NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders is making headlines for more than just his winning record as Head Coach for the University of Colorado Buffaloes. Blenders Eyewear announced a collaboration deal with Sanders, with both he and his players wearing the sunglasses during games.
With all the buzz around the coach and the team, the eyewear company claims to have made $1.2 million dollars in orders for their Prime 21 sunglasses, according to a report from Bloomberg. Senior Reporter for Yahoo Finance Pras Subramanian joins Josh Schafer and Anjalee Khemlani to discuss the coach's popularity and the details surrounding the eyewear deal.
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PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Deion Sanders, my man, Coach Prime, prime time, well, he's bringing it to Colorado, right? So this all this attention there, all the hoopla, to Reno, Colorado, right? To Reno?
JOSH SCHAFER: To Reno, Colorado, yeah.
PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: So he's wearing the shades there, those are the Blenders shades, right? Apparently, sales are going through the roof. Bloomberg report today talking about how the CEO of Blenders Eyewear said that they can't keep track of exact numbers sold. That's how fast things are flying off the shelves. You know what else flying off shelves is Colorado season tickets. We're going crazy for them. I heard just anecdotally, people talking about them more than the Nuggets, the Broncos-- oh, the Rockies suck. But you know, you get the picture, right?
So the Deion prime time effect is just amazing. And this Blenders sunglasses effect is just part of that whole thing.
JOSH SCHAFER: Yeah, Pras. I mean, I'm admittedly basically obsessed with college football. So I've been following this very closely. They were at "College Game Day" from ESPN, was there last week. The Rock was wearing the sunglasses on air, which shocked me. I tuned in, and I was like, why is The Rock wearing sunglasses on TV? And it was the sunglasses.
PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah. I got to ask one thing, we have this the graphics with Deion got into a kind of an argument with the CSU, the Colorado State Coach, talking about, hey, "When I'm talking to grown-ups, I take my sunglasses off. That's my mother taught me. And then Deion said, well, it's personal now.
JOSH SCHAFER: But to get the glasses involved with that, right, is like, it's genius marketing, like, there's genius marketing going on from Deion Sanders here. There was a report out from the Boulder Daily Camera-- shout out local newspapers, great coverage in the newspaper this morning-- saying that they think Colorado is basically earned about 8-- or the equivalent of $90 million of what they could have spent on ads from earned media from Deion over the last three or four weeks essentially. That's how big this has gotten.
They're the fifth most watched college football game ever on Saturday. Fifth most, and it was at 10:30 at night.
For Colorado football.
ANJALEE KHEMLANI: For Colorado football.
PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Isn't the Deion effect now like 17, 18 million bucks every game day weekend for the community, the Boulder community, right? I mean, the effect is crazy.
ANJALEE KHEMLANI: I think that this is opening the door to like a bigger conversation about what we've seen over the years, which is how do you monetize college football and how do you do it in a way that is sustainable, that actually benefits, you know, the schools. We've seen characters, you know, in the coaching space before. I have to shout out my alma mater, Go Gators.
You know, like, we had Urban Meyer. I don't know that he could have done the same thing that Deion is doing right now. But you know, I think it's a different era for sure. And I wonder how many other schools are going to learn this and pick up on it and to the point of like, you know, the conference is not being so closed anymore. This also really impacts that and really allows that free flow.
PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Do you need those celebrity coaches then, right?
JOSH SCHAFER: Right, yeah. I mean, as Anja said, I mean, you had Urban Meyer at Florida. Florida was already a big school though, right, and already a football school. So them being successful is great. For Deion to bring this to a school like Colorado that really does need it a state school to get attendance up and actually make more kids come to that school, it feels like it's making actually a little bit of a difference beyond the football field, which is nice to see.
PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: I can see it improving attendance or improving applications for kids next year. I could see that happening.
ANJALEE KHEMLANI: If he stays. If he stays.
JOSH SCHAFER: Colorado, Oregon, they're big underdogs this week.