Subway reportedly considering F1 sponsorship


14 April 2014 by TF1T Staff

American sandwich chain Subway is reportedly considering a wide-ranging Formula 1 sponsorship package to push its presence in Europe and Asia.

The company, which has annual revenues of £10 billion ($18bn), is hoping to double the number of stores it has in the United Kingdom and Ireland by 2020, as well as expanding in other regions.

Zak Brown, chief executive of marketing company JMI, which handles Subway's motorsport sponsorship in NASCAR, believes F1 would be the "perfect fit" to do just that for the company.

"I took the Subway chief marketing officer to meet Bernie in Montreal last year, and I would say they have been exploring it for a year," Brown told the Daily Telegraph.

"They are all about the consumer, they are massive media buyers so they would look at a sport and see if it stacks up from a media point of view and Formula 1 does."

Brown believes Subway would follow a similar model for F1 that it does for NASCAR, by sponsoring a race, a team and more than one driver - a different approach to most sponsors.

"It is not rocket science but people just haven't done it," he explained. "If you look at their NASCAR strategy, they sponsor a team, an event and a driver but they use the driver as the centrepiece so I can see Subway being a global partner of F1 as well as sponsoring four to six drivers in different teams and using them collectively.

"So you could imagine, and it would be quite ground-breaking for F1, a clever advertisement of Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel going into a Subway and racing to get there. When was the last time you saw Alonso, Vettel and Lewis Hamilton in a television commercial? It has never been done."

With the expansion of F1 in America, following the success of the race in Texas, the possible additions of New Jersey and Long Beach, plus a new American team in Haas Formula, it's expected that more US sponsors will look to F1 as Coca-Cola has with its Burn/Lotus deal.