StubHub’s Sub Zero Experience Rocks the Super Bowl

eBay Inc. Staff


The Super Bowl game may have been a bust, but StubHub’s Sub Zero Experience, the largest pre-game tailgate in the vicinity of MetLife Stadium (other than the NFL’s own party), was a blast, with thousands of fans enjoying free games, giveaways, and opportunities to meet celebrity athletes.

StubHub ticket sales for the game blew past the team’s goals.

“This was the most successful Super Bowl in company history, and our number two event ever, after the 2013 BCS Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama,” said Justin Finn, head of event marketing, who organized the Sub Zero Experience.

But rather than leave it at that, the team wanted to build an exciting and engaging event for fans, which doubled as a ticket pickup location. (To guarantee safe delivery, all StubHub Super Bowl tickets were held for pickup on game day.) In anticipation of cold weather in New Jersey that February weekend, the Sub Zero Experience embraced a winter theme, with fake snow, a virtual snowball fight and more. Although temperatures turned out mild on game day, it was all the better for fans to enjoy all that the event had to offer. 

“We’ve tried to create this entire event where people want to go, participate and stay,” Finn said.

Upon entering the Sub Zero Experience, everyone got a scannable bracelet with a microchip. Any time an event-goer played a game, had a picture taken with a celebrity athlete or had their face painted, they’d get activation points, which quickly added up to prizes like sunglasses or touchscreen gloves.

They also enjoyed local fare like Nathan’s hot dogs, Buffalo wings and, for those of age, brews on tap from the New York State craft brewers association.

The Sub Zero Experience was in itself a media event: NBC Sports Radio broadcast its pre-game show on-site for four hours before the game, featuring hosts Donovan McNabb, Bart Scott and Tony Dungee.

Even getting to the game was seamless, with 140 chartered buses from New York City and Secaucus, N.J., shuttling StubHub customers to the Sub Zero Experience, where they picked up their tickets, and from there to the game and back. In contrast to the massive public-transportation delays after the game and the restricted parking situation, “it was smooth sailing all the way" on StubHub’s shuttle buses, one passenger told ESPN.

“Surpassing our goals was always a top priority of the entire campaign, and we couldn't be happier with the results,” Finn said. “However, what really impacted all the Stubbers who worked the event was how blown away all our fans were with the experience we created for them. The number of ‘thank you's,’ high-fives and even a few hugs was probably a metric we surpassed as well.”

Watch a video of the event: