Rutgers Athletics and Jersey Mike’s Subs have reached a multi-year agreement to make the fast-casual sub sandwich franchise an official naming rights partner of Rutgers Athletics. The newly named Jersey Mike’s Arena is home to nationally-recognized programs in men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, gymnastics and volleyball, in addition to future concerts and events. (Watch video)
“Jersey Mike’s is the perfect partner for Rutgers Athletics,” says Pat Hobbs, Rutgers Director of Athletics. “Our New Jersey brand extends beyond our borders; it is a state of mind that speaks to our core values of grit and the pursuit of excellence. Jersey Mike’s is an organization also engaged in the relentless pursuit of excellence, so what better partner for the State University of New Jersey?”
“Rutgers University is a home state neighbor that shares our values of excellence and community involvement,” adds Peter Cancro, founder and CEO, Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc. “Jersey Mike’s is proud to partner with Rutgers Athletics and celebrate the school’s many dedicated student-athletes and their fans.”
“We are pleased to partner with a Jersey-born company committed to making a difference through its generous giving to charities,” says Rutgers president Jonathan Holloway. “Jersey’s Mike’s philanthropic history aligns with our core values that center on outreach to our communities and a relentless pursuit of excellence in all we do.”
This partnership between Rutgers and Jersey Mike’s pairs two homegrown New Jersey brands, both on a path of tremendous growth and success over the past several years. Rutgers men’s basketball took its place among the nation’s top teams, earning its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 30 years and capturing a first-round win, making good on head coach Steve Pikiell’s pledge to make the program a March Madness contender. Women’s basketball continues to add NCAA Tournament berths to its historic record, advancing to its 26th postseason, including 17th consecutive under the direction of Hall of Fame head coach C. Vivian Stringer.
Rutgers wrestling added two National Championship banners to the arena rafters, epitomizing the continued ascension to the top ranks of college athletics. The success Rutgers Athletics has enjoyed in competition aligns with Jersey Mike’s unmatched growth. This year, Jersey Mike’s ranks seventh on Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500, the company’s third year on the top-10 list.
A passionate fan base has helped fuel many of the Rutgers Athletics programs that call Jersey Mike’s Arena home, including the men’s basketball team, which currently has a sellout streak of nine-straight games. Home attendance for wrestling continues to be one of the highest in the country, as Rutgers was fourth nationally in attendance following the 2019-20 season. The success of these programs attracts several hundred thousand spectators each season who will travel in and out of Jersey Mike’s Arena. Widely seen as one of the loudest venues in the country, the arena offers one of the best home court advantages in college athletics.
Founded in 1956 in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, the storefront location was originally called Mike’s Subs. In 1975, Cancro, a 17-year-old high school senior who had worked there since he was 14, bought the operation with the help of his football coach. He grew the business into a successful franchise, with over 2,000 locations nationwide.
Jersey Mike’s believes that making a sub sandwich and making a difference can be one and the same. With a history steeped in philanthropic endeavors, Jersey Mike’s locations across the country have raised over $65 million for local charities in the last decade alone. Several community service initiatives mark the calendar for Jersey Mike’s, including the Annual Month of Giving, which has raised more than $47 million since its inception in 2011.
As part of the agreement, Jersey Mike’s will enjoy significant brand exposure through signage in and around the arena, including exterior stadium signage, scoreboard signage, campus directional signage and logo placement on the court. Additionally, Jersey Mike’s will receive promotion through a variety of print, digital, radio and television assets.
The live television broadcasts of nearly all home men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, gymnastics and volleyball matches offer Jersey Mike’s national exposure. For several of the Scarlet Knights’ sporting events that are streamed digitally, the Jersey Mike’s brand will be visible on a global stage. Van Wagner represented Jersey Mike’s in the negotiations.