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Lebron James’ son Bronny signs with Nike plus these 5 athletes cash in on NIL

Oct 14, 2022

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College athletes are now able to cash in on their name, image and likeness (NIL) after the NCAA drafted new rules last year in response to a Supreme Court decision. National, regional and local brands are all paying big money for collegiate sports stars to promote their wares. Just this week, Nike signed its first five basketball players, including NBA superstar Lebron James’ son Bronny, who’s still a senior in high school. Here are some of the amateur athletes with the biggest NIL upside in this week’s Five for Friday.

#5: Caitlin Clark

Caitlin Clark is one of the basketball players that just signed with Nike. The Iowa point guard led the nation in points and assists per game last season. Prior to the Nike deal, Clark’s portfolio already featured H&R Block and grocery chain Hy-Vee. As one of the top college women’s basketball players with more than 150,000 followers on Instagram, her NIL valuation is around $137,000, according to On3, which tracks recruiting and NIL.

#4: Arch Manning

Arch Manning is still finishing his senior year of high school but he is one of the most highly touted quarterback recruits in history. He’s the nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning and the grandson of Archie Manning. His father, Cooper, was a standout wide receiver but his career was cut short due to the diagnosis of a spinal condition before his freshman season at Ole Miss. Arch hasn’t signed any deals yet, but the descendant of football royalty has an NIL valuation of $3.5 million, according to On3. Manning has already committed to play at the University of Texas next season.

#3: Rayquan Smith

Surprisingly, the “King of NIL” isn’t in a Power Five conference. Rayquan Smith is on the football and track teams at Norfolk State University. Smith says he started his NIL journey by reaching out directly to more than 100 companies. While his first efforts weren’t particularly fruitful, he kept grinding and now has more than 70 endorsement deals with companies like Eastbay and Arby’s. Smith said he makes deals that benefit his personal interests as well as his athletic talents. He also mentors other athletes that are navigating the NIL landscape.

#2: Livvy Dunne

Olivia “Livvy” Dunne is a social media influencer with millions of followers, thanks in part to her exceptional talents as an elite gymnast at LSU. She’s taken part in campaigns with American Eagle and Plant Fuel, to name a few. Her NIL valuation is more than $2 million, according to On3. Each one of her social media posts is also valued at $31,000.

#1: Bryce Young

Last year’s Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Bryce Young started the season with an NIL value of up to $3.2 million. Before he even played a snap with the Alabama Crimson Tide, Young had made a reported $800,000 in NIL deals. He’s the first college athlete to sign with Nissan, a partner of the Heisman trophy. Bryce has the hardware and now he has the cash to compete with the Ohio State Buckeye standout C.J. Stroud, who recently got a Mercedes-Benz “G-Wagon” as part of an NIL deal with a local car dealership.

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SIMONE DEL ROSARIO:

COLLEGE ATHLETES ARE FINALLY ABLE TO CASH IN ON THEIR NAME IMAGE AND LIKENESS AND BRANDS ARE DISHING OUT. NIKE JUST SIGNED ITS FIRST FIVE BASKETBALL PLAYERS INCLUDING LEBRON JAMES’ SON BRONNY, WHO’S STILL A SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL. HERE ARE THE AMATEUR ATHLETES WITH THE BIGGEST N-I-L UPSIDE IN THIS WEEK’S FIVE FOR FRIDAY.

CAITLIN CLARK IS ONE OF THE HOOPERS THAT JUST SIGNED WITH NIKE. THE IOWA POINT GUARD LED THE NATION IN POINTS AND ASSISTS LAST SEASON, AND HER CAREER’S BEEN ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS. HER NIL VALUATION IS $137K, ACCORDING TO ON-3, WHICH TRACKS RECRUITING AND NIL.

ARCH MANNING IS STILL WRAPPING UP HIS SENIOR YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL, BUT THE DESCENDANT OF FOOTBALL ROYALTY IS ALREADY A HIGHLY TOUTED RECRUIT. WHILE ARCH HASN’T SIGNED ANY DEALS JUST YET, ON-3 SAYS THE TEXAS COMMIT IS LOOKING AT AROUND $3.5 MILLION. HE’LL BE PITCHING FRITO-LAY PRODUCTS WITH HIS UNCLES BEFORE YOU KNOW IT.

THE CROWNED “KING OF NIL” ISN’T IN A POWER FIVE CONFERENCE. IT’S RAYQUAN SMITH, WHO IS ON THE FOOTBALL AND TRACK TEAMS AT NORFOLK STATE UNIVERSITY. HE’S SIGNED MORE THAN 70 ENDORSEMENT DEALS WITH THE LIKES OF EASTBAY AND ARBY’S, AND ALSO MENTORS OTHER ATHLETES THROUGH THE NEW N-I-L TERRAIN.

LIVVY DUNNE IS A SOCIAL MEDIA STAR WITH MILLIONS OF FOLLOWERS. OF COURSE SHE’S ALSO AN ELITE GYMNAST AT L-S-U. HER SKILLS HAVE LANDED HER DEALS WITH AMERICAN EAGLE AND PLANT FUEL, AND ARE ESTIMATED AT MORE THAN $2 MILLION ACCORDING TO ON-3. EACH OF HER SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS IS VALUED AT $31,000 DOLLARS.

2021 HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER AND ALABAMA Q-B BRYCE YOUNG STARTED THE SEASON WITH AN N-I-L VALUE UP TO $3.2 MIL. BEFORE HE EVEN TOOK THE FIELD WITH THE TIDE, YOUNG HAD A REPORTED 800 GRAND IN DEALS. BUT NOW HE’S THE FIRST COLLEGE ATHLETE TO SIGN WITH NISSAN, A PARTNER OF THE HEISMAN. HEY BRYCE, HOW’S THAT SENTRA STANDING UP TO THE G-WAGON N-I-L GOT BUCKEYE Q-B C-J STROUD.

FEWER THAN 2% OF N-C-DOUBLE A STUDENT ATHLETES GO PRO, SO GOOD ON COLLEGE PLAYERS FOR CASHING IN WHILE THEY COMPETE. WE KNOW THE NCAA IS. THAT’S YOUR FIVE FOR FRIDAY. I’M SIMONE DEL ROSARIO. IT’S JUST BUSINESS.