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Why Deion Sanders Could Generate ‘Hundreds of Millions’ for Colorado

  • Fox’s top college football analyst predicts Deion Sanders effect at Colorado.
  • Sanders has instantly turned the Buffaloes into the one of the country’s most ‘relevant’ programs.
Deion Sanders smiles during press conference announcing his appointment as Colorado head coach
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In 1994, Deion Sanders released the song “Must Be The Money.”

He may want to consider a remake if Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt’s prediction of Sanders’ financial impact on the University of Colorado comes to fruition.

Sanders’ hiring could generate “hundreds of millions” in sorely needed new revenue for the school, according to Klatt.

In the space of one afternoon, Sanders turned Colorado, a program with one winning season in 17 years, into the “most relevant” college football program in the country, said the ex-Buffaloes quarterback.

The school’s high-profile hire of “Prime Time” could be a case study of how a superstar football coach can serve as a rain-maker for an entire university.

As a successful head coach at Jackson State, Super Bowl champion, and NFL Network analyst, Sanders’ “charisma,” playing resume, and personality are unmatched by any coach in the country, Klatt said. The Deion Sanders Effect can’t help but boost his new university’s bottom line.

“This guy is captivating. Because of that, I think he will be covered, and Colorado will be covered, a great deal more than they have in the past. Certainly over the last few years,” Klatt told Front Office Sports.

Few know the Buffaloes football program better than Klatt. The Denver native served as the school’s starting quarterback from 2003-2005. He remains wired into his old school.

Sanders’ Colorado deal runs five years for $29.5 million, with an average payout of $5.9 million per year. He was previously making $300,000 a year at Jackson State.

The school’s “home run hire” of Sanders will electrify everything from ticket sales to student applications, predicted Klatt, who calls Fox’s top college football games with play-by-play partner Gus Johnson.

That would be welcome news for a struggling Buffaloes program that limped through a 1-11 season in 2022. And an athletic department that lost $18 million in 2021.

Here’s how Sanders can fill Colorado’s coffers, according to Klatt:

Increased ticket sales: According to Klatt, the program’s season ticket sales have “exploded” since news broke of Sanders’ hire. Ditto for donations from boosters. On his podcast, Klatt called Sanders a “supernova” and “one of one” who will restore Colorado to prominence. If Sanders is successful, Klatt believes the new football coach will “absolutely” generate hundreds of millions of dollars throughout his deal.

Recruiting: College football recruiting is “all about perception,” Klatt noted. No program’s getting more national media exposure right now than Colorado. That’s not lost on high school football stars looking for their ticket to the NFL. Even Top 50 recruits will take a call from the 55-year-old Sanders. And maybe come to the Boulder campus for a visit.

“At worst, they will be curious about what Deion Sanders has to offer,” Klatt said. “His texts and DMs will be responded to far more frequently than almost anybody else in the country, save maybe Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh, Ryan Day, or Dabo Swinney. He’s immediately on that level.”

Media exposure: Klatt said, “there’s no question” Colorado’s games will get more prominent placement from the Pac-12 Conference’s media partners Fox and ESPN next season. With Sanders on the sideline, anticipation is already building for Colorado’s first two games against TCU, who will play in this season’s College Football Playoff and Nebraska, in the home opener. His presence could help the Pac-12 as it seeks to negotiate a new rights deal.

“Obviously, winning would help from a game selection process,” added Klatt.

More applications: Klatt said that a top coach attracts applicants to a school. Take the University of Alabama. During Saban’s first 10 years at the helm, total Crimson Tide enrollment jumped 51%, according to the Tuscaloosa News.

Like Alabama, Colorado should also attract a bigger percentage of out-of-state applicants. These students pay more for tuition than in-state students, generating additional millions for the college. Colorado residents, for example, pay an in-state tuition of $30,452 vs. $57,702 for non-residents.

“People like our old babysitter in Newport Beach, California, applied and went to Alabama – because it became cool,” Klatt said.

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