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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Jersey Mike's Sub Stacker

Entered in Food & Beverage, Gamification


As the presenting sponsor of the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games, Jersey Mike’s Subs wanted to create an engaging experience to take over their footprint for the attendees of the week-long event. Jersey Mike’s tapped COFFEE Labs, a NYC-based creative agency focused on immersive and innovative technologies, to do just that. The goal of this activation was to create a feel-good experience for athletes and their friends and family to enjoy between sporting events. With an expected 5,500 athletes, 20,000 volunteers, and 125,000 spectators, COFFEE needed to build an experience that would be eye catching to those walking by and help draw in a crowd. 

COFFEE wanted to combine the competitive spirit of the Special Olympics while nodding at Jersey Mike’s authentic hot and cold subs. The goal of this perfect combination quickly formed into an Augmented Reality game named “Sub Stacker”. With inclusion always at the center of their work, COFFEE knew this activation was the perfect place to showcase the importance of building experiences for all to enjoy. Therefore, Sub Stacker was built with athletes and attendees of all ages and abilities top-of-mind.

Strategy and Execution

COFFEE designed and built a custom kiosk wrapped in Jersey Mike’s branding with a 55” vertical screen mounted inside. Lively music and excitable brand ambassadors help pique the attendee’s attention among the many other sponsored booths surrounding Jersey Mikes’ footprint. Once the attendees were at the booth, they were invited to join the Jersey Mike’s team and try their shot at building a digital sub by playing Sub Stacker. 

Using a custom augmented reality lens and full body sensor technology, the guest was shown on screen wearing an official Jersey Mike’s apron with one piece of bread in their hand. By gesturing left and right in real life, the player caught falling ingredients in AR to build the perfect sub while avoiding any falling obstacles. Points were added or deducted to the player’s score based upon their ingredient-catching skills. At the end of the experience, the players posed in their AR gold, silver, or bronze Jersey Mike’s medal. They received their image through a digitally produced QR code to share out on social or save to their mobile device. 

COFFEE also produced a mobile version so the attendees could continue the fun following the event. Jersey Mike’s integrated the mobile experience into their digital app so the game could be promoted across their app audience.


Even with the 105 degree Florida sun shining down on the attendees, a line to play the experience wrapped around the tent throughout the duration of the week-long event. Athletes gathered around the kiosk to cheer on their teammates and encourage each other to go for the gold! Smiles, laughs, and cheers filled the Jersey Mike’s tent as the athletes, friends, and family jumped out of the way to avoid falling teddy bears and dove to catch falling tomatoes before they fell out of the screen. The positive feedback and high engagement continued to draw in a crowd throughout the week, with the parents of athletes thanking the Jersey Mike’s team for building an inclusive game for their athletes to enjoy. 

With the Special Olympics activation being such a huge success, Jersey Mike’s asked COFFEE to reimagine the experience for their College Tailgate Tour, making stops at 13 college football games, the Rose Bowl, and 9 college basketball games. This tour further proved the success of the game with over 15,000 gameplays from students and fans across the Tailgate Tour alone.  

Sub Stacker has proved to be the perfect mesh between innovative technology, a love for sports, delicious sandwiches, accessibility, and an engaging brand experience. COFFEE & Jersey Mike’s are in current conversations about executing this experience for next year’s games with a new and innovative twist.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

COFFEE Labs, Jersey Mike’s Subs

Entry Credits