Coach D now works his magic off of the field!
As he continues to work to revitalize the football program at Jackson State, Deion Sanders has helped to ink a deal with Pepsi to join forces with the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) as a major sponsor.
Sanders’ first relations with the leading beverage company began in the mid-1990s and now Pepsi has become the primary beverage sponsor for all SWAC football and basketball championship games through 2023.
In the midst of his first season as the coach for Jackson State, the Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback can now add the role as a SWAC ambassador to his resume.
According to USA TODAY, in a three-year deal, Pepsi reiterates its support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The deal is a component of the brand’s Racial Equality Journey which includes a series of initiatives launched in April 2020 by the company with a commitment of $400 million over the next five years.
“This is kind of next level,” said Derek Lewis, president of PepsiCo Beverages North America’s South Division in an interview with USA TODAY Sports. “The more attention that HBCUs get, the better it’s going to be for the students and also the communities. We’re going to be able to go deeper and wider in this partnership than ever before.”
The program includes a commitment by Pepsi to hire a student-athlete from each participating school upon graduation.
“We got to the party working with Dr. McClelland and his team,” continued Lewis. “The Deion work is parallel. He brings a tremendous amount to the table. He has a great relationship with Pepsi. We’re excited about his ambassadorship for what we’re going to do in the communities and beyond. I look at these as parallel paths that complement each other but certainly did not have a role in one getting done vs. the other. These both were organic in nature and they happen to be very complementary.”
Sanders who has been featured in commercials for various PepsiCo brands in the past years says that it is no longer just about him.
“We’ve been in a relationship for a long time,” said Sanders in an interview with USA TODAY Sports. “And this just takes it to a whole ‘nother level. Back in the 1990s, like every year, it’s been about me. But now it’s not just about me. It’s about us. And that’s a beautiful thing, man. I love it.”