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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / The Highest-Paid Men And Women Student Athletes Through NIL Valuation By Sport: Numbers that may surprise you!

The Highest-Paid Men And Women Student Athletes Through NIL Valuation By Sport: Numbers that may surprise you!

Publish Date: 05/09/2023
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

NIL Valuations

Every sport seems to be benefiting from all of these new NIL deals for players, and it’s not just men’s Basketball and Football that is raking in the money. Today we will go sports by sport and break down who brings in the most cash in each sport, men’s and women’s. These numbers may surprise you!

Mens sports highest valuations.

Men’s College Basketball: Bronny James (USC) – $5.9 Million

Bronny James currently possesses the highest NIL valuation across all of college sports – estimated at $5.9 million. As LeBron’s son and committed player at USC, Bronny will join them as a freshman when the 2023/24 season commences.

Bronny is a five-star recruit expected to play one year in college before entering the NBA. With 7.1 million Instagram and 5.9 million TikTok followers, his massive social media following has also drawn deals from Nike, Beats by Dre and Fast X. Bronny’s star power and promise for an impactful college career drive up his NIL valuation.

Video: Bronny James officially commits to USC I CBS Sports

Bronny James officially commits to USC I CBS Sports

College Football: Caleb Williams (USC) – $2.6 Million

Caleb Williams, USC’s quarterback, has an NIL valuation of $2.6 million, making him the highest earner in college football. His spot as the top earner was under threat from incoming Texas QB Arch Manning. Still, with Manning likely not winning the starting job, Williams retains the title of college football’s highest NIL valuation at the moment.

As the likely first overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, Williams has secured deals with top brands like AT&T, Neutrogena, and Beats by Dre.

The 2023 Heisman Trophy favorite according to sportsbooks, Wiliams has a high NIL value due to his immense talent, projected NFL success, and USC’s expected run at the College Football Championship.

Video: Caleb Williams 🔥 USC Highlights ᴴᴰ

Caleb Williams 🔥 USC Highlights ᴴᴰ

Men’s Track & Field: Sam Hurley (Texas) – $1.1 Million

Texas Longhorns’ junior decathlete Sam Hurley stands out in men’s track and field with his impressive social media following of over 5 million on TikTok and 1 Million followers on Instagram . Hurley was awarded an NIL valuation of $1.1 Million as one of only six track and field athletes to make the NIL 100 list.

Ralph Lauren, DoorDash and GNC all represent examples of how social media fame can be leveraged to secure lucrative non-incentive licensing (NIL) deals. Although initially intending to pursue influencer marketing full time out of high school, Hurley decided instead to attend college when NIL monetization became an option, which allowed him to keep his social media career while competing as an athlete in college sports teams.

Video: High Jump University 🤘🏽🤘🏽🤘🏽

High Jump University 🤘🏽🤘🏽🤘🏽

Men’s College Golf: Sam Bennett (Texas A&M) – $91k

Texas A&M’s Sam Bennett leads men’s college golf with an estimated net individual value (NIV) valuation of $91,000, thanks to his success as the top amateur at The Masters while finishing in the top 20. After finishing as such at The Masters, he saw his NIL value soar dramatically.

He has signed deals with Ping Golf and T-Mobile, and companies are eager to partner with talented young players like him. However, his NIL valuation remains significantly lower than top college basketball and football players.

Video: Sam Bennett's Second Round | Every Single Shot | The Masters

Sam Bennett’s Second Round | Every Single Shot | The Masters

College Baseball: Enrique Bradfield Jr. (Vanderbilt) – $59k

Vanderbilt junior centerfielder Enrique Bradfield Jr. currently boasts the highest NIL valuation in college baseball at $59,000 despite being considered a top-10 MLB draft prospect. However, his valuation falls significantly lower than Caleb Williams and Bronny James, who hold NIL valuations of $100,000 each.

Attracting over 90,000 social media followers, Bradfield has collaborated with brands like Gatorade, Bose and Dick’s Sporting Goods; yet his NIL value remains lower than those of football and basketball stars.

