Coach Prime Files For Four Trademarks: Lessons in NIL

Last Updated on September 23, 2023

Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders has led the University of Colorado Buffaloes to a perfect start so far this season, and the team is ranked no. 19 in the Associated Press poll as they prepare to play the Oregon Ducks in Eugene’s Autzen Stadium today.

As impressive as what Colorado is doing on the field is, and the amount of star power they attract to Boulder, more attention should be paid to how Coach Prime is expanding his brand.

According to attorney Josh Gerben, Coach Prime filed for four new trademarks: COACH PRIME, PRIME EFFECT, DADDY BUCK, and IT’S PERSONAL.

These trademarks can be used in different ways, from licensing deals and co-branding partnerships to merchandising. (tweet)

“A Monument Not A Moment” 

With media rights and sports content becoming increasingly valuable, this is a strategic move to ensure Coach Prime owns his intellectual property. The same attributes of faith, belief, discipline, authenticity, and swagger he displayed on the field as Primetime also characterize his coaching and business practices. It is very reticent of Kobe Bryant’s Mamba Mentality, where greatness is a way of life.

Coach Prime will continue to build on this momentum and take every opportunity to expand his brand, ultimately widening the gap between himself and other coaches in the country when it comes to providing athletes with a valuable skill in the age of NIL: brand development.  

Over the past year, we have seen how certain college athletes’ decisions to align themselves with storied collegiate brands have paid dividends on the athletic playing field and in NIL. Some examples include the Cavinder Twins Haley and Hanna Cavinder, who transferred to the University of Miami and have leveraged their success in NIL into careers beyond athletics; national champion and women’s basketball player Angel Reese, who transferred to LSU; and Heisman trophy winner Caleb Williams who transferred to USC.

Combining their social media following and alignment with their school’s storied brand and tradition is becoming a growing trend for college athletes who want to maximize their athletic talents and marketability. 

Relentless Exposure 

Coach Prime’s movement bucks that trend because Colorado is not a traditional power or a storied brand like those schools I mentioned above. He has turned Boulder, Colorado, into a place to be in sports from the ground up.

Every nationally televised Colorado this season has broken a viewership record. FOX Big Noon Kickoff will be in Boulder, Colorado, for a third time this season next weekend when the Buffaloes take on USC.

Ultimately, recruits are getting a front-row seat every day into what it is like to align themselves with Coach Prime’s brand; ironically, as much splendor as Coach Prime gives recruits, the actual value is not necessarily about attention as it is intention. 

Coach Prime’s brand goes beyond his name; it is rooted in a profound ethos. Respect for the female athletic staff is stressed, and disrespect will not be tolerated. Coach Prime challenges his players to see themselves beyond their football roles, to discover who they are beyond their Buffaloes jerseys.

Coach Prime’s Colorado Buffalo movement encourages all people to believe in themselves and believe in their journey.

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