Jackson State University quarterback Shedeur Sanders has become the first athlete from a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) to sign a Name Image Likeness (NIL) deal with Gatorade. Coached by his father, NFL legend Deon Sanders, the QB helped the JSU Tigers secure an 11-2 record in 2021.
“It’s an honor to join the Gatorade Family and represent this historic moment for HBCU athletes,” Sanders stated in a press release. “I can’t wait to work with Gatorade on and off the field to help create even more opportunities for HBCU students and athletes.”
In his collegiate career, the 19-year-old is the first HBCU athlete to win the Jerry Rice Award and was recently named the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Freshman of the Year Award after leading JSU to the conference championship and its first division title in eight seasons. As part of the deal, he will work with Gatorade to empower and highlight HBCUs.
Sanders joins Serena Williams, J.J. Watt, Zion Williamson, Trevor Lawrence, DK Metcalf, Candace Parker, and Jayson Tatum in the Gatorade family.
“As one of the country’s best freshmen college football players, Shedeur Sanders is another incredible addition to the Gatorade Family,” explained Chauncey Hamlett, CMO/VP of PepsiCo Beverages North America, South Division. “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.”
The signing of Sanders represents PepsiCo’s long-term commitment to HBCUs and fostering Black talent, according to the company, which includes a partnership with Coach Deon Sanders.
Watch Gatorade’s video announcement below.