When Deion Sanders left Jackson State for Colorado last December, that also meant he was leaving Under Armour for Nike.
The relationship between Sanders and Under Armour Founder/Chairman Kevin Plank goes back for decades, since Sanders was a youth football coach. Needless to say, it was a big change.
“Kevin Plank and Under Armour, man — we’ve been together longer than George and Weezie,” Sanders said in a recent interview with Thee Pregame Show. “Kevin Plank — I love this man so much for what he’s done for me, my youth programs…”
That relationship culminated in a deal that literally changed the face of Jackson State University athletics back in 2020. The school had a third-party deal with Nike before Sanders and Plank teamed up for a direct deal with Under Armour.
“Even with going to Jackson and changing that whole dynamic of all the sports wearing UA stuff — and we could afford it. The multiple uniforms…I think we outdid Oregon when we was at Jackson State,” Sanders said. “We had several uniforms. I think — if we did wear the same combination twice — I don’t think we did in a whole season. We may wear the same top and bottom but not the same helmets.”
Deion Sanders hosted Plank at Jackson State before he left, and the school and apparel company continue to be partners even though Sanders has left the building.
“Colorado is a Nike school, so Mr. Plank and I talked and we spoke business-wise as well as relationally-wise,” Sanders said. “I had to do what I had to do. I’m ecstatic and I’m excited about it,” he said of the move to Nike.