The incident: Donuts.
The crime: Giving them out.
The penalty: Losing a sponsor
That’s what reportedly has happened between Joe Gibbs Racing, Daniel Suarez and their sponsor, Subway. Sports Business Insider reported that the reason Subway may have killed the deal — with one race left, to boot — was because Suarez appeared in a silly video in which he helps give out Dunkin’ Donuts to fans.
Here’s the crime:
It’s silly, but you can see why Subway would be livid. If it’s paying to sponsor a car — in this case, the No. 19 from Joe Gibbs Racing — why wasn’t Suarez driving around hanging out Subway sandwiches instead, the thinking may have gone.
And, a JGR told Adam Stern of Sports Business Journal that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
So far, there’s been no official reason for the breakup, though Subway released a fairly cryptic statement, that said, “Due to circumstances beyond our control, Subway had to terminate its sponsorship of Daniel Suarez.” A Joe Gibbs spokesman wouldn’t talk about the exact reason Subway dropped its sponsorship, but said it has nothing to do with a violation of a morals clause.
And Suarez seemed unconcerned, in remarks to ESPN:
In the race weekend, I don’t really have time to think about that. I have to think about the race. … Sponsorship comes and sponsorship leaves. That’s part of racing. There’s nothing we can do about it. I don’t really know the reasons so there’s not a lot I can add to it.