Rapinoe’s Advertising Appearance Has Some Subway Franchise Owners Calling for Her Removal

Will Subway regret its decision to hire Megan Rapinoe as a spokesperson? The divisive Team USA women’s soccer player is causing an uproar as she appears in the Subway “Eat Fresh Refresh” commercials, leading some franchise owners to call for her removal.

Rapinoe Controversy

Rapinoe has established herself as one of the most controversial figures in sports. Despite being both a World Cup and Olympic champion, Rapinoe’s history of taking a knee during the national anthem has led many to decry her as being un-American.

In addition to Rapinoe, the Subway ad campaign features Stephen Curry, Serena Williams, and Tom Brady.

Backlash to Ads

Some Subway franchises are reporting backlash to the ads featuring Rapinoe. This has some franchise owners worried that the new campaign may end up negatively affecting sales.

The complaints about Rapinoe’s inclusion in the campaign appear to be widespread. A customer wrote on social media that they will not go to Subway because of the commercial with Rapinoe. A franchise owner also reported finding a note on the door of the sandwich shop stating an intent to boycott until Subway fires Rapinoe.

Franchise Operating Costs

According to Business Insider, all of the approximately 22,000 franchises are obligated to submit 4.5% of their royalty fees to pay for advertising and promotional efforts. While they do not have any say in how the funding is spent, they are always on the hook to pay the fees as part of their franchising agreement. Some store owners are claiming that the increase in sales this summer is a result of a hike in menu prices, rather than the success of the latest advertising campaign.