Why Sanders rejected a $750k check from British Knights and signed with Nike, which offered less

Abu Mubarik May 20, 2024
Deion Sanders. Photo Credit: Instagram, Blenders Eyewear

Deion Sanders recently revealed why he rejected a shoe brand deal from the British Knights and signed with Nike. Interestingly, the British Knights were willing to offer a check of $750,000 for a year while Nike offered $250,000, according to CantonRep.

He also had the opportunity to sign with LA Gear, but ultimately, he settled with Nike in 1992, signing for a reported fee of $250,000 for the first six months. Reports stated that he accepted Nike’s lesser offer because it would get him more exposure. 

“After six months, Nike tore up his contract,” agent Eugene Parker told CantonRep. “They made him a deal that guaranteed him a seven-figure base plus royalties. It also put a stamp on him for corporate America, which led to more deals.”

Indeed, in 1993, Sanders launched his own shoe line, “The Nike Air Diamond Turf,” and his tenure at Nike led to five successful collaborations, according to Complex. Sanders praised his shoe brand’s performance, saying it performed better than other collaborations.

“One thing they never said was that even back in the heyday, we outsold everybody. Because Jordan at that time was just a limited number that they put out, and we blew it out the door. Much love for everybody in the ATL because they supported. I would drive through the hood, man, all the kids. Everybody had on a pair of these things,” Sanders told Complex, according to AfroTech.

His relationship with Nike ended over issues surrounding the original Diamond Turf sneaker, which he co-designed with Nike designer Tracy Teague.

“Tracy Teague from Nike, we came up with these. That’s why I’m upset with them right now. We created these together, but they don’t wanna see me. They don’t wanna direct deposit,” Sanders explained, per Complex.

He later worked for Under Armour for over a decade, according to USA Today. However, after signing with the University of Colorado Boulder, which has a deal with Nike that runs until 2025, he joined Nike.

Sanders is a retired American professional football and baseball player who currently coaches at the University of Colorado. Before that, he was the coach of Jackson State University after signing a four-year deal worth $1.2 million.

The USA Today, in a publication, described Sanders as the most famous college coach ever. He has been part of mainstream popular culture for 35 years, featuring in Pizza Hut, Pepsi, and Nike commercials in the early 1990s, according to the platform. Not only that, he has also appeared in rap music videos and hosted a Miss USA pageant.

Sanders was a multisport star in high school before earning a scholarship to Florida State University, where he was a member of the school’s football, baseball, and track teams. With a reported net worth of $45 million, he became considered the only person to have played in both a Super Bowl and a World Series.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 20, 2024


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