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Why Smart Brands Are Investing into Women’s College Basketball Athletes

March 22, 2024

In the rapidly evolving landscape of college sports, deals are reshaping the playing field for college athletes, especially women's basketball athletes who account for 53% of overall college basketball NIL deals as covered in our NIL Marketing Partnerships Report. Players like LSU’s Angel Reese, Stanford’s Cameron Brink, and Flau’jae Johnson, also from LSU, are at the forefront of this transformation, leveraging their athletic skills and social influence to secure lucrative endorsements. 

Angel Reese's impressive portfolio includes 26 endorsement deals with heavy-hitters like Mercedes-Benz, Dick's Sporting Goods, and Beats by Dre, showcasing her immense marketability. With a staggering social media following of nearly 6M—across Instagram, X, and TikTok—a 457% increase year over year. Not to mention the star’s 7M branded engagements which exemplifies how female athletes are increasingly becoming powerhouse influencers.

Angel Reese x Mercedes-Benz

Cameron Brink's path is equally remarkable, securing endorsements from 21 distinguished brands including Buick, New Balance, and CVS Pharmacy. Witnessing an impressive 51% year-over-year growth in followers, she's on the verge of surpassing 600K across various social media platforms. As a prospective top 10 draft pick for the WNBA, brands aligning with Cameron now stand the chance to forge enduring partnerships, capitalizing on what promises to be a stellar WNBA career.

Cameron Brink x New Balance

Flau’jae Johnson, another LSU sensation, has 18 partnerships with leading brands such as Red Bull, Puma, and JBL. Commanding an audience of nearly 4M followers across platforms, including YouTube, and witnessing a staggering 101% spike in follower growth YoY, alongside almost 750K engagements on branded content, highlight the immense influence these athletes command.

Flau’jae Johnson x PUMA

Leveraging the rising popularity of college athletes like Angel Reese, Flau’jae Johnson, and Cameron Brink—and let's not forget Caitlin Clark of Iowa who has 9 endorsement deals and just declared heading to the 2024 WNBA Draft—brands have a golden opportunity to expand their sponsorship portfolios. This strategic move capitalizes on the athletes' significant social media and broadcast exposure, promising a dynamic boost in player visibility with the goal to convert to brand visibility and engagement. The impact of NIL deals in college women's basketball is profound, offering athletes unprecedented opportunities that go far beyond the court. 

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