Athletes today are not only known for their moment of fame on the big screen during game day, but also, for their many appearances endorsing popular products, brands, and, restaurants. Subway is a restaurant chain not only known for their popular array of sandwiches, but, also for the many athletic spokespeople that work to promote their healthy food options. Surpassing McDonald’s in number of worldwide restaurants, Subway is most definitely a force to be reckoned with in the fast food industry.
Being so high on the fast food chain, a restaurant of such magnitude wants only the best to represent their brand. This is why Subway has chosen to use well-known athletes as celebrity endorsements. They have been quick to snag star athletes from a plethora of sports and now appear to be greatly reaping the benefits of their decisions, but, why? How do these athletes help encourage everyday consumers to eat Subway? Easy!
Subway prides themselves on being able to partner with big name athletes such as Nastia Liukin, Michael Phelps, Robert Griffin III and Apolo Ohno, but, they did not pick these celebrities at random. According to Tony Pace, SVP and global CMO of Subway “We choose fans of Subway who just happen to be famous.”
One of Subway’s newest marketing campaigns utilizes their celebrity endorsements by asking them the simple question; what’s your favorite Subway sandwich? Each athletes answer can be found on the Subway website under the “Famous Fans” tab.
The page includes a brief description of each of their fourteen supporters alongside the name of their favorite sandwich. Subway’s slogan is, “Subway, the official training restaurant of athletes everywhere.” This goes hand in hand with their promotion of healthy eating and low-calorie sandwich options. Yet still, many want to know why just the sight of their website or viewing of a thirty-second commercial clip makes us want to eat Subway.
It has to do with the attribution theory, studied in many communication and psychology classes. Viewers of Subway commercials see famous celebrity athletes supporting Subway and attribute their success to Subway and its healthy sandwich options. One of Subway’s newest commercials features the famous Washington Redskin’s quarterback, Robert Griffin III, better known as RG3. Throughout the commercial the narrator makes Comments such as, “RG3 trains hard and smart with low-fat protein-rich turkey breast” and “RG3 always scores with his fav, Subway turkey breast with spinach and tomatoes.” This creates an automatic correlation in the mind of consumers between the success of Robert Griffin III and his decision to eat at Subway.
As we continue to see RG3 and other athletes on Subway commercials, and hear about all of their many accomplishments, we will most likely continue to choose Subway as a top fast food restaurant. I mean, who else wants to eat at the same restaurant as Jarvis Jones, Mike Trout, and Carl Edwards? We do! This healthy promotion is one that has everyone giving Subway two thumbs up and a stamp of approval.
-Caitlin Ford, Kaitlin Bateson, Parker Farfour, Alex Corrigan