Here’s what we know for sure. We’ve never seen anything like this in the world of sports. Ever.
At 3-0, the Colorado Buffaloes, once regarded as one of the worst programs in college football, are now pulling media and sports betting numbers that surpass the NFL.
“The Prime Effect” is making a lot of people overnight multi-millionaires. You can’t NOT watch it.
Amidst the frenzy around the upstart program’s success, there are three big questions looming over Deion Sanders’ disruptive brand and media hijack:
1. IS THIS REAL? Look people, Deion said it himself. You’re watching PRIME (the character), not Deion. He resurrected “Prime Time” from his playing days. We ate it up then, and we’re eating it up again. The shades, the gold chain, the Prime logo branded everywhere the eye can see…every element has been curated with genius-like precision to pluck the strings of America’s obsession with superheroes. Only three games into the season, America is in their feelings. Some love seeing an outspoken Coach Prime win, and some can’t wait to see an outspoken Coach Prime have to eat his words. Either way, they’re tuning in. And not changing the channel. Prime is prime time once again. We watched him turn one comment into $1.2 million of Coach Prime sunglasses sales in one day. Deion is a distant memory. Coach Prime is putting on a media masterclass. PT Barnum would be proud.
2. HOW LONG WILL THIS LAST? Let’s be honest, Colorado has played three teams, all of whom could conceivably finish the season with a losing record. Colorado has yet to defeat a team that is a national powerhouse. Oregon will be the first true barometer of Buffalo’s potential. Quiet as it’s kept, we still don’t know if the team is ready for the next level of play.
But the elephant (or Buffalo) in the room that nobody will touch is what this team appears at times to be evolving into. Antics such as the pre-game skirmishes and Shadeur Sanders’ now-famous “show em the watch” moniker have the potential to sully the Buffalos’ brand image from being scrappy young men who fight hard, to a brood of overly emotional kids who love to fight. America loves a winner but hates it when the winner gloats about winning. The money is bigger, the numbers are bigger. Now the program is under the microscope to see what “The Prime Effect” will do to the egos of those who are benefiting from it most.
3. WILL HE LEAVE? What if the NFL came calling with an unprecedented $100 million fully-guaranteed contract? Let’s be honest, he’s worth it. It would pay for itself. How strong is Deion Sanders’ commitment to the University of Colorado? He would have to pass up an opportunity to potentially make more money than he earned during all of his playing years combined. Right now, some NFL owner is sitting in his office, waiting for the right time to present a historic deal, quietly repeating Coach Prime’s anthem, “We Comin’.”
This article was reprinted with permission from Jonathan Sprinkles, the author of 14 books (including two international bestsellers), a TV personality, celebrity business coach, award-winning keynote speaker, UT Austin alum, and a football enthusiast.