Although the Buffaloes, the University of Colorado Boulder football team coached by none other than Deion Sanders, suffered their first loss last Sunday, Sept. 24 — and it was an embarrassing one that knocked them out of the Associated Press college football poll — Coach Prime still seems to be one of the most valuable coaches in college sports.
Former NFL star and now star coach Deion Sanders is proving he’s a game-changer in more ways than one. Since he’s become the coach at the University of Colorado Boulder, the university reportedly has seen millions flowing in.
The Prime Effect
According to the university, the figure amounts to a staggering $90.6 million in revenue generated, largely attributed to Sanders’ influence and the buzz he’s sparked around CU Buffs football, reported Boulder’s Daily Camera.
CU Boulder spokesperson Steve Hurlbert told the outlet that the university’s substantial revenue comes from high-volume ticket sales, merchandise sales, increased donations and national media coverage.
The revenue influx can be attributed to a variety of factors, including a surge in ticket sales, merchandise sales, heightened donations and widespread national media coverage. Sanders not only has reinvigorated sports fans, but has also brought the spotlight back to college football.
The “Prime Effect” has been evident in various aspects. Sanders rallied high-profile celebrities like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Lil Wayne to support the team, bringing major visibility to the Buffaloes. This newfound attention has translated into record-breaking merchandise sales, as the CU Buffs’ online team store saw its second-highest grossing month after Sanders took the helm, with a whopping 2,544 percent increase in sales compared to September 2022, Daily Camera reported.
In addition to record merchandise sales, CU Boulder sold a record number of tickets. The university sold 22,457 season tickets, in addition to 11,600 student sports passes. Season tickets sold out in April, for the first time in 27 years. And, every home game for this season has sold out for the first time in school history.
“CU Boulder has been the epicenter of the national sports world, which has provided unprecedented exposure for our university across the country. I am impressed by the excitement that has permeated campus, which is less quantifiable but certainly as important as record-setting merchandise and ticket sales,” CU chancellor Phil DiStefano said in a statement.
On top of this, the University has seen a substantial boost in donor contributions, with an increase of nearly $2 million from the previous fiscal year. In fiscal year 2022, alumni donors gave a total of $50,846,783, and in fiscal year 2023, alumni contributions amounted to $52,785,243.
The Prime Effect can even be evidenced on CU football social media platforms, as followers have surged.
All of a sudden, the media seems to be interested in CU Buffaloes. According to school officials, CU Boulder issued a record 848 media credentials for the Nebraska game on Sept. 9.
All in all, while Sanders’ contract is five-year deal reportedly worth up to $29.5 million, his signing seems to have been a financial windfall not just for CU Boulder but the city of Boulder as well.
“The Visit Boulder Convention and Visitors Bureau projects that the 2023 CU vs. Nebraska football game brought in an estimated total of $17 million in combined direct and indirect economic impact to the area,” Hurlbert said, according to the Daily Camera. “This is the economic impact of the event for the whole region, not specifically to Boulder, as visitors stayed in surrounding towns, including Denver, for the game.