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Caitlin Clark is one of college sports' top earners. Here are the 10 student-athletes with the highest NIL valuations.

Caitlin Clark is one of college sports' top earners. Here are the 10 student-athletes with the highest NIL valuations.
  • High school and college athletes can profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL).

  • Top student-athletes have worked with leading brands like Nike and Gatorade.

  • LeBron James' son, Bronny James, has an estimated NIL value of $4.9 million, according to On3.

As University of Iowa basketball star Caitlin Clark continues her March Madness run, she's garnered attention for both her record-breaking performances and her ability to translate that on-court success into lucrative deals with major brands like Nike, Gatorade, and State Farm.

"There's a significant uptick in interest in March Madness sponsorships and influencer-marketing campaigns this year as compared to years past," Ayden Syal, CEO of NIL marketing platform MOGL, told Business Insider in March 2024.

Name, image, and likeness deals — or NIL deals — have become a billion-dollar industry since their introduction to amateur sports in 2021, allowing student-athletes to make significant amounts of money regardless of whether they have the option to turn pro.

On3 tracks these partnerships and ranks student-athletes weekly based on their annual NIL Valuation, which is determined by an algorithm that considers a player's roster value performance, influence, exposure, and deal data.

These four factors determine an athlete's "Roster Value" — "a calculation of an athlete's respective value to their team," according to On3 — and "NIL Value," which is related to their advertising and sponsorship opportunities. These values are then combined to get their total NIL Valuation.

While these student-athletes have built names for themselves through their talents, skills, and social media savvy, some top NIL earners might have had some extra help attracting deals thanks to their legacy-bearing last names.

With valuations starting at $1.5 million, here's a look at the top 10 student-athletes profiting the most from NIL. These figures were accurate as of March 26, 2024.

10. University of Georgia quarterback Carson Beck has an estimated NIL Valuation of $1.5 million.

University of Georgia quarterback Carson Beck during the 90th Capital One Orange Bowl Game against Florida State University in 2023.
University of Georgia quarterback Carson Beck during the 90th Capital One Orange Bowl Game against Florida State University in 2023.Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UGA junior and starting quarterback Carson Beck threw for 3,941 yards and 24 touchdowns last season, per ESPN, taking his team to victory in the Capital One Orange Bowl against Florida State University and finishing with an impressive 13-1 record.

Most of Beck's NIL valuation stems from his Roster Value, which On3 estimates to be $1.1 million. Comparably, his NIL Value is estimated at $354,000 thanks to deals with EA Sports, The Players' Lounge, Associated Credit Union, Leaf Trading Cards, and Zero FG Energy.

9. University of Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe has an estimated NIL Valuation of $1.6 million.

University of Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe in the CFP Semifinal Rose Bowl against the University of Michigan in January 2024.
University of Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe in the CFP Semifinal Rose Bowl against the University of Michigan in January 2024.Ryan Kang/Contributor/Getty Images

The redshirt sophomore threw for 2,834 yards and 23 touchdowns to lead the Crimson Tide to a 12-1 record, ESPN reported.

Milroe signed his most recent NIL deal on March 24, 2024, with Six Star Pro Nutrition. He shared his first post for the brand on Instagram, writing in part, "I don't want to leave any doubt on whether I'm doing enough to help the team win in 2024. That's why I've teamed up with @sixstarpronutrition to fuel my grind with world-class supplements at an affordable price."

On3 reported that some of Milroe's other sponsorships are from EA Sports, HEYDUDE Shoes, Rhoback, and Beats by Dre, where he was part of the inaugural "Beats Elite" class of 2023 alongside other top NIL earners like Colorado's Shedeur Sanders and Texas' Quinn Ewers, Sports Illustrated reported.

8. Louisiana State University superstar Angel Reese has deals with top brands like Coach and McDonald's, giving her an NIL Valuation of $1.8 million.

