Skip to content
These Top College Athletes Could Make The Most Money From NIL Offers

An Olympic gymnast and two of the sons of an NBA legend could make more money on Instagram than any other college athlete under interim NCAA name, image and likeness guidelines, according to a new report .

American gold medalist Sunisa Lee and college basketball star Shareef O’Neal, son of LA Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal, are at the top of a list of 30 athletes who, according to sportsbook analysis firm Action Network, could make hundreds of thousands of dollars based solely on their social media reach. .

The list also includes Shareef’s younger brother, Shaqir, who plays basketball for Texas Southern University; as well as University of Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Rattler; wrestler Gable Steveson of the University of Minnesota; and Scotty Pippen Jr., son of the former Chicago Bulls player, currently a combo guard at Vanderbilt University.

Action Network said its list “not only shines a light on some incredible emerging talent, but illustrates the changing face of college sport in the United States.”

That face is changing because new NCAA rules now allow college athletes to monetize their names, pictures and likenesses, or NILs, as the Emerging Asset is known. Plugging a product or service into social media is just one of the ways college athletes have started to profit. Once the NCAA announced the NIL rules, businesses large and small did not waste time find college athletes for sponsorship deals.

Experts in the sports industry have told CBS MoneyWatch that the wave of sponsorship deals is still in its infancy, but it could end up with spectacular income for at least some of the young athletes.

For example, if Shareef signed a sponsorship deal, his existing Instagram account could earn him $ 10,820 per sponsored post, according to the Action Network report, the highest by any other athlete on his list.

Medalist Lee, in turn, could earn $ 6,403 per Instagram post; grappler Steveson, $ 1,321 per shift; and Pippen Jr. $ 1,014 per publication.

Action Network based its numbers on an estimate of $ 0.004 per Instagram post, per subscriber, which the platform says is the average price the typical social media influencer earns for brand deals with property companies. consumption and services.

Neither the O’Neal brothers, Lee nor Steveson have publicly announced a sponsorship deal so far. Pippen Jr. already has an endorsement deal with Raising Cane’s chicken finger restaurant chain.

Action Network noted that although varsity sports are already popular in the United States, “players who capitalize on NIL marketing deals should further strengthen the long-term viability of varsity athletics.”

Sports business experts predicted that individual college athletes could generate tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorship and support during their school years. College basketball and football players with potential to turn pro are set to win the biggest contracts, a scenario that is already starting to materialize.

University of Miami soccer players D’Eriq King and Bubba Bolden each signed $ 20,000 in support agreements with College Hunks Hauling Junk, ESPN reported. Hercy Miller, a Tennessee State University basketball player and son of rapper-turned-entrepreneur Master P, signed a four-year, $ 2 million contract with tech company Web Apps America, said his father. University of Central Florida sprinter Samieryah Bradwell signed a $ 10,000 contract with Sam’s Club last month.

Bradwell was one of 10 varsity athletes the Sam’s Club signed to deal with, the retailer said, including Southern Methodist University football player Sam Estrada and Georgia State University wide receiver Sam Pinckney.

“Supporting these athletes gives us a chance to connect with members in a new way, support students and rally around many under-represented college sports,” said Megan Crozier, Sam’s Club Chief Merchant. “It’s a win-win.”