Highest NIL Earners: Students with Successful Deals

With college athletes finally having a say over their name, image, likeness (NIL) and being able to earn money, there have already been a number of huge deals. Here are just some of the highest NIL earners – students who are profiting off their skills and name, plus some tips for profiting yourself.

Highest NIL Earners

 These are only a few of some of the largest NIL deals out there to date!

  1. It's a myth that only top athletes and 4.0 students get scholarships

    Flickr user Steve Allen

    Bryce Young from the University of Alabama football program is said to have made almost $1 million. He is currently partnered with Cash App.

  2. Quarterback Bo Nix of Auburn University and Alabama defensive back Malachi Moore partnered with Milo’s Sweet Tea.
  3. Hercy Miller, before even entering the college basketball program at Tennessee State University, signed a $2 million endorsement deal with Web Apps America.
  4. Myles Brennan of LSU has partnered with Smoothie King and the local restaurant Small Sliders.
  5. Mikey Williams has over 3.7 million followers on Instagram alone and is still in high school. A basketball player, he recently signed a deal with Excel Sports Management. He is currently worth about $2.6 million.
  6. Olivia Dunne, an LSU gymnast, signed a deal with activewear brand Vuori for over $1 million.

How Do Student-Athletes Make Money Off of Their NIL?

The big deals for a student’s NIL usually comes in the way of endorsements. Student athletes will, in exchange for money, promote the brand on social media and marketing materials. They essentially become a face of the brand.

Some businesses have smaller, but on-going marketing campaigns where they actively recruit brand ambassadors. For example, in South Florida, there are fitness centers that are offering $500 to University of Miami football players if they endorse the gym.

Students can also make money through selling memorabilia that features their name or image or their autograph. These can be done locally or at a larger scale online.

In addition, there are a number of nonprofits and businesses that are offering scholarships for NIL. Some of these come with strings attached.

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How Can You Make Money Off Your NIL?

If you are a student athlete and want to profit off your NIL before you hit the big lights, there are a number of ways you can start earning cash. However, it is extremely important to always follow the rules put forth by your college and the NCAA. Failing to follow these regulations can result in serious repercussions.

Even if you aren’t a big named star at your college or high school, these tips will definitely help you make money off your image:

Grow Your Social Media Presence

First and foremost, athletes interested in profiting off their NIL need to have a strong social media presence. This can include Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and more, but Instagram and TikTok are generally the biggest right now.

Posting interesting, but relevant content is the way to go. You also need to be engaged with your audience.

Once you have a stronger pull, it is likely some businesses will reach out to you for endorsement deals. Some will definitely be better than others – a number won’t be even worth your time. You need to be able to weed out the ones that won’t advance your brand. This route will hopefully lead to other opportunities, affiliations, and sponsored posts.

Create or Participate in Media Content

YouTube and podcasts are another fantastic way student athletes can earn some cash. You can have your own YouTube channel or podcast, but you can also charge to appear on others’. Just be sure you’re doing research into the channel before you agree to appear – you want to be sure it matches your brand and doesn’t harm it.

Talk to Businesses

Of course, you don’t have to wait for businesses to come to you for endorsements – you can reach out to them! Talking to local and online companies that are relevant to your brand and NIL may lead to some extra cash and ongoing partnerships. Local endorsements, too, can help the business in question as it shows they are actively a part of the community.

And More

 There are plenty of other ways to make money off your NIL. Here are some further tips and suggestions:

  • Sell autographs. How much you can sell these for will depend on your stardom and abilities.
  • Sell merchandise featuring your name, image, or likeness.
  • Start a website to feature ads, merchandise, and other products.
  • Begin a training camp.

No matter which of these routes you take, however, it is highly recommended that you have a social media presence to go with them! It really is the most vital step you can take to finding success when it comes to selling your NIL.

There are already student athletes making hundreds of thousands of dollars off of their NIL. Will you be next? A social media presence should be your first step to getting those endorsements!

If you need a bit of extra cash to make college more affordable, there are several scholarships that are dedicated to athletes – and you may not have to be the best of the best to win them either! Check out our free to use Scholarship Search Tool to get started.