Representatives of the popular Cajun food products company, Slap Ya Mama, have been informed by Cox Sports Television (CST) that the NFL will no longer allow the Slap Ya Mama Red Zone in the Saints’ final preseason game because of concerns about the Slap Ya Mama name.
On Tuesday, August 19th, Marc Leunissen, Director of Sales, Cox Media Louisiana sent an email to the advertising representative for Walker & Sons, Inc., Slap Ya Mama Cajun Products, stating, “In light of the domestic violence issues facing the NFL, they have instructed CST pull the Slap Ya Mama logo from our enhancements in the last game, Thursday, August 28…”. It is Walker & Sons, Inc. understanding that Cox Media Louisiana received this communication from the NFL on Monday, August 18th.
The NFL league office followed up with a memo to all NFL teams on Thursday, August 21st announcing that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “has determined that no virtual sineage will be permitted to appear on the playing field or its environs in any NFL game telecasts effective immediately and for the remainder of this preseason…”
The memo cited three concerns as the basis for the ruling, including “Certain advertisers and brands are not consistent with League standards and messaging.”
“We’ve been doing this for three years with no complaints. People who know our brand ‘get it’ but all of a sudden, after three years, the NFL doesn’t. We are really shaking our heads over this one! We’re fun loving and enjoy great tasting food. We also love football, especially Saints football! Maybe they just don’t understand our culture. What a shame!” says Jack D. Walker, Vice President of Marketing, Walker & Sons, Inc.
Walker says “Slap Ya Mama” “refers to a loving slap on the back and a kiss on the cheek to your mama as a thank you for preparing another great tasting dish.”
Slap Ya Mama Cajun Products is owned by Jennifer Walker of Ville Platte, Louisiana and managed by her sons, Jack and Joe. Their father, Anthony “T.W.” Walker developed the seasoning. Jack recalls how the name came to be:
“After much discussion with family and friends, one name stuck with us, ‘Slap Ya Mama’. We were skeptical but then our mother, Jennifer, said, ‘No, it has to be Slap Ya Mama. It’s too good of a name and it really represents our food and culture,’” says Walker.
Walker says the NFL’s decision hurts them because the Slap Ya Mama Red Zone promotion is the company’s biggest advertising commitment of the year, and feedback from customers indicates it is very popular. The company’s Facebook page has more than 100,000 fans from all over the world.
“Our fans are fanatics and big advocates of Louisiana food culture. Our Facebook page is active, with people sharing food ideas, recommending products to friends, and using it as a place to celebrate and share the incredible food culture we have here in Louisiana”, Walker says.