After becoming the first HBCU athlete to win the Jerry Rice Award, and recently being named the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Freshman of the Year after propelling Jackson State University to its first conference championship since 2007, quarterback Shedeur Sanders is announcing another first: He’s inked a historic NIL (name, image, and likeness) deal with Gatorade to become the sports fuel company’s first HBCU athlete.
“It’s an honor to join the Gatorade family and represent this historic moment for HBCU athletes,” Sanders, the son of NFL legend and current Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders, said about the deal in a press release. “I can’t wait to work with Gatorade on and off the field to help create even more opportunities for HBCU students and athletes.”
“As one of the country’s best freshmen college football players, Shedeur Sanders is another incredible addition to the Gatorade Family,” Chauncey Hamlett, chief marketing officer and vice president of PepsiCo Beverages North America South Division, added. “In his first year at Jackson State University, he’s already demonstrated the excellence and tenacity Gatorade athletes are known for and we’re excited to partner with him and build upon our commitment of supporting HBCUs and their athletes.”
The Gatorade deal is only the latest for Sanders, who also signed an NIL partnership with Beats by Dre at the start of the college football season and recently inked an agreement with Tom Brady’s apparel line, Brady Brand.
However, speaking with The Undefeated, Sanders, who previously became the first HBCU player to win the 2021 Stats Perform Jerry Rice Award; explained what the new historic deal means to him as an HBCU athlete.
“This whole HBCU thing that’s going on right now is bringing national attention,” he told the outlet. “We got players from Power 5 actually coming to HBCU schools now, it wasn’t like that a couple years ago, so it’s just really exciting to see that competition will go up. Everything’s going to go up, and honestly, other players in HBCUs should get deals also.”
This is a game changer.