BOULDER, Colorado — Heading into the second month of the college football season, the Coach Prime effect is having a huge impact on a crucial part of University of Colorado sports.
Deion Sanders became head coach of the football team last December, and Colorado Athletics has seen a major increase in sponsorship revenue this season — which could keep growing as the 3-1 Buffaloes’ schedule continues.
“We’re not done, but as it stands right now, we’re looking at upwards of 42% growth year-over-year for sponsorships,” Andrew Popchock, general manager of Buffalo Sports Properties, told Front Office Sports.
The school is capitalizing on the excitement around Sanders via an influx of new sponsors and retaining and expanding existing relationships. And for anyone getting involved with Colorado now, it certainly isn’t cheap.
“Prices always go up,” said Andrew Wheeler, executive vice president of Learfield, the college-focused company that holds Colorado’s multimedia rights.
Colorado is flexible when it comes to accommodating sponsor interest — custom football-specific and even single-game sponsorships are available — but the goal is to convert as many partners as possible into long-term relationships for the entire athletic department, according to Popchock.
The marketing savvy of Sanders has no doubt been a big factor in the sponsorship growth.
Amid the explosion of interest in Blenders Eyewear and its “Coach Prime” line of sunglasses, Colorado was able to add the company as a university athletics sponsor.
“We actually have a really good working relationship with Coach Prime’s team when opportunities come from his side, or opportunities come from the Learfield side,” Popchock explained.
This weekend, the focus is making the most of Colorado hosting No. 8 USC — which has the potential to be the biggest broadcast audience in Pac-12 history — and the increased interest from corporate partners around the Hollywood-adjacent matchup.