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Press Releases

YETI Coolers Celebrates National Barbecue Month

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Ambassadors, Events, and Partnerships Highlight Brand’s Commitment to BBQ Market

Austin, Texas (May 29, 2015) — National Barbecue Month may be coming to a close but YETI Coolers, the brand that created and leads the premium cooler category, continues to turn up the heat.

The month of May kicked off with a one-two punch as YETI ambassador Tuffy Stone took home this year’s Grand Champion title at the 3rd annual Kingsford Invitational, while renowned Texas pitmaster and YETI ambassador Aaron Franklin, of Franklin Barbecue, won a James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southwest.

Stone and his Virginia-based team Cool Smoke bested five of the country’s top barbecue teams competing for a $50,000 grand prize and the ultimate in BBQ bragging rights. Franklin followed in style by becoming the first ever pitmaster recognized in any “best chef” category to win one of the most prestigious awards in the culinary industry, the Beard Foundation honor, which many consider the Oscars of the food world.

From there YETI rocked the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, long considered America’s most prestigious barbecue cooking contest. Ambassadors Brad Orrison and Brooke Lewis of The Shed BBQ in Ocean Springs, Mississippi took home the coveted Grand Champion title and 1st place in the Whole Hog competition, while ambassador and ten-time world barbecue champion Chris Lilly with Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q out of Decatur, Alabama netted 1st place in the Shoulder category.

YETI is also pleased to announce that they have joined forces with the Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) as their exclusive cooler and drinkware partner. KCBS is the world’s largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts with nearly five hundred sanctioned barbecue contests worldwide annually.

“We’re excited to expand our reach and commitment into the barbecue community,” explains LeighAnn Bakunas, YETI BBQ + Beer marketing manager. “YETI products from coolers to drinkware are a natural fit with barbecue and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be associated with the passion, pride, and people in the ever growing world of barbecue.”

The fun rolls into June, as YETI will sponsor the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party next month in New York City, where ambassadors Billy Durney, Samuel Jones, Brad Orrison, and Chris Lilly will bring their signature barbecue styles to the 13th annual celebration. Attendees can also catch the YETI Rambler Roadhouse trailer, a rolling exhibition that showcases the spirit of the brand while giving consumers the opportunity to check out the latest and greatest YETI products.

The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party will be held June 13 & 14 in Madison Square Park. For those unable to attend these events there is still ample opportunity to get their fill of barbecue this summer through a variety of programming including Barbecue with Franklin and BBQ Pit Wars.

For information, inspiration, and ideas around YETI BBQ ambassadors please visit


About YETI Coolers
YETI Coolers builds indestructible products that keep ice for days. Founded in Austin, Texas in 2006 by sportsmen Roy and Ryan Seiders, YETI created and leads the premium cooler category, and has successfully expanded into premium drinkware, soft coolers, and branded apparel. Professional hunters, anglers, outdoor adventurers, and BBQ pitmasters trust YETI to stand up to the world’s harshest conditions. For more on the company and its full line of products and accessories, visit