- Jersey Mike's Subs is reviving its college football tailgate tour in partnership with Fox Sports, per an announcement. The tour, which was canceled last year because of the pandemic, will stop at 14 college football games across 14 different cities beginning with the Ohio State-Minnesota matchup in Minneapolis on Sept. 2.
- To help promote the tour, a trivia game will be released to 49 participating NCAA football schools, playable only by downloading the Jersey Mike's app. Fans who complete the game will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes for an all-access trip to America's New Year's Celebration — a series of events surrounding the annual Rose Bowl game on Jan. 1 in Pasadena, California.
- Jersey Mike's is looking to draw interest in its mobile app by bringing back a familiar campaign that uses digital and experiential elements to reach a range of consumers. Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment is the production agency for the tour and Jersey Mike's partnered with FanHub for the trivia games.
With the return of its college football tailgate tour, Jersey Mike's is back to promoting its mobile app behind a host of rewards and giveaways. The sandwich brand launched a similar campaign in 2019 while skipping the 2020 season due to the pandemic. In the time since, buying habits have shifted significantly in the direction of online engagement, and now Jersey Mike's is hoping to appeal to these mobile-minded consumers.
The campaign features a trivia game that seeks to drive fans to the chain's mobile app. In collaboration with digital engagement company FanHub, Jersey Mike's will release trivia games for 49 participating schools, as well as include five, team-specific questions that could maximize appeal across the 49 different fan bases.
Automatic entry into a sweepstakes further incentivizes fans to download the app and play the trivia game. The prize is a VIP trip for four to America's New Year’s Celebration, which is an annual event organized around the Rose Bowl game, and includes game tickets, airfare, hotel, attendance to the Rose Parade, pre-game hospitality and a private tour of the Fox Studios in Los Angeles. Each player who completes the game will also receive six "Shore Rewards" points — the chain's loyalty credit that is redeemable in store, in app or online.
Fox Sports will also help to drive attention to the sweepstakes by airing 30-second spots which could engage with consumers still preferring to stay at home. Jersey Mike's will feature in-store signage to promote the campaign, as well.
As consumers spend more time on mobile devices, brands like Jersey Mike's must increasingly provide digital experiences to compete for attention. To fuel its brand's transformation, competitor Subway recently launched a "never-ending" campaign that included a revamp to its digital ordering and digital creative across different channels. Previous campaigns that have seen Jersey Mike's activate digital tech include an effort on Twitch and a mobile video promotion using QR codes.
The tailgate tour includes in-person components that will offer fans at 14 different games a more holistic brand experience. In addition to encouraging fans to download the app and play the trivia game, a branded trailer will include samples of subs, corn hole, an outdoor lounge and other experiential features that have returned in small doses since the onset of the pandemic. To maximize engagement, the trailer will be placed in high-traffic locations on each campus for up to five hours before kickoff, per the announcement.
The return of Jersey Mike's tailgate tour is fueled by a sense of optimism about society's reopening that many brands have channeled since vaccines became widely available. Still, the ongoing threat of the coronavirus delta variant could upend these plans, as evidenced by cancellations across a variety of spectator events.