The Subway restaurant chain, the world’s largest submarine sandwich franchise, today announced a three-year sponsorship of Little League Baseball and Softball that will involve initiatives to fight childhood obesity both on a national level and in all Little Leaguer markets nationwide. The sponsorship, which will run from 2006 through 2008, will make Subway restaurants the only quick-service restaurant with an advertising presence at the Little League World Series and solidify Subway restaurants as one of the industry leaders aggressively encouraging children to be active and eat healthfully.

The sponsorship will allow the Subway chain to reach scores of Little Leaguers and their parents with health awareness messages and initiatives via a booth at the Little League World Series, direct mail, a presence in Little League magazine, and point of sale materials, marketing and advertising in all local markets. Specific initiatives and programs will be announced as they are finalized.

“Subway and Little League are the perfect team to help get kids active and make good food choices,” says Michelle Cordial, Director of Implementation. “Subway encourages kids to be active, eat healthy, and have fun doing it.”

Research shows the percentage of overweight kids in the United States has tripled in the last 20 years, indicating that the childhood obesity epidemic represents perhaps the biggest threat to the health and well-being of future generations. Michelle Cordial notes that the Little League sponsorship is one way that Subway restaurants can reach millions of children and get them thinking about eating healthier and becoming more active.

The Little League Baseball and Softball sponsorship extends the Subway chain’s expansive efforts to combat obesity in children and adolescents with a “Subway Play Hard, Eat Fresh” message. In July 2004, the Subway chain launched the Subway F.R.E.S.H. (Feel Responsible, Energetic, Satisfied and Happy) Steps program, a national public awareness TV advertising campaign to help parents and children understand the importance of making healthful choices and leading active lifestyles. The Subway chain is also the first-ever national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart program.

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