Womens sports saw pivotal growth in deals, interest in 2022

News Summary

  • NIL allows women to take advantage of large social media followings and earn sponsorships with brands like Champs and Adidas.Olivia Dunne, a gymnast at LSU, has over 8 million followers across all of her social media platforms, more than any other female collegiate athlete.
  • Her sponsorships include deals with the clothing brand Vuori and American Eagle.From the July 2021 inception of NIL through November, women’s sports occupied six of the top 10 highest-earning sports by NIL compensation, according to the NIL technology and marketing company Opendorse.
  • But name, image and likeness (NIL) deals have been a game changer for female collegiate athletes, particular in non-revenue producing sports.
  • “The student-athletes are using social media to build their own audiences, which is driving more interest and tune in to their sports,” said Blake Lawrence, CEO at Opendorse.
  • ... You have to keep pushing, too.“We’re underinvested and undervalued.”The league has a deal with ESPN/ABC through 2025 where the company paid the WNBA $27 million in 2021 and $28.5 million this past season.
  • At the collegiate level, division I football players continue to exponentially out-earn athletes in all other sports.
By ALANIS THAMES AP Sports WriterSouth Carolina coach Dawn Staley has been around womens basketball long enough to see the growing pains of a young WNBA league gradually shifting to increased int [+5274 chars]