I wonder if the folks at Subway's marketing arm read the sports pages. If they did, they might want to find a way to make hay of Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard's new five-year contract extension, worth $125 million.
Howard is one of Subway's Buzzworthy spokesthletes, along with Michael Strahan, Blake Griffin, Carl Edwards and Michael Phelps. The former home-run champ has appeared in ads with Subway's top pitchman, Jared Fogle, and the two seem very chummy when doing talk shows together.
But the Subway Franchise Advertising Fund Trust might want to note that a few of the news reports about Howard's expensive contract are making a point to point out his slimmed-down physique, with the New York Times' Bats Blog going so far as to say in a headline: "Howard Slims Down, Cashes In." The small post goes on to say the once zaftig slugger "has shed about 30 pounds since the Phillies won the 2008 World Series." (Who knows, maybe the svelte Howard is now one of the celebrity athletes helping Jared train for the New York City marathon.)
So if Subway wants to motivate people to lose those pounds will eating those $5 footlongs, maybe the extra incentive of a fatter paycheck will spur them on. But Subway better get its star some additional media training. According to an AP report:
Howard's teammates wasted no time hitting him up for favors, either.
"'Where we going to eat, Ryan?'" Ben Francisco asked.
Howard just chuckled.
Someone might want to learn how to hum the theme song.