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March Madness: Court queens

Basketball

April 01, 2022
ELSA/GETTY IMAGES
ELSA/GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: Women’s basketball (WBB) players reign supreme in the name, image and likeness (NIL) game. Of all athletes competing in the Final Four, women make up four of the top five in NIL value. They work hard for the money.

The details: UConn besties Paige Bueckers and Azzi Fudd, Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith and South Carolina’s Zia Cooke are the named four, with Bueckers and Van Lith outranking the lone male, Duke’s Paolo Banchero.

Zooming out: WBB is second only to football in earned NIL compensation, thanks in part to a crucial tool — social media. Female ballers have successfully converted their content creation talents into value endorsements, particularly on women-dominated platforms Instagram and TikTok.

  • What makes female athletes so valuable? They speak to America’s most influential consumers — women. A 2019 study found that women’s buying power and influence drives between 70% and 80% of all consumer purchasing. Investing in women just makes business sense.