On Jan 27, 2022, Gatorade announced the newest addition to its athlete roster with Jackson State University (JSU) quarterback Shedeur Sanders, the leading sports fuel company’s first signing of a HBCU athlete.
“It’s an honor to join the Gatorade family and represent this historic moment for HBCU athletes,” said Shedeur Sanders. “I can’t wait to work with Gatorade on and off the field to help create even more opportunities for HBCU students and athletes.”
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 after leading JSU to its conference championship and its first division title in eight seasons. As part of the multi-year partnership, Sanders will work with Gatorade, a brand born on the NCAA sideline with deep ties to college athletics, to drive national exposure of HBCU programs and athletes.
“As one of the country’s best freshmen college football players, Shedeur Sanders is another incredible addition to the Gatorade family,” said 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.”
This is the latest step in PepsiCo’s long-term commitment to HBCUs and fostering Black talent, which includes a partnership with JSU Coach Deion Sanders, the release of Pepsi’s first HBCU commercial spotlighting JSU and Florida A&M University marching bands, multi-year partnerships with the National Battle of the Bands and as the primary beverage sponsor of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and more.
Shedeur is Gatorade’s second collegiate athlete, following Paige Bueckers’ signing last year, and joins an elite roster featuring Serena Williams, J.J. Watt, Zion Williamson, Trevor Lawrence, DK Metcalf, Candace Parker, and Jayson Tatum, to name a few.