LSU basketball player Angel Reese dribbles against Coppin State University in 2023.
LSU basketball player Angel Reese dribbles against Coppin State University in 2023.Simon Bruty/Contributor/Anychance/Getty Images

LSU junior Angel Reese blew up on social media during last year's NCAA March Madness tournament, winning the highly anticipated championship game against Caitlin Clark and the University of Iowa and earning the title of most outstanding player despite racist criticisms.

This year, Reese has been just as dominant. The forward was selected as SEC Player of the Year and was named to the First Team All-SEC and All-Defensive Team, all while partnering with major companies like Goldman Sachs, Topps, Beats by Dre, Tampax, Reebok, Airbnb, ZOA Energy, and Amazon, On3 reported.

On March 18, she shared her ad for a Goldman Sachs investment initiative, One Million Black Women, with her 2.7 million Instagram followers, highlighting the racial wealth gap faced by Black women.

"We're asking Congress to do their part — it's time to advance the ball," Reese wrote.

7. University of Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers has an estimated NIL Valuation of $1.9 million.

University of Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers in the CFP Semifinal Allstate Sugar Bowl in January 2024.
University of Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers in the CFP Semifinal Allstate Sugar Bowl in January 2024.Jonathan Bachman/Stringer/Getty Images

Last season, ESPN reported that sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers threw for 3,479 yards and 22 touchdowns. He helped lead his team to the College Football Playoff Semifinals, where they ultimately lost in a close game against the University of Washington.

Ewers has a total On3 NIL Valuation of $1.9 million, thanks to a Roster Value of $1.2 million, and NIL deals with companies like HEYDUDE Shoes, C4Energy, EA Sports, Beats by Dre, Panini America, Ryl Tea, and Texas One Fund.

In 2023, he was also named a member of 7-Eleven's Cleat Crew alongside players like Marvin Harrison Jr., Trevor Etienne, and Blake Corum. The inaugural program helped raise over $100,000 for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals throughout the US.

6. University of Colorado dual-threat Travis Hunter's NIL Valuation is $2.4 million.

University of Colorado Boulder wide receiver Travis Hunter against Oregon State University in 2023.
University of Colorado Boulder wide receiver and cornerback Travis Hunter against Oregon State University in 2023.Dustin Bradford/Contributor/Getty Images

During his sophomore season, Hunter put up impressive stats as both a wide receiver and a cornerback, with 57 receptions for 721 yards as well as 31 total tackles and three interceptions, ESPN reported.

Hunter played his freshman year at Jackson State University, then followed his teammate, Shedeur Sanders, and coach, Deion Sanders, to the University of Colorado.

Thanks to deals with EA Sports, Leaf Trading Cards, Cheez-It, Celsius, American Eagle Outfitters, and more, Hunter has an NIL value of $1.9 million, per On3. Combined with his Roster Value of nearly $500,000, Hunter's total NIL Valuation equals $2.4 million.

5. Despite being the University of Texas's backup quarterback, Arch Manning has an NIL Valuation of $2.8 million.

Arch Manning warms up at the CFP Semifinal Allstate Sugar Bowl in January 2024.
Arch Manning warms up at the CFP Semifinal Allstate Sugar Bowl in January 2024.Chris Graythen/Staff/Getty Images

The freshman quarterback comes from a long line of football royalty. His uncles, Peyton and Eli Manning, were Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks in the NFL, and his grandfather, Archie Manning, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1989.

The vast majority ($2.1 million) of Manning's NIL Valuation comes from his Roster Value, On3 reported, while his NIL Value is listed at $740,000 thanks to a multi-year deal with Panini America, a trading card company.

4. All-time NCAA leading scorer Caitlin Clark has an NIL Valuation of $3.1 million thanks to deals with brands like Gatorade, State Farm, and Nike.