Video: 2023 Enrique Bradfield OF Vanderbilt

2023 Enrique Bradfield OF Vanderbilt

Men’s Soccer: RJ Stoller (Ohio State) – $19.1k

RJ Stoller of Ohio State holds the highest NIL valuation at $19,100 in men’s college soccer. While global stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi top the highest-paid athletes lists, their valuation remains significantly less than top US college sports players.

Stoller signed a NIL deal with Playa Bowls in 2022 with 2,200 social media followers, yet his NIL value far outshone that of athletes competing in more popular sports. This contrast underscores the significance of marketability and sport prominence as factors when calculating NIL valuation.

Womens sports highest valuations

Women’s Gymnastics: Livvy Dunne (LSU) – $3.4 Million

Livvy Dunne of LSU Gymnastics holds the highest NIL valuation among female college athletes at $3.4 million. Her impressive social media following of over 11 million – 7.4 million TikTok followers and 3.5 million Instagram followers combined – greatly drives her NIL value.

She made history recently as the first college athlete ever to sign an NIL deal with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Other partnerships include Body Armor, ESPN, Forever 21 and American Eagle. Dunne’s NIL valuation compares favorably with male athletes such as Caleb Williams and Bronny James.

Video: How Olivia Dunne Become The FACE Of College Gymnastics..

How Olivia Dunne Become The FACE Of College Gymnastics..

Women’s Basketball: Angel Reese (LSU) – $1.4 Million

LSU’s Angel Reese boasts a $1.4 million NIL valuation thanks to her team’s 2023 National Championship victory and her exceptional performances as an individual player. Following her lively title game celebrations, Reese has become an instant celebrity, even signing an appearance contract for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

She now boasts over 4 million social media followers and has inked non-exclusive licensing deals with Raising Cane’s, Sonic and Bose.

Video: Angel Reese 2023 NCAA tournament highlights

Angel Reese 2023 NCAA tournament highlights

Women’s Track: Tori Ortiz from Oklahoma State earned $188k

Tori Ortiz, a junior sprinter at Oklahoma State, holds an NIL valuation of nearly $188,000 and boasts almost 800,000 followers. Her popularity illustrates the need for college athletes to maintain strong social media accounts.

She recently signed on with WWE’s Next in Line program, designed to discover and foster talented athletes for future opportunities like that of the Cavinder twins.

Video: How Tori Ortiz Changed Her Life As A College Athlete

How Tori Ortiz Changed Her Life As A College Athlete

Women’s Soccer: Kenlee Newcom (Western Kentucky) – $140k

Kenlee Newcom of Western Kentucky holds an estimated NIL valuation of $140,000, making her the highest-valued female college soccer player. With over half a million TikTok followers and 100,000 Instagram followers combined, Newcom’s strong social media presence greatly contributes to her NIL value.

She attributes her soccer success to faith alone, saying: “Faith has been my strength throughout my soccer career – each time I step foot onto the pitch, I know I’m playing for Him to glorify and I strive to do that every time!”

Newcom’s net-in-line valuation is over seven times larger than that of the top male college soccer player.

Softball: Montana Fouts of Alabama earned over $140-K

Alabama’s Montana Fouts leads college softball with a NIL valuation of $140,000 and boasts over 380,000 social media followers, using her popularity online to host her Montana Fouts Pitching Camp.

Fouts has made headlines recently for her outstanding performances in the 2023 season and recently threw another perfect game, further increasing her NIL value and drawing media coverage.

W#omen’s Volleyball Alexa Hendricks of Louisville – $119k

Louisville Senior Defensive Specialist Alexa Hendricks boasts a NIL valuation of around $119,000 with 363,000 social media followers. She has secured lucrative endorsement deals from Adidas, Pepsi and Jersey Mike’s that have increased her NIL value further; additionally she offers customized videos via her Cameo page for $30 per video.

Though her valuation doesn’t rival top female athletes in other sports, it still exceeds that of male athletes playing lesser-known college sports.

Women’s Golf: Rachel Heck of Stanford – $25k

Stanford sophomore Rachel Heck has an NIL valuation of $25,000, far lower than male golfer Sam Bennett. With 29,000 social media followers, her value may seem limited compared to other female athletes with larger followings; however, thanks to deals with Nike and her role in Stanford’s 2022 National Championship win, Heck’s Nike deals and her overall contribution helped increase her NIL valuation significantly.

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