Louisiana State University (LSU) star Angel Reese reportedly has the most NIL deals of all college men’s and women’s basketball players.
As part of the LSU Tigers women’s basketball team, the sophomore guard is fresh off a national championship win.
The team’s presence has greatly increased women’s basketball exposure, and it’s no secret that Reese has played a key role in that.
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The 2023 national championship against the Iowa Hawkeyes was the most-watched women’s college basketball game, averaging 9.9 million viewers, per The New York Times.
“I can see the positive. All the attention that the women’s basketball is getting because this whole year I’ve gotten nothing but a lot of support and so many people saying ‘I turned the basketball game because I wanted to see your team. You guys have brought me to watch women’s basketball,'” Reese explained during a sit down interview with the podcast I Am Athlete.
All eyes are clearly on the “Double Double Queen,” a reference to routinely scores double-digit points and grabs double-digit rebounds in her games, and she is proving yesterday’s price tag is not today’s.
NIL Valuation Soars
What’s more, Forbes reports that Reese holds the most NIL deals across both men’s and women’s basketball based on statistics from SponsorUnited.
Before the victory, Reese had 17 NIL deals that include:
- Raising Cane’s
- Banter by Piercing Pagoda
- Outback Steakhouse
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And it is projected that the number of NIL deals Reese has will increase.
“We fully expect her to be bringing in more deals coming after this,” Bob Lynch, SponsorUnited’s founder and CEO, told Forbes. “She’s a businesswoman as well as anything else. Every kid growing up right now who follows her is watching her, not only seeing her perform in basketball but seeing her do endorsement deals.”
“She is the unapologetic athlete who has basically put it out there — I’m going to be me whether you want me or not,” Monique Nelson, chair of UniWorld Group, also said, according to Forbes. “There are going to be brands out there that want that, that need that. She is capable of taking your brand to a space and a place that you can’t with others.”
Furthermore, Reese says she’s in no rush to enter the WNBA, which she will be eligible to join when she’s 22-years-old or graduates from college.
“I’m in no rush to go to the league. The money I’m making is more than some of the people that are in the league that might be top players,” Reese expressed to I Am Athlete.
For context, Las Vegas Aces’ player Jackie Young was reportedly the WNBA’s highest-paid player in 2023. She holds an average salary of $252,450, according to NBC Sports.
The outlet also reported on Feb. 1, 2023, that the average salary of a WNBA player was $102,751 among 151 athletes. However, that number could change in 2023 “with multiple free agents still pending.”
Looking ahead, Reese is already looking to potentially sign a shoe deal, according to Jeanine Ogbonnaya, the athlete’s NIL representative.
Her focus will be on long-term deals that align with her brand.
“She’s not just a student-athlete anymore or a marketable women’s basketball player where we’re doing these one-off deals,” Ogbonnaya told On3. “I think at this point, she’s got the following to back it up where she can be doing long-term partnerships that truly align with her brand and her messaging, and finding those brands that align with that as well.”
Additionally, she is in the process of trademarking her nickname “Bayou Barbie” so that she can sell products online.