On an individual level, Clayton Kershaw accomplished just about everything a pitcher could in 2014. He led the Majors in wins, WHIP, ERA, ERA+, and in a handful of other statistical categories.
Although Kershaw is still chasing his first World Series ring, his collection of hardware grew once again during awards season. On Wednesday, Kershaw became the youngest pitcher to win three Cy Young awards and the following day was named NL MVP for the first time in his career.
Off the field, Kershaw is a constant source of giving alongside his wife, Ellen, and their charity, Kershaw’s Challenge. Although it wasn’t in the form of an award, Kershaw’s 2014 season led to another achievement. According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace signed an endorsement deal with Subway:
On Friday, Kershaw was signed on to be an endorser for Subway, the largest food franchise by number of stores in the United States.
In what perhaps is a little known fact, Kershaw is a frequent Subway patron:
The key for us is authenticity,” Subway chief marketing officer Tony Pace said. “We found out that Clayton would stop by a Subway before going to the ballpark, and that meant a lot to us that he was a fan of the brand.”
As perhaps one of the biggest names in all of baseball, Kershaw’s list of endorsement deals falls on the smaller end of the scale, and includes Wilson (his glove) and Under Armour (cleats). Pace attributes that to some of the natural delay between performance and endorsements:
It’s a bit surprising that he has done what he has done in Dodger blue and he’s not all over the place,” Pace said. “But there tends to be a little bit of a lag effect between success and brand longevity in the marketplace.”
Kershaw will undoubtedly return in 2015 with the Dodgers but his group of teammates may include some new faces and be without familiar ones. Namely A.J. Ellis, who is eligible for salary arbitration, but faces the prospect of the Dodgers reportedly being interested in free agent catcher Russell Martin.
Kershaw has twice advocated for Ellis’ re-signing, but it remains to be seen what impact his campaigning will have.