Deion Sanders Image Credit: ShutterStock

Deion Sanders Isn’t A Businessman – He’s a Business, Man


Jay-Z could easily have been describing Deion Sanders when he tore up the remix for “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” for Sanders is much more than a businessman.

Sanders has taken the college football world and crafted it into his own personal Prime brand marketplace, creating an unparalleled moment we haven’t witnessed before in the sport.

Sure, Nick Saban is the biggest name in college football and Kirby Smart is honing Georgia into the most powerful program in the country.

But what Deion has done for both Jackson St. and Colorado in three short years is a case study for all sports management and business classes (I know as I’ve taught lessons on his college football tenure in my classes).

While his accomplishments over the last nine months at Colorado have captured the attention of the media and fans alike, to start there is short-changing Coach Prime’s impact.

When he was first hired at Jackson St., many questions were raised.

He didn’t have head coaching experience at the college level, so some viewed his hiring as a ploy by AD Ashley Robinson to garner attention for the program. While that held some merit, the results were irrefutable.

After re-starting the season in 2021 after the pandemic, Sanders led the Tigers to records of 4-3 and then 11-2 in his first full season, which included a SWAC Championship and a Celebration Bowl appearance. A year later, Coach Prime did it again, this time leading the team to a 12-1 record and another SWAC title and Celebration Bowl appearance.

But Sanders’ presence was more impactful than his 27-6 record.

When the water crisis hit the city of Jackson in 2022, Sanders jumped into action to bring much-needed attention and resources to the city, school and his program to keep them safe.

In July 2022, when the football facility needed money to finish construction, he donated half of his salary to complete it.

His presence and actions brought the school the types of rewards it had hoped for when Robinson hired him, including new sponsors.

He even managed to anger college football traditionalists by stealing Travis Hunter, one of the top recruits in the country, away from Florida State, a move doubters like Fox Sports’ Doug Gottlieb called “an obvious mistake.”

But Sanders remained undeterred, and that’s when Colorado came calling.

Continue reading over at First and Pen.

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