Sales for Deion Sanders’ Prime 21 sunglasses have skyrocketed since Colorado State University Coach Jay Norvell called out Sanders (coach of the University of Colorado Boulder Buffaloes) for his choice of interview attire.
During his radio show last week, before his team faced off against the Buffaloes on Saturday, Norvell criticized Sanders for never removing his glasses, hoodies, or baseball caps for interviews. "When I talk to grownups, I take my hat and my glasses off," Norvell said. "That's what my mother taught me."
Now, Sanders is laughing all the way to the bank. His Prime 21 collection from Blenders Eyewear, named in honor of Sanders’ “Coach Prime” nickname, was preparing to go on sale when Norvell sounded off. Pre-sales for the glasses proceeded to skyrocket.
"We have officially broke [sic] the internet today," Chase Fisher, founder and CEO of Blenders Eyewear, said last week. "The timing of that couldn't have been any better. That comment directed at sunglasses and then us releasing the (Sanders) collection today was peanut butter meets jelly. The timing was insane."
Coach Prime had a similar take. “They don’t realize they just helped me with business,” Sanders laughed to his team last Friday.
So far, it’s reported that Blenders sold nearly 72,000 units of Prime 21 shades. At around $67 each, the new frames have brought in $4.5 million in just over a week. Thanks to the deal struck prior to the season between Coach Prime and Blenders, Sanders stands to earn royalties from each pair sold. According to Sanders, the company sold $1.2 million worth of shades last Friday alone.
As per @FOS:
Blenders — the brand behind Deion Sanders' 'Prime 21' sunglasses — originally planned to sell about 16,000 pairs.
They've now sold 67,000-72,000 pre-orders, the company tells Michael McCarthy.
Priced at $67, Coach Prime has brought in $4.5 million in sales, at… pic.twitter.com/JfvHU0Yy4l
— Sportsfinda (@Sportsfinda) September 19, 2023
The glasses come either in two models, both with polarized lenses: black with gold-hued frames, or an entirely gold option complete with colored lenses. Both are embossed with "PRIME" and Colorado's "WE COMING" printed on the arms.
Norvell hasn’t weighed in on the recent developments, but users on social media are comfortable speaking for him. “That free advertising from Colorado State starting nonsense,” one commenter wrote. “This what they mean when they say, ‘Turn a negative into a positive,’” said another. Some came to Norvell’s defense, though, even encouraging Sanders to cut him a marketing fee.
— AJ Lusby (@AJ_Lusby) September 18, 2023
If sales keep up, we may soon have Coach Prime-branded hoodies and caps to go with our shades.