NIL: Balancing the scales
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.
- UConn basketball star Paige Bueckers is one high-profile example. She’s landed an estimated $1 million in endorsements with brands like Gatorade and StockX, with outputs including earned media coverage and social posting.