While the status of high school sports for the 2020-21 school year may be uncertain, one thing is for sure: Jersey Mike’s will be a major part of what you read and see on the Shore Sports Network. We are delighted to announce that we have not only extended but expanded our partnership with the iconic sub sandwich food chain over the next 12 months.

When we created the Shore Sports Network in 2014, Jersey Mike’s was one of the first sponsors to make a commitment to us and needless to say it did not hurt having a highly-regarded brand like them behind us. As time has gone by, we have partnered with them for many programs, including the very popular “Team of the Week” feature in which we honor football, basketball, and baseball teams on a weekly basis throughout the season. As part of that, they receive gift cards to enjoy “A Sub Above” at one of the 33 stores in Monmouth and Ocean County.

When the athletic season was canceled this spring they jumped in with our “Senior Spotlight” feature in which we highlighted spring athletes who lost out on their final high school seasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic with each receiving a $25 gift card. Jersey Mike’s has also been the lead sponsor of our live streaming of local sporting events and has been involved in the WOBM Christmas Classic, the football awards issue of the Shore Sports Network Journal and many others during the course of the year. In addition, they have already signed on to be a major sponsor of the 2021 Shore Sports Network All-Shore Gridiron Classic as this summer’s Ocean vs. Monmouth football game has been cancelled.

It’s not surprising that Founder and CEO Peter Cancro would put his support behind our efforts to cover and promote high school sports because it has provided a foundation for his life. In what is a well-documented story, Cancro began working at what was then Mike’s Subs in Point Pleasant as a 14-year old in 1971.  In March of his senior year at nearby Point Pleasant Beach High School he purchased the sub shop with the help of his youth football coach who just happened to be a local banker. The three-sport athlete gave up on his dream of playing football and studying law at the University of North Carolina to pursue another one and in 1987 began franchising. Today, Jersey Mike’s has nearly 2,000 stores and annual sales of almost $2 billion. Stealing a line which he uses often, Cancro has led the effort “to get the ball across the goal line” which was what that local banker (Rod Smith) has said when asked what made him secure a loan for a 17-year old.

Cancro told me in a recent interview: “Sports was where I raised up as a kid.  Coaches really believed in me and got the most out of me. You learn about team play in high school sports; it’s not just about me, it’s about putting others first before yourself. It’s about pulling people along and rising up together. That’s what we learn in sports.”

Even though he has locations in 48 states and the District of Columbia, the Shore area remains close to Cancro.

“Community is very important, which is why our motto is making a difference in someone’s life,” Cancro said. “Many of my decisions are based on sports and during meetings I often say things like, we have to keep running the ball down the field, move the chains and you can’t lose until the whistle blows.”

Peter Cancro

As for his commitment to the Shore Sports Network: “I love what you and your staff have done to promote student-athletes and teams in such a positive manner.

It is my pleasure to partner with you to keep telling stories and bring such outstanding content through your digital, print and broadcast outlets to athletes, coaches and parents in Monmouth and Ocean County. I call on other businesses to support your efforts to provide this truly great free service throughout the Shore area.”

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