Colorado Merch Surges 1,200% Year-Over-Year Thanks to 'Coach Prime' Effect
Has there been more exciting time for University of Colorado sports? With Deion Sanders, aka Prime Time, aka Coach Prime, at the helm of the school's football program, the Buffaloes are now one of the hottest teams in sports — not just college sports, either.
Anecdotally, we noticed two Phillies stars, Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos, showing up to Citizens Bank Park in Boulder gear before both hitting two home runs against the Atlanta Braves. Coincidence? Perhaps. But clearly Coach Prime is giving off an air of confidence that translates through merchandise all over the country.
"People are drawn to hope," Sanders said, according to CBS Sports. "We're pulling people in, man, that just want a chance to be seen, to be heard, to be noticed, to be recognized."
Not so anecdotally, Colorado's merchandise sales have increased by 1,200% year-over-year, and most of that is due to the Coach Prime Effect. Similar to the Taylor Swift Effect, the Coach Prime Effect is what happens when a new variable enters an established medium, with both examples being football, and create new demand in something from new audiences.
These kinds of things extend beyond the football field, or even the sports world. What distributors can take away from this is that when something like a new event, a holiday, or anything that breaks up the status quo for a customer and their calendar, comes about, you can capitalize on it and drive demand. Create themed products or a themed campaign to reach end-buyers and create renewed demand for the clients' services or products.
Colorado knew this going into the season, and made a full line of "Coach Prime" merchandise, like apparel with the CU logo and "Prime" together, and apparel that uses catchphrases like "We Coming."
It was practically a co-branding partnership, even though he's just another part of the team.
This also is another example of how the sports market wants more than just team logos. They want phrases that commemorate certain games or now-famous moments. They want things that make them feel like part of a community or a city overall. And, most of all, they want things that feel like fashion pieces, rather than just team gear.