Subway Ends Relationship with Daniel Suarez

Photo Credit: Noel Lanier/OnPitRoad.com

The world of big business has reared its head in NASCAR once again. It was reported this past weekend that long-time NASCAR sponsor, Subway, would end its relationship with rookie Daniel Suarez.

In a statement to Catchfence.com, Subway cited “circumstances beyond our control” as the reason for the decision. Apparently, the circumstances are related to a TV segment that included Suarez along with NBC on-air personality, Rutledge Wood. During the segment, which was entitled “Desayuno (breakfast) with Daniel”, the two handed out doughnuts from Dunkin Donuts, a competitor of Subway.

It has been two months since the segment aired on television. There has been no mention as to why Subway did not announce the decision at the time of the event.

If the decision was made at the time of the event, it adds to the frustration for the Joe Gibbs Racing organization. Since the team was not informed until very recently about the decision, the team has lost considerable time in which it could have been searching for a replacement partner. If the television segment was truly the cause of the termination, one wonders why the delay in informing the team.

Many fans and media members alike are voicing their opinions about the Subway decision. Many feel the Dunkin Donuts event is simply being used as an excuse for breaking the agreement and Subway is receiving some negative publicity on social media outlets about the decision.

Subway has been associated with NASCAR for over ten years. It does seem strange that it would end its relationship with a rising star so abruptly over seemingly an innocent mistake.

Due to the rising cost of competing in the sport, and the fact that there are less and less companies that can afford a full sponsorship in NASCAR’s national touring series, race teams must work hard to ensure the sponsors are happy. Every aspect of a driver’s life must be managed and conflicts must be avoided. This event should serve as a warning to all teams to closely monitor everything their drivers do.

7 Comments

  1. This is not the first time nor the last this will happen, it is called a conflict of interest.

    In the 1980’s J.D. Stacy was sponsoring Terry Lebonte when he drove for Billy Hagan and after a particular race Labonte pushed in a competitor who had run out of fuel. Stacy didn’t like that so he terminated the sponsorship of Labonte’s car.

    I also remember a race at North Wilksboro that Earnhardt had crashed out of and Richard Petty needed a relief driver. The STP team asked Earnhardt, he said yes but his rep said no because of a sponsor conflict.

    So this goes both ways and this is why drivers have reps hanging with them so I put the blame on the PR representative, not Daniel Saurez.

    • Correct. And more recently, Danica Patrick pumping a competitor’s fig bar on social media when she was under contract to Nature’s Bakery to pump their fig bar. This stuff is all actionable in court and given the recent history of Patrick one would have though Suarez and/or his handlers would know better. Fast food is fast food. Period.

      • Very true Sol. There are so many conflicts that we may not think of immediately, but the team reps should be versed on this. Thanks for reading!

    • Thanks for reading Jeff. These are great examples you have provided. One of my first thoughts too was “Where was his handler?”

    • Show me the conflict of interest between a donut and a subway sandwhich, I have to hear this. AND no it dosn’t happen all the time.

      • Actually Rick, it is not a matter of comparing donuts to sandwiches, it’s conflict between the brands. Dunkin sells sandwiches in addition to doughnuts. Subway is also trying to gain market share in the the breakfast segment, which Dunkin has a strong presence. Therefore, they do compete for market share in the same trade space.
        Thanks for reading!

  2. The problem starts with overpaid drivers and a sport that now requires millions to have a team. Tell the sponsors to keep their money and lower the prices of the products and go back to old school racing.

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