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NIL: Balancing the scales

College

The GIST: The NCAA name, image and likeness (NIL) era is banking some very real profits for female athletes. Eight months in, reports show serious brand interest in endorsing female athletes and a start to bridging the decades-long marketing gap in college sports.

February 28, 2022
 M. ANTHONY NESMITH/ICON SPORTSWIRE VIA GETTY IMAGES
M. ANTHONY NESMITH/ICON SPORTSWIRE VIA GETTY IMAGES

The GIST: The NCAA name, image and likeness (NIL) era is banking some very real profits for female athletes. Eight months in, reports show serious brand interest in endorsing female athletes and a start to bridging the decades-long marketing gap in college sports.

The numbers: As of January, women’s basketball accounted for 27.3% of NIL compensation — second only to football (47.1%) and surpassing men’s basketball (!!!). Women’s volleyball ranked fourth at 2.4%.

  • Football and men’s basketball lead in average compensation for Instagram and Twitter posts, but women’s basketball is incredibly close for Instagram stories. Average compensation for women’s basketball is $386, only $3 behind football.

Zooming out: Though the gender gap remains, the NIL market is creating space for female athletes to make meaningful money. Morning Brew recently outlined how NIL allows athletes to capitalize on self-made social media, making them perfect influencers for both small, local brands and massive, national conglomerates.