For the folks at Jersey Mike’s Subs, giving is a given. The company has been a proud sponsor of Special Olympics Minnesota since 2022, and the positive impact they have made on our organization is felt in every corner of the state.

Ashley Appleyard-Rogers, Regional Marketing Director for Jersey Mike’s, is a driving force behind the brand’s commitment to the inclusion revolution in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Her team is always dreaming up innovative ways to mesh the Special Olympics and Jersey Mike’s brands, creating new ways for their customers to learn about and support SOMN’s mission.

Ashley shares her perspective on the partnership, stating, “At Jersey Mike’s, our mission is all about giving. We love working with fabulous organizations like Special Olympics Minnesota to help our local communities. I’m really proud of the impact our partnership has made on so many people. Over the last two years, our 54 Jersey Mike’s stores in Minnesota have raised over $650,000 for Special Olympics Minnesota. We hope to exceed that total this year with our Polar Plunge and Month of Giving efforts!”

The culture of Jersey Mike’s is built on the belief that making a great sub sandwich and making a difference should go hand in hand. Their website puts it simply: “The way we see it, a sub’s job isn’t done at simply tasting good. A sub should do good too.” With the motto “A Sub Above,” Jersey Mike’s makes their commitment to social impact well-known, and they have set the bar high for nonprofit partners everywhere.

Those who attend Special Olympics Minnesota’s state competitions are familiar with Jersey Mike’s dedication. For nearly every state event, Jersey Mike’s provides fresh subs for all athletes, coaches and Unified partners.

“Throughout the year, I volunteer at regional competitions to deliver and serve our delicious subs to hundreds of Special Olympics Minnesota athletes, volunteers and family members,” says Ashley. “Getting the chance to meet the individuals that we’re giving back to is amazing. Everyone is always so excited for lunch, and I’ve even been recognized as ‘The Sandwich Lady’ a time or two!”

Not only has serving their food at competitions helped elevate the quality of SOMN events, but Jersey Mike’s staff have passionately embraced Special Olympics Minnesota’s mission of inclusion.

“There are so many things that make Jersey Mike’s an outstanding partner,” says Sarah Lee, Senior Corporate Relations Manager at Special Olympics Minnesota. “What stands out the most is they truly understand our mission. They understand the importance of inclusion and lift up our athletes every step of the way! We absolutely love having them out at our competitions to be able to get to know the amazing athletes and coaches in our community.”

Jersey Mike’s involvement goes far beyond making subs. This year, all 54 Jersey Mike’s stores across the state have committed to getting cold for a good cause at the Polar Plunge. More than 200 Jersey Mike’s employees committed to taking the Plunge for Special Olympics Minnesota! Not only is it a blast supporting inclusion by jumping into a frozen lake, but the Plunge provides an excellent opportunity for team bonding for Jersey Mike’s employees across the state.

“The Polar Plunge is special because it’s a chance for our in-store teams to get out in the community,” says Ashley. “We came up with a little internal contest between our stores to boost fundraising for the Plunge, and it has been so fun seeing everyone rally together.”

Beyond their regional impact, Jersey Mike’s has sponsored the inclusion revolution on the national level as the Presenting Partner for the 2022 USA Games in Orlando, Florida.

Members of Team Minnesota expressed their anticipation for lunch at the Games, citing Jersey Mike’s as a highlight: “Jersey Mike’s was one of the best parts of USA Games for sure. I truly looked forward to lunch every single day that I was out at competitions!”

Their USA Games sponsorship will continue in 2026; Jersey Mike’s is already locked in as a Co-Presenting Partner alongside UnitedHealthcare for the 2026 Special Olympics USA Games, which will be hosted here in Minnesota.

“As a presenting partner, we cannot wait to cheer on the athletes alongside their families at the next USA Games,” says Caroline Jones, Senior Vice President of Jersey Mike’s Franchise Systems, Inc. “This outstanding group of athletes is an inspiration to all of us.”

Mark your calendars: March is Jersey Mike’s Month of Giving!

With over $88 million raised for nonprofits across the country during Jersey Mike’s Month of Giving in March since 2011, the company continues to prove that their subs are not just delicious, they’re making a significant difference in the lives of many.

Special Olympics Minnesota is joining forces with Jersey Mike’s Subs for its 14th annual Month of Giving campaign. During the month of March, you can donate to support Special Olympics Minnesota at any of the 54 Jersey Mike’s restaurants in the state. 100% of the funds raised will directly support SOMN’s sports, health, leadership and schools programs.

Throughout March, you can make donations when you visit a Jersey Mike’s restaurant or on the Jersey Mike’s mobile app. The Month of Giving campaign will culminate with Jersey Mike’s Day of Giving on Wednesday, March 27, when 100% of sales—not just profits—support Special Olympics Minnesota’s mission of inclusion.