Shedeur Sanders has made history by becoming the first HBCU athlete to sign an endorsement deal with Gatorade.
According to a press release obtained by EBONY, Sanders inked a multi-year partnership agreement where he will work with the brand "to drive national exposure of HBCU programs and athletes.”
“It’s an honor to join the Gatorade family and represent this historic moment for HBCU athletes,” Sanders said. “I can’t wait to work with Gatorade on and off the field to help create even more opportunities for HBCU students and athletes.”
Chauncey Hamlett, CMO/VP of PepsiCo Beverages North America, South Division, expressed his excitement about Sanders joining the Gatorodade team and reaffirmed the company's vision of partnering with HBCUs.
“As one of the country’s best freshmen college football players, Shedeur Sanders is another incredible addition to the Gatorade Family,” Hamlett said. “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.”
At 19-years-old, Sanders was the first HBCU athlete to win the Jerry Rice Award and was also named the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Freshman of the Year after leading Jackson State University to its first division title in eight seasons and the conference championship.
The signing of Sanders is the latest example of PepsiCo’s commitment in collaborating with HBCUs. The brand has an exclusive partnership with JSU's Football Coach and Shedeur’s father Deion Sanders, an EBONY 2021 Power 100 honoree. The company recently released its first HBCU commercial spotlighting JSU and Florida A&M University marching bands; it has multi-year partnerships with the National Battle of The Bands; and, it is the primary beverage sponsor of the Southwestern Athletic Conference.