Danny Gokey Gear Not Affiliated with Danny Gokey

UPDATE: Danny just tweeted this:

Many companies r claiming 2 partner w/ Sophia’s Heart (clothes, eyewear, ect).They r all SCAMS. We have not seen 1 penny nor been contacted

Last week I posted a story about the online eyewear company, FramesDirect.com selling eyeglasses on behalf of Danny Gokey Gear, with part of the proceeds going to Danny Gokey’s charity, Sophia’s Heart foundation.

Game of Thrones Episode 2: The Lost...
Game of Thrones Episode 2: The Lost Lords Review

One would think with the advert not only sporting Danny’s photo, but also the American Idol official logo, that it would somehow be affiliated with Danny Gokey.

Well, no.

The real deal became clearer over the weekend when curious fans contacted FramesDirect.com for more information and the company replied that they were partnered with a Danny Gokey FANSITE, NOT Danny Gokey himself.

Later,   Frames Direct updated their site, removing Danny’s photo and the AI Logo, and adding this disclaimer:

Please Note: This is not a direct partnership with Danny Gokey but instead we are providing FramesDirect.com customers with a selection of eyeglasses worn by Danny Gokey on American Idol. FramesDirect.com will donate 50% of our profits from any sales of products listed on this page between May 24th 2009 and July 21st 2009 to Sophia’s Heart Foundation.

Using Danny’s likeness and the AI logo to sell glasses without a formal affiliation? I’m surprised FramesDirect.com didn’t instantly get a Cease and Desist from 19.   Believe me, they harass peeps for far less.

MTV did some digging, contacting the fan who started Danny Gokey Gear, and basically could not get a concrete answer about how the funds will be distributed to Danny’s charity.

In fact, the fan claims he tried to make contact with Sophia’s Heart, but has yet to formally connect to the organization.   So, there’s no set plan in place to transfer funds to the organization.   Yet, they are promoting the venture with promises to donate a percentage of proceeds to the charity.

Fishy!   Danny, or somebody at 19 needs to step in….

About mj santilli 33696 Articles
Founder and editor of mjsbigblog.com, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!

38 Comments

  1. So basically it is a scam. That seemed to be the case, nice to have confirmation.

  2. Wow, that’s pretty bold of framesdirect.com. I’m betting only Disney protects it’s brand more aggressively than AI.

  3. Oh boy. So this may be a repeat of the Jason Castro gift card situation? Yikes.

  4. From that MTV article:

    Danny Gokey fans are no doubt aware that the “American Idol” contestant has drawn strength from the passing of his wife, Sophia. . .

    What an odd way to put it. I’m sure he would be stronger with her at his side. Rewrite!

  5. Please Note: This is not a direct partnership with Danny Gokey but instead we are providing FramesDirect.com customers with a selection of eyeglasses worn by Danny Gokey on American Idol. FramesDirect.com will donate 50% of our profits from any sales of products listed on this page between May 24th 2009 and July 21st 2009 to Sophiaà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Heart Foundation.

    I’m confused. This disclaimer says they will donate 50% of profits, when the previous advertising said 10%. I guess they’re just upping the donations for this limited period of time?

  6. Does FramesDirect.com not have any lawyers working for them? How could they possibly think they could use Danny’s likeness in this commercial endeavor without his consent?

  7. This is what I thought was going on from the time the story posted. I’m really surprised that AI hasn’t done anything yet. I hope they hurry up and pull the rug out from under Frames Direct. I can’t believe they would try to glom on to Danny and take advantage of his story just to generate sales. Bad taste….

  8. The audacity of Frames Direct is appalling. There should be lawsuits. Even if they give 100% of the sales to Danny’s foundation would not make it right.

  9. Wow, I am so surprised that they haven’t been slapped with some sort of ceast and desist. If MTV and fans have scoped this out already, somebody is really dropping the ball. While I’ve had some fun messing with Danny and his backstory, it’s not funny to use him, and his departed spouse this way.
    Sick if you ask me.

  10. I’m still interested to see some proof that his foundation is actually doing something. Apparently it has employees that need to be paid. How much money is coming in and where does it go?

  11. I am feeling bad for Danny. This is just too wrong. Beyond using someone’s image illegally.

  12. I think that MJ’s thread (and maybe others) highlighting this last week got some buzz going. (MJ’s seems to be a force to reckon with since I see this blog quoted or referred to all the time). Fans talking about it probably helped get it back to Danny and TPTB.

