Carrie Rengers

Vornado Air capitalizes on ‘fangate’ following Florida gubernatorial debate

This video frame grab shows a fan at the bottom of the lectern near Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist in Davie, Fla., on Wednesday. It’s generating some attention for Andover’s Vornado Air even though it may not actually be a Vornado fan.
This video frame grab shows a fan at the bottom of the lectern near Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist in Davie, Fla., on Wednesday. It’s generating some attention for Andover’s Vornado Air even though it may not actually be a Vornado fan. Associated Press

The last time one of its fans mixed with politics, Vornado Air let the opportunity go.

This time, the Andover company isn’t letting “fangate“ pass without capitalizing on it.

In a previous campaign season, Vornado learned that former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Democrat, likes its fans. He used one to cool himself during a debate.

“There was a little bit of traffic about how much Charlie loves his Vornadoes,” said Brian Cartwright, director of brand and design.

For a variety of reasons, Vornado didn’t respond to the media attention.

“We didn’t want to let that happen again,” Cartwright said.

Crist once again used a fan in a gubernatorial debate this week with Gov. Rick Scott, a Republican. Though Scott denies it, news reports say he was several minutes late to the Wednesday debate after refusing to take the stage due to outrage over Crist’s use of the fan.

Regardless of what happened, Vornado saw an opening.

“Since he got a little heated up by the fact that Mr. Crist had the fan, we wanted to be sure that cooler heads prevailed and Mr. Scott had the opportunity to experience Vorando fans as well,” Cartwright said.

The company boxed up one of its fans for Scott and tweeted him a picture of it “so he knew what was coming.”

“In hopes that cooler heads prevail amidst #fangate, we thought @FLGovScott might like to try a #vornado for himself,” the Twitter post said.

Cartwright said it’s Vornado’s way of leveling the playing field.

“We did just send another one – an act of bipartisanship – to Charlie Crist,” he said. “Mr. Crist is already a Vornado connoisseur, but we certainly didn’t want to leave anybody out.”

The Vornado fan Scott will receive is a Model 630D, which Cartwright calls “right-sized for under-podium usage.”

Cartwright can’t say what model Crist used on stage – or if it’s even a Vornado fan.

“It’s really funny,” he said. “In this particular instance, it may or may not be a Vornado.”

He said pictures from the debate are too fuzzy to tell.

“It just might be a Honeywell,” Cartwright said. “In a twist of fate, I guess Honeywell has done such a good job of knocking us off … I think the credit’s still going where it’s due.”

He’s not going to correct national media.

“We’re quite all right with that narrative staying where it’s at.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

  Comments