SBJ/December 10-16, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Subway ad pushes Edwards beyond NASCAR

Carl Edwards has been one of Subway’s famous fans for five years, but next year will be the first time he has had a general market spot with the sandwich chain.

Carl Edwards has touted Subway for five years.
SCOTT CLARKE / SUBWAY
Edwards last week filmed a spot for Subway’s “I Got It Made” campaign. The spot shows Edwards ordering his favorite — chicken teriyaki sandwich on wheat bread with spinach — interspersed with other people ordering their favorite sandwiches. Subway developed similar spots with Apolo Anton Ohno and Michael Strahan ahead of the Olympics. It plans to air one with Osi Umenyiora and Ryan Howard soon.

The Edwards spot will begin airing in February prior to the Daytona 500. It will air as part of Subway’s general media buys across prime time and sports programming such as the NFL.

Subway chief marketer Tony Pace said the company wasn’t worried about non-NASCAR fans recognizing Edwards.

“We think all of our famous fans resonate outside of the sport they participate in,” Pace said. “Even if people don’t know who Carl is, they might say, ‘Who is that?’ and go learn something about him.”

The “I Got It Made” spot was filmed at a Subway in Matthews, N.C. In addition to shooting that ad, the restaurant shot a new spot with Fox Sports personality Jay Glazer. The spot shows Glazer trying Edwards’ celebratory backflip off a stock car. Glazer injures himself and struggles to eat with Edwards at Subway later in the day.

It’s similar to the spot that ran two years ago featuring Glazer trying to keep up with Edwards on a bike. Glazer plays the stooge; Edwards plays the star athlete.

Pace said that Subway will expand its positioning as the “Official Training Restaurant” of athletes by putting “Official Training Restaurant” on the back of the firesuits of Edwards’ No. 99 pit crew team next season. The words will be stitched beneath the Subway logo during six Sprint Cup races.

“It’s a great way to take that idea to NASCAR,” said Paul Bamundo, Subway’s director of sports marketing.

Pace declined to discuss a recent report that Subway was in talks to add Dale Earnhardt Jr. to its roster of famous fans. He said the company is interested in “true fans” of its restaurants.

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