Last Updated on September 16, 2023
“Do You Believe”?
University of Colorado head football coach Deion Sanders is drastically changing the college sports landscape. In a time when topics such as the transfer portal and name, image, and likeness are often scrutinized, Coach Prime has shown a willingness to adapt.
Sanders overturned nearly the entire football roster ahead of the 2023 season, acquiring 87 new players – a number that is simply unheard of in college football. To put it into context, the Buffaloes won just one game in 2022 and finished dead last in the Pac-12 Conference. No one could fathom that Coach Prime could turn around a 1-11 team.
Regardless of whether college football fans believed he could, many were left no choice but to watch. In Week One, Coach Prime silenced many of his critics, defeating the College Football Playoff National Championship runner-up TCU Horned Frogs 45-42 on the road in Fort Worth. And after the victory, he asked us all, “Do you believe?”
Coach Prime’s Business Impact
Coach Prime’s impact on business was felt immediately when it was announced that he was going to become the next football coach for the University of Colorado in December of 2022. According to Front Office Sports, licensed Buffaloes merchandise is up 700% year-over-year.
His influence was also felt when it came to ticket sales. By April, the program had already sold out its season tickets, along with 30,000 tickets to the team’s nationally televised spring game.
Additionally, the Colorado versus TCU game drew over 7 million viewers and was the biggest opening audience for a College football game on FOX. On that Saturday alone, the University of Colorado sold roughly 300,000 tickets.
Coach Prime’s Marketability
When you think of who benefits the most from Coach Prime’s meteoric rise, many think of the television networks. The two networks in pole position during this era of conference realignment are ESPN and FOX. The University of Colorado will join the Big 12 – which has a joint media rights deal with FOX and ESPN – starting in the 2024-25 season.
Despite all the attention teams have been receiving with conference realignment, Colorado has a coach that impacts so many stakeholders’ bottom lines. The early September matchup between Colorado and TCU showed evidence of this.
Colorado’s nationally televised games will be a proverbial billboard to attract recruits and brands to sponsor its college athletes. Suppose the Colorado versus TCU viewership numbers are any indication of what is to come this season. In that case, we can expect Coach Prime and the Buffaloes to be a mainstay topic in college football well beyond this season.