The camera records a figure running along a walkway in an apartment complex. She does this in both slow and real time before returning to real-time. The woman is wearing a tracksuit and she’s quick. A spoken word-song plays over the video, saying “it’s me against you.”
This TikTok post sponsored by Eastbay has been viewed more than 20,000 times. It was also viewed by over 2,000 people who were engaged with it. This is just one of many name, image, and likeness deals that have sent a lot of money in Russell’s direction over the past few months.
She stated that she loves the camera and enjoys being able “to reap the benefits of what is my love on a daily basis other than track.”
Russell and growing numbers of female college athlete are making a name themselves on social media. They’re cashing in on the NCAA’s interim policy for athletes compensation by offering a variety of looks: serious business on court, casual at home and approachable confident, slinky and sexy coed. They are embracing the power and image of their self-managed social media accounts, regardless of how wholesome or risky they may be.
“We can’t keep playing forever, and we need to have something to fall on,” Deja Kelly, a sophomore basketball player from North Carolina, said. The ball stops bouncing after a certain point,” Deja, a sophomore basketball player from North Carolina, told The Associated Press. She stated that she had six NIL deals including Dunkin’ Donuts, Outback Steakhouse, and another couple to be announced. Some of these deals include equity partnerships.
“… Kelly stated that it was a lifetime opportunity and will set him up for success in life. Kelly said, “If I had to give up basketball in five years, it would not be a problem because I have all the things that I have now and what I am focusing on.”
Gloria Nevarez, West Coast Conference Commissioner, said that NIL deals will soon be less important to an athlete’s alma matterer as they build a brand that will endure beyond their final year of eligibility.
Nevarez stated, “And I hope that it’s not just about the attractiveness category.” “But because I’m highly skilled in the sport or have a (clothing line) or code programming at an extremely high level that you start to get more engagement.”
It is hard to overlook the attractiveness of some female athletes who land big deals.
The Barstool Athletics Facebook page featured 46 posts from women and 11 from men during a recent month. Beautiful Ballers is a brand that “inspires women to believe being an athlete does not diminish your beauty,” and features female athletes for its 468,000 Instagram followers. It posts photos and videos of athletes in action, as well as bikinis-wearing athletes.
According to Athliance college athletes are able to benefit from image-based NIL deals. This refers to social media, photos, video, or film. From July 1 through December 31, 36% of the reported deals to NIL platform Opendorse were for creating or posting visual content.
Livvy, a LSU gymnast, is one of the most well-known college athletes on social media. She has 1.5 million Instagram followers and 4.8 millions TikTok followers. In a written answer to questions, she told the AP that she has approximately 10 deals. Most of these are recurring.
She stated that “When the rules were changed, there was a lot hype about how big an opportunity this could become for me and that nothing has fallen short on those expectations.”
In recent TIPTOK and INSTAGRAM ads , A 19-year old wears a white tank top and shows off her American Eagle jeans by popping her hip. While she does some modeling for her NIL deals but mostly posts on social media,
“I use social media to showcase different aspects of my personality. Dunne stated that it is important to show I am not just a professional athlete. “I like to believe that my vibe is positive and confident. I’m a regular college student so I feel comfortable with my natural beauty.
Social media has been a part of the building of a brand for people like Russell and Dunne since long. Bailey Moody, who played wheelchair basketball for Alabama and was part of the bronze medal-winning U.S. paralympic squad, didn’t find that to be the case.
Moody stated that it was a lot of work. “I give credit to all people who are influencers, like the big-time social media influencers. It takes a lot of work. It’s important to make your posts look professional and attract followers. The best way to get followers is by posting videos and other media.
Team USA was Moody’s NIL deal with Degree deodorant for their Breaking Limits campaign. She creates videos and posts graphics, captions, and hashtags on Instagram . Degree is thrilled to be highlighting adaptable athletics. However, she said that it is difficult to balance being a brand.
She said that she was always stuck between how much and how little content to post. “I want to be authentic, but I also know I’m building my brand. Generally, I will lean towards the genuine side. Then people can take it or not.”
Russell has “20 or more” NIL deals with Walgreens and Hulu. Her social media activities are the majority of her NIL activities. This has left Russell wanting more exposure and to discover “who I am beyond just photos.”
Russell, who has her own merchandise, said that Instagram gets old for her. “So I want to be seen elsewhere than Instagram.”
Russell, an All-American, helped to set a school record for the 4×400-meter relay, and was a part of the Olympic team trials. She now has her sights on the future, real estate investing. Russell is trying to save what she gets from NIL, which she stated is in the six-figures.
She said that she didn’t want to admit that she was 21 and had made this much money. Now, at 30, I don’t even have any. “So I’m trying very smart to make it work and to do it right so that I can be pretty well-off in my later decades.”
Ketra Armstrong, a professor of sports management and director of Center for Race and Ethnicity in Sport, at the University of Michigan hopes that NIL will do the same for female athletes.
Armstrong stated that social media “has elevated their entrepreneurial spirit.” “The DIY projects that some women are doing, and the modeling that some of those women were doing as a side hustle in preparing for life after sport — all these things are now more than sidekicks. It’s their cash cow!” Armstrong said. They can use their skills and talents to become financially independent.
Kelly is leading the Tar Heels’ season at 15.8 points per match. She is partnering with well-known brands to set herself up but is clear about what she wants to see and be like: “women’s empowerment”, “Black athletes’ empowerment” and “giving back my community.”
Kelly stated, “I’m not trying change myself to get a particular deal.” Kelly said, “If they don’t accept me for who I’m,” it was not meant to be.