee from the president, there is some urgency for the company to tackle debt. new business.

While this series of challenges would spell a curse for just about any hotel brand, executives at the Trump Organization have said they intend to capitalize on Trump’s global fame with branded deals at the hotel. ‘foreign.

“There has never been a politician with more support or energy behind him than my father,” the president’s eldest son Eric Trump said in a statement on Monday, who helps run family businesses. The family is also planning to open a media channel to serve the tens of millions of Trump’s followers, an effort that gained some urgency last week when Twitter and Facebook banned the president from their platforms.

“The incredible opportunities in real estate and other fields will not be lacking,” said Eric Trump.

Prior to being president, Trump had covered many industries, including casinos, an airline, and reality shows. Some businesses have had huge success, while others have been colossal failures. But they have revealed their ability to camouflage their assets and capitalize on opportunities, even when their name seems hopelessly tarnished.

This time the challenges are more pronounced. The effects began on Thursday, when e-commerce provider Shopify said it had closed online stores affiliated with the president.

The biggest blow came on Sunday (10), when the PGA of America announced it would remove Trump’s golf club in New Jersey from a major tournament. Trump was reportedly “torn” by the PGA’s decision, according to a person close to the White House, as he has personally worked for years to get tournament leaders to host events in their fields.

In a statement suggesting a possible lawsuit, the Trump organization called the decision a “breach of contract in effect”, adding that “they have no right to terminate the agreement.”

The PGA Championship, slated for May 2022, would be golf’s largest trophy in the world for the Trump brand, which over the past two decades has assembled an international collection of golf courses and resorts that collectively represent around one-third of the company’s income. , according to its latest financial report.

The tournament itself is not a major source of profit, but the organization of an internationally recognized event has enormous marketing value. It would also have given more legitimacy to Trump and his brand, which includes 16 golf clubs around the world.

“It was clear that holding the PGA Championship at Trump Bedminster would be detrimental to the PGA of America brand,” Jim Richerson, president of the institution, said in a video statement.

The damage is expected to continue as several businesses and industries reassess their relationships with Trump and the family business. Trump hotels had previously missed many important conferences after making negative comments about Muslims and Mexicans, among others, during his first presidential campaign, and comments after a deadly rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va. 2017, suggesting that “the fault is on both sides”.

But the consequences of the Capitol attacks will be more pronounced and lasting, according to analysts and people familiar with the company. Some members of the president’s golf clubs are reassessing whether they will remain members due to possible protests and vandalism, one person said.

For David Sangree, a hospitality consultant in Ohio, Trump’s role in the attack will further undermine the firm’s efforts to attract wealthy clients who are not Trump’s political supporters.

“It’s a very negative factor,” Sangree said. “There is no doubt that they will miss more events, as many bands say, ‘We don’t want to be associated with this brand.’

This was made even clearer on Monday night, when New England Patriots football coach Bill Belichick said he would refuse the Presidential Medal of Freedom due to “the tragic events of the past week. “. The president intended to present the prize to Belichick on Thursday (14).

Even plans to launch a Trump media platform will run into obstacles. If Trump is attempting to forge a new conservative news network or join an existing one, like OAN or Newsmax, there is no guarantee that corporate advertisers will back him up.

“The guy at My Pillow can only subsidize to a certain extent,” said Jon Klein, former CNN chairman, referring to Mike Lindell, the chief executive who is a strong supporter of the chairman. “It’s suddenly a much more difficult proposition than a week ago for OAN and Newsmax.”

Instead, Trump could find more success by generating a newsletter – with a link to a streaming channel – for millions of paying subscribers, said Klein, president of TAPP Media, a subscription-based streaming service. . “It ignited the passions of his tribe, and the subscription services are all about tribalism.”

After Twitter permanently suspended the president’s account, he suggested he could set up his own media platform, but that would likely present huge logistical and legal challenges. And anything he wants to create may require significant resources and perhaps loans, which may be scarce in major sources.

Deutsche Bank, Trump’s largest creditor for two decades, has decided not to do business with Trump or his company in the future, according to a person familiar with the bank’s policies. Trump owes Deutsche Bank more than $ 300 million (roughly $ 1.5 billion), which is expected to expire in the coming years.

The bank has concluded that unless it cancels the debt, there is no way to get rid of the relationship with Trump until the loans are due.

Another former Trump financial partner, Signature Bank, is also severing ties. The bank – which helped Trump fund his golf club in Florida and of which Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, was once a board member – issued a statement asking Trump to step down as president “in the best interests of our nation and the people. American “.

Susan Turkell, a spokeswoman for the bank, said Signature had decided “she will not do business in the future with any member of Congress who has voted to ignore the Electoral College.”

Turkell said that following the riots, the bank began shutting down Trump’s two personal accounts, which had around $ 5.3 million (around $ 28 million). At the end of his presidency, Trump returns to a very different company from the one he ran when he took office.

Several hotels bearing his name have been removed from the portfolio, including in New York, Panama and Toronto. Plans for two new lines of low-cost hotels, a priority so far, have been put on hold indefinitely. And a wave of branding that has led Trump to endorse a range of products, from meat to mattresses, has lost momentum.

The company is also facing a criminal investigation by the New York Department of Justice, which is examining whether the president and his company have committed financial or tax crimes in recent years.

However, leaving the White House means Trump will no longer face ethical restrictions such as international trade bans, potentially opening up new financial possibilities.

The company may seek new deals in places where company executives believe Trump remains popular, such as Brazil, Argentina, Israel, Saudi Arabia and India. Trump could also enter the speaking circuit, receiving a huge fee per event, according to a company executive.

In Miami at the Trump National Doral, the bar was very lively at Friday happy hour, as well as the clubhouse exclusively for members, with patrons talking about golf and business, hardly any of them. not wearing a mask. Marion McCarthy and her husband Donald had a drink there – they’ve been partners for decades. Dozens of other guests arrived at the resort for the US Am Tour, which drew more than 100 players, according to a bulletin which added: “Doral Amateur is SOLD OUT !!!”

“We are seeing an overreaction,” said Donald McCarthy. “When he leaves office, I think he could come here to play golf.”

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