That Time Subway's Co-Founder Posed For A 'Sexy' Company Calendar

If someone sees a "sexy" pin-up calendar made by a food company, they might have different opinions about it than whoever produced it. After all, what makes something "sexy?" The Bold Business Expert states that the titillating and playful nature of "sexy" marketing serves to draw attention and get people talking. It's not so much about arousing the adult kind of excitement as it is designed to stand out, to shock and surprise, to sell an idea.

Some companies embrace the idea that sex sells even if it isn't meant to be sexy. As The Star Tribune tells us, Minnesota-based restaurant group Travail released a "Sexy Chef Calendar" that included everything from scantily clad Vikings, Guy Fieri impersonators, scenes from "Dirty Dancing," and lots of fake blood. Yet rather than marketing it as "sexy" outright, Travail's chefs see it as a funny and zany way for employees to bond. And Some fans treat the calendar like a collector's item. But what if a company produced its own adult-themed calendar that didn't try to appear sexy to consumers because it wasn't meant for public consumption?

Business Insider says the late Subway co-founder Fred DeLuca appeared in a sexy calendar in 2000. It wasn't designed to sell sandwiches or get customers talking but rather for members of the company. However, not everyone was sold on it.

Subway created two sexy calendars.

According to Business Insider, Subway's 2000 calendar included scenes of some of the company's higher-ups, including co-founder Fred DeLuca, posing shirtless in different settings. One exec sat behind a desk holding a phone. Another stood in the shower, partly hidden by the shower curtains. As for DeLuca, apparently, the company co-founder was Mr. January. He stood in an office flashing a smile and holding a notebook over his midsection that said "Executive Office" on the cover with his left hand. His right hand raised a wine glass filled with liquid.

An ex-employee revealed the shirtless calendar to Insider and reportedly saw it as a sign of an unprofessional corporate culture that DeLuca allegedly encouraged. Reports describe the company being run like a "high school," with parties and an intense social atmosphere. Two unnamed sources claimed DeLuca would "approach" the wives of franchisees in inappropriate ways. Allegedly, he felt entitled to do it "because he felt responsible for their husbands' success."

This wasn't the last time a risqué calendar would be associated with the Subway brand. According to The Drum, in 2009, one was made in Birmingham in the United Kingdom. It included 12 Subway franchisees who posed naked as part of a fundraising event for medical research company Heart R. Unlike the 2000 calendar, which was meant for the company insiders, customers could purchase these calendars for £2 at select Subway locations. A behind-the-scenes video, titled "Subway Bares All," made it seem like harmless fun.