Deion Sanders Reportedly Re-Signs With Nike

Former two-sport star is back with the Swoosh.

Former two-sport star and current University of Colorado football coach Deion Sanders is said to be linking back up with Nike, a brand he once vowed to never work with again.

Sanders, who played professionally in the MLB from 1989 to 2001 and the NFL from 1989 to 2005, is best known in sneaker culture for his signature line of Nike Air Diamond Turf training shoes. One of the brand’s most popular signature lines of the era, the first Air Diamond Turf debuted in ’93 followed by an Air Diamond Turf 2 sequel in ’94, the Diamond Turf Max ’96 , the Air Diamond Turf 4 in ’97, and lastly the Air Diamond Turf 5 in ’98.

His relationship with the Swoosh soured in later years and Sanders beginning a long-term relationship with Under Armour in 2009. During a 2017 episode of “Sneaker Shopping,” Sanders told host Joe La Puma that he worked with Nike designer Tracy Teague at to create the original Diamond Turf and felt that he wasn’t adequately compensated. 

“That’s why I’m upset with them right now,” Sanders said of Nike in the video. “We created these together, but they don’t want to seed me, they don’t want to direct deposit,” adding he’d “never” work with the brand again and considered himself an Under Armour guy. 

Later, on a 2019 episode of “Full Size Run,” Sanders expressed frustration about Nike’s lack of involvement in his youth leagues and the fact he had never had a one-on-one meeting with co-founder Phil Knight. Sanders again said he’d never wear his retro Nikes, citing his loyalty to Under Armour. 

But today, Sanders shared an Instagram post holding his original Air Diamond Turf and wearing a co-branded Nike long-sleeve shirt. “We coming @nike,” reads the post’s caption. According to ESPN’s Nick DePaula, Sanders is officially back with the brand.

The latest news comes after he was spotted in April wearing a retooled version of his Diamond Turf Max ’96 during the Colorado Buffaloes Black & Gold Day game. At the time, the understanding was that a clause in Colorado’s contract required him to wear Nike despite the Under Armour deal, but now it looks like there was more to the story than originally believed.