Subway, Child Pornography and Jared Fogle

If you recall recently, Jared Fogle, the ubiquitous and long-standing pitchman for Subway restaurants was indicted for possession of child pornography and pedophile behavior.

Fogle, is currently serving 15 years in prison for having sex with minors for traveling out-of-state to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. Disgusting right, his now estranged wife though has been subjected to those that question whether she knew of his double life.

It’s always easy to Monday morning quarterback, how many women have no idea their husbands are having an affair or have had a mistress for years? I believe that she probably had no idea what he was up to.

I met Jared Fogle years ago, around 2006, when I was a franchisee with Subway; I owned several stores and had interest in several others in and around Las Vegas, coupled with numerous other business ventures. He would make appearances for us in our market and his fees were enormous. I learned back then via “underground” rumblings that he had a proclivity for liking strippers and young girls. But I honestly thought nothing of it, boy were my senses right back then.

My foray into the business world was courtesy of Subway, after attending Subway franchise school in Milford, Connecticut for 2 weeks. I learned more about franchising and business than any other place since then, it was truly an eye-opening experience.

alex-popovic-carrot-top-subway-sandwich-picture

Me with Carrot Top at one of my stores.  He was a really down to earth and funny guy, ohhhh and super ripped.

My model was to buy distressed stores that were owned by absentee owners and remodel them, increase sales and bring back repeat anchor customers. One of my stores used to have so many local Las Vegas entertainers come in that they all knew me by name. People such as Carrot Top, Wayne Newton and Debo from Friday with his pimped out Range Rover were some of my regulars.

Jared Fogle, for those of you that don’t know, built a name for himself while in college when he was trying to lose weight (he weighed 425 lbs). He tried eating at several fast food stores along his route to and from classes, however none made him lose weight until he started eating at Subway.

Fogle began taking Polaroid pictures of himself to show his progress and took his collection of photos demonstrating his incredible weight loss journey to the owner of the store he was eating at. Had it not been for that owner sending the story and photos into Subway corporate, we may never have had a Jared Fogle. He became its pitchman in 1998

Fogle went on to create Fogle, Inc., his company that was his vehicle for his partnership with Subway. He made tens of millions in base pay and appearance fees and truly created something from nothing. His brand was so powerful that when he was temporarily taken off the air in 2005, store sales fell 10% nationwide. Now that’s marketing prowess.

Jared Fogle was at one point Subway’s savior, however, it all came to a crashing end because of his sick and twisted lifestyle. Because of that he ruined his family and a brand name he built for himself. The moral of the story is, you never truly know peoples’ dark secrets and how they can impact business.

You can follow Alex Popovic on Twitter or Instagram

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