Subway jilts Tony Stewart

August 21, 2008
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tonyNASCAR driver Tony Stewart is having a pretty bad week. During the same week Stewart was docked 150 points for his team’s efforts to mask his car’s true horsepower at a recent Nationwide Series race, Stewart also lost a key sponsor.

Officials for Subway restaurants this week announced that they are ditching Stewart for fellow NASCAR driver Carl Edwards.

Subway officials denied that Stewart’s expanding waistline had anything to do with the decision. They did however say that Edwards’ focus on healthy living and eating was a big part of the decision. Sports marketers said Edwards, called the “fittest man in NASCAR” last year by Men’s Fitness magazine, is more compatible with Subway’s health-conscious message.

Subway’s departure comes as Stewart is leaving Joe Gibbs Racing to start Stewart Haas Racing and drive the No. 14 Chevrolet sponsored by Office Depot. Stewart Haas will field two cars next year, the No. 14 and No. 4, and sources say Stewart has been negotiating with Burger King for the No. 4 car, which will be driven by Ryan Newman. NASCAR sources said Subway officials were irked at Stewart's talks with Burger King, which would create a category sponsorship conflict within the team.

Subway is expected to be primary sponsor for Edwards’ No. 99 Ford in three Sprint Cup races next year and sign him to a personal-services agreement to use him in its advertising. The three-race primary sponsorship will run Subway about $2.25 million. Subway is expected to be an associate sponsor the remainder of the year. Terms on the personal services agreement were estimated at a high six-figure to low seven-figure annual sum.
  • Anthony, the points were docked on him in the Nationwide Series, not the Sprint Cup. I'm sure he still wasn't happy about that, but he's not in the hunt for a Nationwide title like he is with Cup.
  • Wow.....2.25 Million for three races......How about 3-5 million for 18 races in Indy Car. I think 18 races with much lower viewership would still reach far more people than 3 races with higher viewership.
  • Since this was the last race for Tony in the Nationwide Series, he probably didn't really care about the points. In fact, he wasn't even scheduled to run this race originally. Because of a special sponsor promotion with Old Spice, he ran this one last Nationwide race for JGR.

    As far as the Subway deal, it's been known for several weeks that he was talking to Burger King and that Subway would not be renewing his personal services contract.
  • Wow…..2.25 Million for three races……How about 3-5 million for 18 races in Indy Car. I think 18 races with much lower viewership would still reach far more people than 3 races with higher viewership.

    Good one. Considering that 14 of those races are on Versus it's a no brainer. Subway will get more ROI in Sprint Cup as an associate sponsor than they would ever get in the EARL.

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