Caitlin Clark shoots during the quarterfinal of the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament against Penn State in March 2024.
Caitlin Clark shoots during the quarterfinal of the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament against Penn State in March 2024.Aaron J. Thornton/Contributor/Getty Images

The senior point guard at the University of Iowa is one of the most dominant players in NCAA basketball history. This year, she broke the record for most career points in Division I history, surpassing Pete Maravich's 3,667 points on March 3, 2024. She's also averaging 31.8 points per game this season, per ESPN.

Understandably, her dominance has caught the attention of major brands, including Nike, Gainbridge, Gatorade, State Farm, Xfinity, Buick, and more. On3 reported that Clark also signed with Excel Sports Management for NIL representation in October 2023.

On March 19, 2024, Gatorade released a limited-edition water bottle featuring her number, 22, just before the start of this year's March Madness tournament.

Clark is looking to bring home the championship before entering the 2024 WNBA Draft.

3. LSU gymnast Livvy Dunne is the highest-paid woman in NIL history, with a NIL Valuation of $3.6 million.

LSU gymnast Olivia "Livvy" Dunne competes against the University of Florida in 2024.
LSU gymnast Olivia "Livvy" Dunne competes against the University of Florida in 2024.James Gilbert/Contributor/Getty Images

With a combined social-media following of 12.6 million people, Dunne is one of the most-followed student-athletes ever, which likely helps brands gravitate toward her.

On3 reported she has signed deals with a variety of brands like American Eagle Outfitters, Vuori, Too Faced Cosmetics, Grubhub, Motorola, and Leaf Trading Cards. Most recently, Dunne announced on Instagram that she's the face of Nautica's Spring '24 collection.

"What I love with certain brands is getting long-term brand deals," said Dunne in a 2023 episode of the podcast "Full Send."

"Those are probably the best because you build a relationship with the brand, and they want you year after year," she added.

And these deals haven't taken anything away from Dunne's performance. The LSU Gymnastics Program just won the SEC Championship on March 24, 2024, and Dunne competed on bars, earning a 9.800 for her routine, LSU reported.

2. Deion Sanders' son, Shedeur Sanders, has an On3 NIL Valuation of $4.7 million.

University of Colorado Boulder quarterback Shedeur Sanders prepares to pass in a 2023 game against Oregon State University.
University of Colorado Boulder quarterback Shedeur Sanders prepares to pass in a 2023 game against Oregon State University.Dustin Bradford/Contributor/Getty Images

University of Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders made waves in college football last season alongside his dad, Hall of Famer "Coach Prime" Deion Sanders, after transferring from HBCU Jackson State University to the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Despite finishing his junior year season 4-8 overall, Sanders threw for over 3,000 yards with a passing completion percentage of 69.3% and a passer rating of 151.7, ESPN reported.

On3 reported Sanders has made $4.1 million in NIL money thanks to sponsorships throughout his collegiate career from companies like Urban Outfitters, Oikos, Mercedes-Benz, Actively Black, and Gatorade. Sanders was also a member of the inaugural "Beats Elite" class of 2023.

1. The highest-paid student-athlete in NIL history is the son of NBA legend LeBron James, Bronny James, with an On3 NIL Valuation of $4.9 million.

USC basketball player Bronny James dribbles in a game against UC Berkeley in February 2024.
USC basketball player Bronny James dribbles in a game against UC Berkeley in February 2024.Ezra Shaw/Staff/Getty Images

The USC freshman point guard made his collegiate debut just months after suffering a cardiac arrest during a July 2023 pre-season training. He finished the season with 25 game appearances, where he played an average of 19.4 minutes per game, ESPN reported.

Coming out of high school, James was a five-star recruit with a NIL Valuation of $7.2 million, per Bleacher Report, signing deals with PSD Underwear, Nike, Beats by Dre, and Klutch Sports Group for representation, On3 reported.

It's unclear how many new deals James has signed since his cardiac arrest, though he was featured in a March 2024 Android ad, which he shared on Instagram with his 7.5 million followers.

With a total social-media following of over 13 million and plenty of NCAA eligibility remaining, only time will tell just how lucrative James' college career could become.

Read the original article on Business Insider