    MJ, if I’m out of line here….please delete. But I’m really glad this has been brought to some people’s attention. Stuff like this just irritates me no end!

  13. I didn’t respond to the initial posting, but the whole thing looked bogus to me. For starters, the graphics were just bad. I couldn’t imagine AI or Fremantle approved it. The ‘DannyGokeyGear’ company name also shocked me. How was Danny getting around his contract with AI? (Note: I am NOT accusing Danny of anything here. These were my initial thoughts and why I thought it was fake.)

    If there had been any credence to it at all, Danny and AI would have had a press release about it.

    I hope they all get their asses sued off. I never felt very comfortable that ‘Sophia’s Heart’ was a true charity or non-profit. But for lowlifes to capitalize on someone’s name, image, current celebrity status, and make false claims for profit is beyond reprehensible.

    As for the guy interviewed by MTV, with fans like that, who needs enemies?

  14. I wonder how many they sold? Frames are really expensive for those of you that don’t wear glasses. And I have insurance.
    I can barely afford to buy mine and my husbands without ordering a pair on line.

  15. I don’t think 19E will do anything more than a takedown of the AI logo. I am not sure they want to sign Danny so their interest only extends through the tour therefore no Danny reputation to protect. The foundation will have to do the protecting of its name by itself. If the foundation hasn’t been fully established and funded (with a lawyer on retainer), there probably isn’t anything Gokey can do at the moment. I could be wrong.

  16. There’s always a dirtbag or two in every fanbase looking to make a buck by whatever means necessary. The Danny Gokey Gear site is not different. History has shown that if a site not affiliated with an Idol contestant is trying to make money off of that contestant, it’s a scam.

    Also, if you’re ont he fansites, and one of the other fans wants to sell you some fan gear. Don’t buy it. Those things never end well. Odds are, you’ll be ripped off. Don’t send strangers on the internet your money. Especially if they’re trying to organize a very expensive, alleged group gift for the Idol.

  17. I never felt very comfortable that à ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã‹Sophiaà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Heartà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢ was a true charity or non-profit.

    I don’t know. I figure the fact that the local athlete/celebrity who donated $200,000 to the foundation probably did some thorough checking out. At least I would before I would donate that kind of money.

    I think Danny’s heart is in the right place with the foundation. But I can’t imagine that it would not be overwhelming to try to do all of this right now. I hope he has good people working for him.

    Anyway, I had caught wind of the whole fansite hookup with framesdirect a few days back, and I figured something had to be off with the AI logo on that add. The fact that Danny says that the foundation hasn’t received a penny is disturbing. I really hope that someone sues the crap out of these people.

  18. I don’t think 19E will do anything more than a takedown of the AI logo. I am not sure they want to sign Danny so their interest only extends through the tour therefore no Danny reputation to protect.

    Except that they own Danny’s butt until August, and 19 is notoriously controlling of their property.

  19. This whole thing is craziness. I don’t doubt Danny’s foundation. But I think he’s just getting started and really doesn’t know how to handle this whole thing. (Hasn’t it been less than a year ago since his wife died??) Danny needs legal counsel and people experienced in non-profits. Good luck Danny. Your cause is admirable. (Your wife was very pretty and I’m sure a lovely person too.)

    And I’m wondering about all the folks that slammed Danny on MJ’s other post about this whole issue. Many were ready to jump all over Danny about Danny Gokey Gear and his monetary contribution(when it had nothing to do with him.)

    Lot’s of people keep posting that Kradam is a wonderful role model for tolerance of a certain kind. Maybe Danny can be another kind of role model for a kind (and regular guy) person trying to do his best.

  20. Yikes… I tried to edit myself but too late. I questioned other people’s motives. :(

  21. I donà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t doubt Dannyà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s foundation. But I think heà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s just getting started and really doesnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t know how to handle this whole thing. (Hasnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t it been less than a year ago since his wife died??) Danny needs legal counsel and people experienced in non-profits. Good luck Danny. Your cause is admirable. (Your wife was very pretty and Ià ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢m sure a lovely person too.)

    Yeah, I agree. I just worry about trying to do so much, especially at a time when he has so much going on. I know he can’t possibly be intimately involved because, well, at the moment it’s just not possible.

    I think it is admirable that he wanted to start the foundation in his wife’s name, to “carry on her legacy on earth.” She (as well as Danny) was intimately involved in volunteer work to help children from disadvantaged backgrounds. He has a good goal. But I must say, I wouldn’t know where to start with something like this….so hopefully he is getting some good advice and help.

