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Deion Sanders: Personality Brings Prime Changes To College Football


Deion Sanders
(AP Photo/Joseph R. Villarin)

The date is August 31, 1985, and a freshman who had been dubbed "Prime Time" by some of his friends at Fort Myers High School is set to take the field for the very first time as a college football player. Few people in attendance to watch the Florida State Seminoles take on the Tulane Green Wave would watch a legend be born that would bring a major impact to college football in 2023.


Deion Sanders
Photo Credit: Denver7

That legend born on that day is none other than Deion Sanders, affectionately known as Coach Prime. Today, he is the head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder, Colorado. After stints playing major league baseball, professional football in the NFL, and coaching stints at Prime Prep Academy, Triple A Academy, Trinity Christian Academy, and Jackson State, Sanders was named the head coach at the school on December 3, 2022. His effect was immediately felt nationwide and is still being expanded today. In this, I will explore some of the positive impacts his hiring has brought to the sport of college football, the City of Boulder, and the University of Colorado.


NATIONAL IMPACT of Deion Sanders


On a national level, the hiring of the 28th full-time head football coach at Colorado was felt just this past Sunday. For the first time in history, an active head coach at the collegiate level introduced the halftime performer of Super Bowl LVIII. More than that, in the new age of the college game, his hiring has forced other active coaches to re-evaluate how they approach the transfer portal as well as the NIL landscape. In just his first recruiting cycle, Coach Prime has completely flipped the roster at the University of Colorado, bringing in a record 50 new players to replace the 63 that left the program. The impact of this massive exodus and incoming transfers has forced other coaches to either work harder to protect their roster from bolting to Colorado but to also search for experienced players to join their rosters. It also made the black and gold competitive after having only won one game in 2022. In 2023, the Buffaloes have already tripled that number.



LOCAL IMPACT


Locally, for the City of Boulder, there has been a massive economic impact. The Boulder Chamber of Commerce has estimated that on opening day of the 2023 college football season brought an economic impact of roughly 18 million dollars, a 70% increase from 2022. Hotel rooms were so hard to come by that some fans were staying as far away as a three-hour drive. In terms of marketing, Sanders' own sunglasses line, Blenders Eyewear, made $4.5 million in just one week after opposing coach Jay Norvell mentioned Coach Prime wearing sunglasses in a press conference. Just last week, Mr. Sanders applied for four trademarks, seeking explicit rights to the phrases "Coach Prime", "Prime Effect", "It's Personal", and "Daddy Buck".


UNIVERSITY IMPACT


In a recent interview, CU Boulder chief spokesperson Steve Hulbert told The Daily Camera that since the season started, Sanders has brought the university in over $90 million. Since the December announcement of his hiring, Colorado Buffaloes gear through the school's online store has risen by 505%. Sales so far in September 2023, sales are up 764% when compared to the full month of September 2022, making it the highest sales month ever for the online store. For the first time in twenty-seven years, season tickets have sold out. This marks just the ninth time in school history for this occurrence after selling 22,457 passes.


NET POSITIVE


The hiring of Deion Sanders at the University of Colorado has had a resoundingly positive impact from every direction that one would dare look. Beginning with exceeding expectations on the field to financial impacts both locally and within the constraints of the university itself, one must view the compilation as a net positive. While some fans are growing frustrated with being inundated by the Colorado presence in the media, they have to admit that when weighing pros and cons, the entire situation falls squarely on the positive side. With the success, it will be interesting to see what can be done as an encore to the first ten months on the job.



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