Fast food chain subway is keen on using event marketing to connect with consumers. At the 2007 Calle Ocho Festival in Miami, the company sponsored Latin-flavored dance/exercise company Zoomba’s bid to hold the largest Aerobics class on record. “There were over a million people at that one,” says Subways multicultural brand manager Eddie Lindley. More recently, Subway partnered with Soccer star Tab Ramos for a speaking tour addressing child obesity in the Latino community.
As with the Zoomba partnership, the focus is on Subway’s relatively healthy food offerings as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. “What we try to do with all of our messaging, be that on television, radio, or in live events, is to integrate the core themes of healthy living and wise diet decisions,” says Lindley. He admits that with event marketing, the results are not explicitly measurable. “Interpreting the impact of a given event-driven campaign is definitely more an art than a science,” says Lindley. “But we look at things such as the amount of television, radio, and print coverage an initiative garners. Crucial to any event marketing campaign is that there is some ‘buzz’ created, something that mobilizes and excites.”
In the case of the Tab Ramos partnership, Subway is providing financial and logistical support for the launch of the soccer star’s Goal! Foundation, an organization dedicated to fighting childhood obesity. Since retiring from professional soccer in 2002, Ramos has been dedicated to spreading this message of healthy living.
Subway’s Eddie Lindley sees the events as a perfect way to convey this message: “When you see someone on television doing a public service announcement, or doing a commercial, you can’t help but wonder, ‘Is this guy really serious about this?’ By contrast, when you see that person in front of you speaking passionately, it is a much more impacting and credible experience.”
Apart from events, Subway is quite active in broadcast with its television/radio spend weighted 80:20. Currently the company does no print.