Late Wednesday evening, news broke that the Big 12 voted unanimously to invite the University of Colorado away from the Pac 12 and to the rejuvenated conference. And one man is solely responsible for the Big 12 laying out the “welcome home” mat for the Buffaloes.
Say what you want about Coach Prime, but there’s no denying his impact.
From his transformational two years at Jackson State to his first eight months in Boulder, Deion Sanders has changed cultures and futures for his programs and players.
He’s a lightning rod for attention and change. That was obvious from the moment he touched down in Colorado despite not officially ending his tenure back in Jackson, MS.
The university rolled out the red carpet for Coach Prime and his family that day, launching not only the start of his job as the head coach of the Buffaloes but the “Prime” clothing line.
After being hired on December 3rd, sales of officially licensed Colorado products skyrocketed a ridiculous 700% YOY.
Then after returning to Mississippi to coach the Tigers one last time, Sanders’ farewell game helped make the 2022 Celebration Bowl the fourth most-viewed game in game history with 2.4 million viewers. That gave Sanders, who helped attract 2.6 million viewers to the 2021 game, ownership of two of the four highest-viewed Celebration Bowls in game history (2016- 2.7 million; 2015- 2.5 million).
But it didn’t end there.
Besides the hype and media frenzy, Sanders brought the money train with him and signed a 5-year, $29.5 million contract with Colorado, making him the highest-paid coach in school history.
But his presence paid immediate dividends for the school as a mindnumbing 47,277 fans showed up to watch the team’s spring game, ranking it 10th most in the nation (Ohio State ranked 1st with 75,122).
This content has been brought to you by First and Pen in partnership with TheHub.News. First and Pen “amplifies local sports stories from voices of color to the national conscience…”