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Deion Sanders’ Sunglasses Dispute Nets Eyewear Company Nearly $4.5 Million

  • Blenders has sold between 67,000 and 72,000 following the controversy between the Colorado rivals.
  • Sanders gave sunglasses to celebrities The Rock and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith to help promote the brand.
Deion Sanders
Courtesy of CU Athletics
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“Unbelievable, incomprehensible. I mean, it feels as if Blenders became the face of pop culture – and college sports – overnight.”

Chase Fisher, founder and chief executive officer of Blenders Eyewear, describes his whirlwind week as Deion Sanders’ official sunglasses partner. 

Since word spread that Blenders was the maker of the snazzy “Coach Prime” sunglasses styled by the Colorado football coach, sales have gone through the roof.

The Coach Prime line doesn’t officially go on sale until Oct. 12. On a pre-order basis, Blenders has sold between 67,000 and 72,000, according to Fisher. They originally only planned to sell 16,000 pairs.  

Fisher declined to comment on dollar sales. But at $67 a pair, that will produce a rough revenue of $4.5 million. Sanders himself said on TV that sales had already surpassed $1.5 million. But Fisher confirmed the current number is much more significant.

There’s no telling how many more sunglasses will sell if Sanders and his 3-0 Buffaloes continue to be the biggest story in college sports, if not all.

Demand is so heavy that if customers order this week, they won’t get their pair until December.  

Available in gold and black, the “Prime 21” shades have become so scarce that Fisher had to borrow one of the few pairs left at his San Diego headquarters for a Zoom interview on Friday. He and his partners at Colorado are just getting started. 

The sunglasses-loving Sanders and CU Athletics eventually want his Prime Line to include pregame, in-game, and post-game glasses. Blenders will use some revenue from sales to open more brick-and-mortar retail stores around the country. It currently has six.

Fisher can only shake his head at the fortunate timing of the last week.

Blenders wasn’t poised to formally announce its Sanders line until Friday. Then Colorado State coach Jay Norvell took a potshot at Sanders for always wearing sunglasses.

“When I talk to grownups, I take my hat and my glasses off,” Norvell said. “That’s what my mother taught me.”

Bad idea. The marketing-savvy Sanders seized the moment to provide bulletin board material for his players and kick off his Blenders sponsorship with a bang. 

Coach Prime passed out a pair to each of his players. Before you know it, the Blenders brand was famous overnight. The money poured in from online orders. 

“The timing was impeccable. We were planning on releasing the partnership, and we wanted to get it out by the end of the week,” Fisher told Front Office Sports. “And when this happened, it just was perfect. You couldn’t have asked for a better story.” 

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The 56-year-old Sanders has been an A-List endorsement star on Madison Avenue since his NFL playing days. 

With the entire sports world heading to Boulder last weekend, he smartly gifted free pairs of his signature sunglasses to The Rock and ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Shannon Sharpe, and Pat McAfee.

These stars preened on live TV with their Coach Primes – generating millions more of free publicity for the Blenders brand.

“We knew it was going to be big, but we had no idea it would reach this sort of level. Honestly, this is publicity that you can’t buy,” Fisher said.

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