Subway Franchisees Seek Firing of Megan Rapinoe
A group of Subway franchisees is urging the company to fire Megan Rapinoe following her controversial actions during the Tokyo Olympics. The 36-year-old soccer star, known for kneeling during the National Anthem, signed a sponsorship deal with Subway earlier this year, appearing in ads that received mixed responses.
Franchisee Backlash and Customer Protest
The ads featuring Rapinoe kicking a burrito out of someone’s hands after kicking a soccer ball at them have led to customer protests and franchisee backlash. A note taped to the front door of a Subway store read, “Boycott Subway until Subway fires the anti-American … Megan Rapinoe, the creep who kneels for our beloved National Anthem!” Franchisees are expressing frustration and apologizing to customers for the ads.
The North American Association of Subway Franchisees (NAASF) has communicated the concerns of its members regarding the Rapinoe ads to the company’s top management. However, Subway has not yet responded to these complaints. Franchisees are seeking to have the ads pulled and are disappointed with the company’s decision to sign Rapinoe without considering potential consequences.
Political Division and Future Directions
Subway franchisees believe the company should have conducted more careful due diligence before partnering with Rapinoe, given her history of controversial actions and statements. Some suggest that Subway should focus its advertising on product improvements and the chain’s local owners rather than making political statements. The franchisee backlash highlights the challenges businesses face in a politically divided society.
“Spending our money to make a political statement is completely and totally out of bounds,” an Arizona franchisee wrote.
The controversy surrounding Megan Rapinoe’s sponsorship with Subway is emblematic of the broader political divisions in the country. As franchisees express their concerns and customers protest, Subway faces the challenge of navigating these tensions while preserving its brand image.