Ready. Set. CO with UCHealth and Coach Prime | 6th Hashtag Sports Awards

Ready. Set. CO with UCHealth and Coach Prime


The 6th Annual Awards

Nominee ✨
  • Best Brand Sponsorship
  • Best College Sports Partnership
  • Most Creative Partnership with an Athlete or Influencer


Ready. Set. CO is UCHealth’s state-wide challenge to reclaim Colorado’s rightful place as the healthiest state. The goal of this partnership with Deion Sanders was to drive awareness, education and engagement to encourage and support Coloradans to lead a healthier life. The mission is simple: Get Colorado back to #1 with the help of Ready. Set. CO Chief Motivation Officer Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders.


How does this represent “Excellence in Engagement”?

UCHealth’s partnership with Coach Prime allowed us to drastically amplify the awareness of our state-wide Ready. Set. CO challenge. It’s expected and predictable to hear a health-focused message from a heath care system. But, Deion “Prime Time” Sanders will certainly garner unexpected attention.

CU Football and its groundbreaking new head coach was the biggest story in sports in Fall 2023. UCHealth was able to capitalize on the excitement of the moment in time and leverage our partnership with Deion to shine the spotlight on something that affects all Coloradans, whether or not you’re a fan of the Buffs. We leaned on Coach Prime as the ultimate motivator for EVERYONE, not just his football team. And it worked. People paid attention, they got excited and they engaged in this campaign.

UCHealth also brought other partners along for the ride to help amplify the message with engagement, activation and participation from Colorado’s pro sports teams (e.g. the reigning NBA Champion Denver Nuggets), local retail brands (e.g. Natural Grocers, Modern Market), and local celebrities. Coach Prime may be Ready. Set. CO’s Chief Motivation Officer, but we’re all in this together.


In late 2022, Deion Sanders took the sports world by storm by accepting the head football coach position at the University of Colorado to bring the once-proud program back to national relevancy. Concurrently, UCHealth—the leading non-profit hospital system and health care brand across the Front Range—was preparing to launch a large-scale health-focused mission that would soon become a rallying cry across the state.

Who better to serve as the face of this mission than the ultimate motivator who just became a Coloradan himself: Coach Prime. By capitalizing on Deion’s appeal, the campaign leveraged his position as Chief Motivation Officer to inspire collective commitment towards the shared goal of making Colorado the healthiest state.

A campaign was developed to drive awareness and engagement for the platform while connecting Coach Sanders to his new community outside of football. The plan included a multi-pronged organic, paid and activation strategy that reinforced UCHealth as the leader in the healthy lifestyle space in Colorado and positioned Coach Prime as a central figure for the state.

Strategy & Execution

This campaign was developed and implemented with a specific audience in mind and leveraged the biggest story in sports to drive a message aimed at the greater good of UCHealth’s audience. Striking while the proverbial iron was hot was paramount to the success of the Ready. Set. CO campaign.

UCHealth leaned on two fundamental truths to engage fans:

  1. Overall, Coloradans prioritize their health. An active, healthy lifestyle is part of the fabric of the state.
  2. Coach Prime commands attention and has a track record of success, even when he’s initially counted out.

The Ready. Set. CO message was a way for Deion Sanders to stand up for a cause he is passionate about in his new backyard. It was a perfect storm of strategy, excitement, timing and relevant messaging. This was an opportunity for Coach Prime to motivate the entire state. A variety of activations were implemented including a social content series, OOH, giveaway items, earned media and a Guinness World Record-setting event.

Not only did UCHealth activate Coach Prime, we brought dozens of other partners along for the ride to support and amplify the message including local pro sports teams, retail and consumer brands and local celebrities.


  • UCHealth
  • University of Colorado Athletics
  • Paragon Marketing Group
  • SMAC Entertainment


Bill Smith
Sponsorship Director

Nick Scozzari
Partnerships Coordinator

Kristen Del Calzo
Sr. Producer

Julia Berthet
Director of Production

Jeff Kosloski
Executive Creative Director

Paul Manutes
Creative Director

Kyle Siderius
Sr. Art Director

Mike Mazzanti

Matt Trainor
Co-Director, Editor

Kelly O’Reilly
Associate Creative

Juan Cabrera
Creative Director

James Sawyer
Social and Digital Media Strategist

Alondra Perea
Media Buyer Strategist

Maddy Goodhart
Project Manager

Kim Vecchio
Sr. Director, Brand and Advertising

Christina Hixson
Sr. Director, Partnerships

Manny Rodriguez
Chief Marketing Officer

Brad Fixler
VP Marketing

Jose Diaz
Strategic Partnerships & Communications
SMAC Entertainment

Constance Schwartz-Morini
Partner and Co-Founder
SMAC Entertainment

William Deckler
Director, Brand Partnerships
SMAC Entertainment

Sam Morini
Manager, Talent Development
SMAC Entertainment

Celebrate in NYC

Join us for the 6th Annual Hashtag Sports Awards™ on the evening of June 6, 2024 as we celebrate finalists and reveal the winners of this year's awards live during the show.