Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

The Surprising Lives of Famous Pitchmen: Subway's Jared


The diet icon's personal history required a thorough scrubbing before hitting the mass market.

Indianapolis, Indiana's favorite son, 32 year-old Jared Fogle, used to be fat but is now thin -- thanks to a steady diet of Subway sandwiches, and nothing but Subway sandwiches.

That in itself isn't news to anyone who's been alive on the planet Earth and has ever watched TV.

However, most people don't know how Jared Fogle became Jared the Subway Guy.

As a student at Indiana University, Bloomington, Fogle ran a little business out of his dorm room, renting porn videos to fellow students for the bargain price of $1. (When contacted by gossip site TMZ about this, a Subway spokesperson denied having any knowledge of the story and, when pressed on the issue, said Jared was "unavailable" for comment.)

Anyway, duplicating tapes, processing rentals and returns, and doing homework on top of it all takes a lot of time. One thing Fogle apparently wasn't able to fit into his busy schedule was exercise:

The 425 lb. Fogle, who wore size XXXXXXL shirts and boasted a 60-inch waist, was thrilled when a Subway sandwich outlet opened on the ground floor of his building, which meant accessing food would require expending the least amount of energy humanly possible.

Further enticing the porcine Fogle downstairs was a cute female employee he was sweet on, according to a source.

Having struggled with his weight all his life, and with visions of riding off into the sunset with the Sandwich Artist of his dreams, Fogle decided to eat each and every meal at the Subway in his building -- but chose to forgo mayo and cheese, and switched from his usual Mountain Dew (PEP) (which contains 47 grams of sugar, or about 19 teaspoons) to diet soda.

Being a typical college kid who enjoyed sleeping in, Fogle's day didn't begin until lunchtime, when he'd haul his massive frame into the ground-level shop and order a six-inch turkey sub with vegetables and a small bag of baked chips.

"That was very tough," he told a reporter.

Dinner was a foot-long veggie sub, also with baked chips. Fogle managed to cut his daily caloric intake from 10,000 calories -- about five times the amount recommended for normal adults -- to a more rational 1,500. After a year, he lost 245 lbs.

Ryan Coleman, a former dorm-mate of Fogle's, was so stunned by his dramatic weight loss that he penned an article about it in the Indiana Daily Student, the school's house organ.

"When Fogle registered for a class, he didn't base his choice on professor or class time like most students. He based which classes to register on whether he could fit into the classroom seats," Coleman wrote. "When most folks worried whether they could find a parking spot close to campus, Fogle worried whether he could find a parking spot without a car already parked nearby -- he needed the extra room in order to open the driver's side door so he could get out."

Fogle was quoted at the end of the article as saying, "Subway helped save my life and start over. I can't ever repay that."

A writer for Men's Health magazine tracked down Fogle and included the "Subway Sandwich Diet" in an article which caught the eye of Bob Ocwieja, a Subway franchisee in the Chicago area. Ocwieja floated an idea to Subway's ad agency, the Publicis Groupe, to use Fogle as a pitchman.

The idea didn't excite Subway's marketing team at first, but a decision was finally made to contact Fogle and test a commercial which would run regionally.

On January 1, 2000, the first "Jared" ad ran. It was runaway success, with no less a superstar than Oprah Winfrey contacting Subway about the spot.

The company then rolled out the commercial nationally, and Subway's 2000 sales rose 18%, year-over-year. Jared Fogle was now Subway's secret weapon in the fast-food wars, appearing at hot-ticket events nationwide, like the grand opening of the first Kosher Subway shop in Beachwood, Ohio.

Since the first Jared commercial hit the airwaves, Subway headquarters has received "thousands of letters, emails and photos from people who have been inspired by Jared to lose weight and live healthier lifestyles" who have "lost a total of 160,000 pounds."

Subway's website points out that 160,000 pounds equals 14,545 skateboards; 10,000 Marching band Tubas; 1,568 sets of Encyclopedias; 842 Jareds; 492 Black Bears; 426 Gorillas and 184 Grand Pianos.

In January, People magazine reported that Jared began gaining back his weight but viewed it as a "little bit of a hiccup" and plans on getting back to fighting form for his upcoming wedding, his second, to teacher Katie McLaughlin, scheduled for this summer.

"I'm going to look darn good in those wedding pictures!" he told the magazine.

Mazel tov, Jared -- and, tempting as it may be, don't have that second slice of cake at the reception. You've come too far to blow it now.

Click Here For Next Article Click Here For More
< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos