By Gary J. Nix
- During Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders’ head coach tenure for the University of Colorado nearly $17M has been added to the Boulder economy with each sold-out home game
- Coach Prime’s endorsement deal with Blenders Eyewear helped the brand experienced $1.2M in sales in one day
When the University of Colorado negotiated with Deion Sanders, both parties agreed to a 5-year, $29.5 million deal, it unleashed the “Primetime” economic impact playbook. Even though the University of Colorado initially didn’t have enough funds to pay him, they bet on understanding what Coach Prime and his brand could bring to Boulder as a solution. Let’s say this bet and relationship with Sanders and his cultural cachet has paid off for the university (and then some), as of the end of September, to the tune of $280 million.
Why This Matters: During Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders’ head coach tenure for the University of Colorado nearly $17 million has been added to the Boulder economy with each sold-out home game. College football is a multibillion-dollar business, and for decades, much of that has been built on the backs of the star athletes, a majority of whom are Black. Yet, in the case of the Colorado Buffaloes, the spotlight is squarely on a former athlete—a college star, professional two-sport athlete, and NFL Hall of Famer.
In September alone, after four games, CU has generated 31,227 total media mentions for an estimated ad equivalency of $128 million, according to the Cision data. USA Today reported that sales in the online team store have increased 2,544% since September 2022.
And before you jump on big-name college football head coaches like Nick Saban or Kirby Smart as a draw, a proven commitment to winning does not have the same allure as a charismatic, front-facing, bonafide football superstar who has stayed close to the game for which he is best known. Additionally, Primetime has displayed an understanding of the strong bonds between culture, celebrity, sports, and music, thus creating a brand that many want to interact with, whether they love or hate him.
The University of Colorado and Deion understand the monetary value they deliver. Coach Prime is preparing to make sure he capitalizes off of his name, image and likeness in a way no other coach can. For example, in-state rival Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell made a shady reference to Deion Sanders’ Blenders sunglasses. While that mention may have excited those who are not Sanders’ fans, it also activated Coach Prime’s fans to purchase $1.2 million worth of those sunglasses in one day leading to Blenders becoming a university athletics sponsor.
What’s Next: Sanders is planning on monetizing more of what he’s known for in part by filing for trademarks to be used on a clothing brand, production company and coaching services including: “Coach Prime,” “Prime Effect,” “Daddy Buck,” and “It’s Personal.” If you notice, most of these trademarks are not directly connected to The University of Colorado. So, it is clear that Sanders is digging his feet further into his personal brand and merchandise from which he will be able to see additional revenue. For Sanders this is yet another venture to conquer, one that directs more money his way by the time his trademarks are registered.
Next time you have a question about why protecting your IP is important, the quick answer can be found in the CBX Vibe.
CBX Vibe: “Must Be The Money” Deion Sanders