The upcoming Orange Blossom Classic takes place next month on Sept. 4 in Miami Gardens, Florida.
With Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders leading the way, his Jackson State University football team will go up against Florida A&M University. The re-emergence of this football classic is spearheaded by Kendra Bulluck, who recently acquired the rights to the Orange Blossom Classic.
In an exclusive interview with AfroTech, she discusses being a Black woman who owns the exclusive rights to a major sports property. She also lays claim to being only the second woman to own an HBCU sports property.
Bulluck had been working on this acquisition for over a decade as she prepared through different methods to reach the stage to obtain it.
“What prepared me was time,” Bulluck tells the outlet.
“This was a project that I worked on for a little over a decade. During that time, I was able to really learn what it required — like networking and who you had to have at the table to help make decisions. And reaching out to the universities, having conversations on a daily basis with individuals that were already in that space.”
The classic returned last year as Coach Prime led Jackson State University to victory.
This year, on Labor Day Weekend, fans will have more of an experience with the additions added to the game. A welcome luncheon is included, along with a golf tournament and a battle of the bands. Also added is career advancement with an Amazon career recruitment fair with a symposium for careers in sports and entertainment.
The 2021 Orange Blossom Classic raised over $350,000 in scholarship funds. It will be used to help high school students who are interested in attending an HBCU.
“This year, we will continue our mission of raising funds for scholarships by having a great time,” Bulluck said.
She wants to make sure that people experience more than the game for this year’s classic.
“Sports are changing so much. So, we kind of have a responsibility to move with the time. What I mean by that is we want to make sure that this is not just a football game but it’s a week of events. And then, eventually, an opportunity for people to experience the Orange Blossom Classic year-round. Whether it be through youth football games or youth community outreach.”