Subway Restaurants is revamping its menu and launching what it said is one of the largest media investments in the company's history, with a roster of celebrities from the sports world signing onto the campaign.
Former NBA star Charles Barkley will be the new voice for the sandwich chain, and the company's ads will feature seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady, 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams, soccer champion and Olympian Megan Rapinoe and seven-time NBA All-Star Stephen Curry.
In a media release, Subway explained that its new "Eat Fresh Refresh" launch "celebrates the biggest changes in Subway's history, including improvements to almost every core product on the menu and a better digital and in-restaurant experience to ensure the brand delivers better choices every day."
The company described its new marketing campaign as "the first never-ending TV spot" with commercials featuring their new sports celebrity spokespersons, along with social and digital content.
"The Subway Eat Fresh Refresh campaign brings to life how much new we have on our menu and is a significant moment in the brand's transformation journey," Subway chief marketing officer Carrie Walsh said in a statement. "We developed a creative idea with a supporting cast of the biggest names in sports to share all of the great changes happening at Subway in a story that continues across multiple spots and formats."
"The effort is supported by one of the largest media investments in the brand's history," Walsh continued. "In my almost 20 years in marketing, this is the most innovative campaign and media strategy that I've ever seen."
Subway CEO John Chidsey told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on "Mornings with Maria" that the company decided to upgrade its menu after consumers and franchisees both expressed a desire for food innovation at the brand, so the chain spent the past 15 months or so determining what would stay on the menu and what would go.
Chidsey said the company has upgraded ingredients in most all of its core products, except their tuna – which was at the center of a lawsuit filed against the company for alleged fraud followed by claims that a lab could not find any actual tuna in the product. But experts acknowledge that could have been because the tuna was fully cooked, and therefore not identifiable.