All is right again in the world of one of the public’s most popular sub sandwich spots. After the whole yoga mat bread ordeal blew over, Subway has vowed to remove the spongy substance from their breads and we’ve all gone back to enjoying their seemingly perfectly crafted sub sandwiches. Now Subway has announced they are looking to expand their U.S. locations by 8,000 restaurants taking the total number to 34,600 nationwide. The exhausting list of “Eat Fresh” eateries around the world amounts to 41,802 Subway restaurants in 106 countries, but here’s where it gets interesting. Subway’s longstanding history of utilizing some of the most popular figures in the world of sports have them in perfect position to line up future stars to aid in the launch of their new restaurant locations. We’re going to take you through the list of Subway’s roster of sports spokespeople and provide some insight on who might be a good fit for their own makeshift expansion draft in the coming years.
Who’s Hot: These next few athletes are some of Subway’s best marketing spokespeople right now but for different reasons. NBA All-Star Blake Griffin’s ad is airing just in time as the playoffs are gearing up and the NBA’s media focus has shifted to the Blake and the Clips after their owner’s recent unfortunate remarks. Russell Westbrook has also moved to the forefront of marketing materials for Subway as his Oklahoma City Thunder are hungry for a ring this year and Russell has solidified himself as one of the league’s best point guards. Up and coming MLB phenom Mike Trout and NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III have brought a young, spritely presence to the Subway marketing table and the restaurant’s recent signing of the world renowned soccer player Pele speaks for itself with the World Cup now upon us. The public has become accustomed to seeing America’s most decorated Olympian Michael Phelps in marketing campaigns for the brand and it’s almost as if he has become the staple athlete for the brand. One of their most influential spokespeople remains to be Eric LeGrand, the courageous Rutgers football player who was paralyzed during play and signed on with Subway in 2012.
Veterans: Now Subway also has some veteran spokespeople in their lineup that continue to drive successful marketing campaigns. Obviously Phelps would fall into this category as well although his role as the cornerstone will always make him a familiar face in commercials and print advertisements. Subway capitalized on the success of 2 other Olympians Nastia Liukin and Apolo Anton Ohno whose personalities might just shine brighter than the Gold Medals they racked up at the Olympics. Other veterans include Laila Ali, Michael Strahan, Carl Edwards and Ryan Howard who all represent different major sports and are role models outside of competition.
Honorable mentions: The honorable mentions candidates simply fall somewhere in between being one the brand’s most popular spokespeople and being considered a veteran of the campaign. Justin Tuck and CC Sabathia are a hit in New York and East Coast markets while NFL stars Ndamukong Suh and Mark Ingram have gotten their feet wet in the world of TV advertising with the sandwich chain. We can’t leave out the ESPN analyst duo of Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg who helped bridge the gap in popular culture between the sports shows guys love to watch and another one of guys’ favorite things: food.
Who’s Next: When hashing out the details for their upcoming restaurants and subsequent marketing campaigns, Subway should look no further than the athletes who are on their way to future superstardom. That said, the most popular up and coming athlete right now might be Johnny Manziel and landing someone of his clout would be right up Subway’s alley. Then there’s the likes of Paul George, Russell Wilson, and Sage Kotsenberg who would be well-received by the public. Or what if Subway took it to the golf course with Rory McIlroy or Bubba Watson? There are still untapped markets for the nation’s most popular sub sandwich restaurant and it will be exciting to see whose face pops up in their newest campaign.
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