    I understand the motivation for wanting to have a legacy for your deceased loved one. I wish him the best in this endeavor.

  22. “I understand the motivation for wanting to have a legacy for your deceased loved one. I wish him the best in this endeavor.”

    Me too. Also I would have no idea where to begin if I were in his shoes. I give him kudos for trying. And I think he is sincere.

  23. I am gob smacked. Truly, flat on my ass gob smacked. Donà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t they care about getting sued? Or have they set up their corporation so as to render them immune from any legal wrangling? Ià ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢d always wondered about fan sites selling tee shirts, etc. I helped set up a site for SYTYCD performer Mark Kanemura last year. All merchandise profits (after expenses) went to his dance studio (a not-for-profit enterprise). We took care to set it all up ahead of time (get permission, arrange for Pay Pal). I cannot imagine doing something like that as a gyp. Talk about brass balls! I hope they get shut down pronto.

  24. Poor Danny. I hope this doesn’t taint his foundation too much. I’m glad he had this athlete is supporting him. What a bummer coming back from something like that presentation and then finding out this is happening. He sure is learning a lot about the hard-knock life this year. I hope the best for him.

    msdog Jun 15th, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    I wonder how many they sold? Frames are really expensive for those of you that donà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t wear glasses. And I have insurance.
    I can barely afford to buy mine and my husbands without ordering a pair on line.

    I know that Clark Howard recommends ordering (and orders for himself) from some company online for great deals on eyeglasses, but I have no idea what it’s called. Hopefully it’s not this company, probably not.

  25. “FramesDirect” is just getting on the bandwagon of abusing Danny and his (very sad, actually) story for its own benefit. Some do it for laughs, some for profit.

  26. Ià ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢m really surprised that AI hasnà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t done anything yet.

    Considering the speed with which they remove Toobes you’d think they’d have been right on top of that logo situation.

  27. LOL!!!!

    You all are ridiculous!

    Why would FramesDirect get sued? They are just selling glasses WORN by Danny Gokey.

    What is the difference between selling people glasses that they have seen Paris Hilton wearing or Danny Gokey wearing. Give me a break.

    Fans want to know what glasses Danny is wearing (demand). FramesDirect offers people the service to buy the glasses Danny is wearing (supply). It’s economics 101. Would you like everyone to stop selling retail products all together?

    True or False everyone on this blog dreams about Danny Gokey every night before they go to sleep?

  28. Why would FramesDirect get sued? They are just selling glasses WORN by Danny Gokey.

    Well, I think the biggest deal is that they claim to be giving a cut of the profits to the foundation that Danny set up in his wife’s name, Sofia’s Heart Foundation. Danny says that they haven’t been contacted at all about this, and they haven’t received a penny.

    Also, they used Danny’s likeness with the AI logo. I’m no lawyer, but I can see how that is not legit.

  29. Well, I think the biggest deal is that they claim to be giving a cut of the profits to the foundation that Danny set up in his wifeà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s name, Sofiaà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s Heart Foundation. Danny says that they havenà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t been contacted at all about this, and they havenà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢t received a penny.

    Also, they used Dannyà ¢Ã¢â€š ¬Ã¢â€ž ¢s likeness with the AI logo

    That’s it.

    I think that if they get in trouble this will be why. The Gokey Gear website has been selling Danny clothes all season long. I believe that they were operating like Cafe Press does. Cafe Press is another website, that sells clothes representing the different idols to fans. Stuff like T-shirts that say “I love so and so” “So and So” is my idol, etc… For example they were selling Anoop gear this season. I think that doing something like that is probably okay.

    But selling the eyeglasses using Danny’s image and the AI logo and saying that they are giving money to Danny’s foundation but not doing that, and them not telling him about that or contacting him about it, could hurt them.

    I think that like someone mentioned upthread, some of the fans probably had good intentions, but they went about things wrong. The Gokey Gear website shouldn’t have partnered with Frames Direct, without Danny or Idol knowing about it.

  30. Right, Jx. The ad looked like Danny was involved or had endorsed this company. Selling something that features an Idol’s name or a piece of clothing or eyewear like something the person wore is one thing; making it look like the person is behind the promotion is not. Neither is featuring the AI logo, making it look like AI’s production company has OK’d the product and sales effort. The supposed link to the charity, in the absence of any real connection there, makes it even worse because it plays on people’s desire to contribute to a worthwhile cause.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.