NIL, short for Name, Image, Likeness, gives college athletes the ability to profit off their NIL through endorsements and sponsorships, much like professional athletes. From 6-figure campaigns down to in-kind product deals, brands across the globe have leaned into these untapped platforms not only for brand awareness and conversion, but also to financially support the standard college student.
Here is a list of the top 10 NIL Influencers of 2022.
An American football quarterback for the University of South Carolina with over 380 thousand followers on Instagram, Spencer has one of the biggest social media followings of any collegiate athlete. His name has been quite popular since his high school days when he was featured in a documentary called “QB1”. Spencer is known for being composed in the pocket and performing well under pressure and will soon be entering the NFL draft.
With an immense following of 2.3 million Instagram followers, @livvydunne is known just as well for her social media personality as she is for her incredible gymnastics skills. She joined the USA national gymnastics team in 2017 and is currently competing for Louisiana State University in the NCAA. She often posted gymnastics videos to her 6.3 million subscribers on TikTok and has various endorsements with Forever 21 and American Eagle.
Haley and Hanna Cavinder
These twin sisters are hard to separate! Longtime basketball teammates and best friends/ sisters, Haley and Hanna share social media accounts too. The CavinderTwins TikTok account, with over 4M followers, is a place for them to post dance routines and comedy skits that revolve around funny twin situations. Their joint Instagram account shows more of their day to day life, with no shortage of basketball content. They have inked deals with brands such as fantasy sports apps, financial services apps, and delivery services.
Anthony Hamilton Jr
Anthony has had the opportunity to be a part of many NIL deals so far in his career and has made well over half a million dollars. He is one of the athlete-influencers in Viral Nation’s athlete-influencer division, VN Sports, where he has secured over 11 deals. Some notable ones include Sleeper, Reign Total Body Fuel, and BLK – a Black singles dating app. One of Anthony’s Instagram videos went viral of him playing basketball against NFL wide receiver Tyreek Hill.
Another American football quarterback but for the Alabama Crimson Tide. Bryce holds the record for most passing yards in a single game by an Alabama quarterback and was the recipient of the 2021 Heisman Trophy. As it stands, Bryce looks like a sure fire top-five pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, with a strong chance of him going Number 1 overall. He enjoys posting football content and endorsement deals to his 240 thousand followers on Instagram. Dollar Shave Club, Cash App and Onyx are some of his first signings so far in his young career.
Jordan is an American basketball player who committed to West Virginia University in 2016. He began receiving scholarship offers from Division 1 colleges in 2015, despite being part of the class of 2018. Not only is Jordan a great basketball player, he is represented by Viral Nation and has a total of 234 thousand followers on Instagram. He was originally discovered after videos of him dribbling went viral and he was asked to appear on local Washington news segments. When he was younger, the Ellen DeGeneres Show helped him make an appearance at the 2012 NBA All-Star game.
Chris is a wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints in the NFL. He started his career at Ohio State University Buckeyes and was lucky enough to be named to the All-Big Ten first-team as a junior back in 2020. He now has over 265 thousand Instagram followers and has locked in Nike, EA Madden NFL, and Sarchione Auto Gallery as some of his big time endorsements.
Although Masai was a top-ranked runner on the University of Kentucky Track and Field team, many might know her better as a social media influencer. She posts on all social media platforms about athletics, beauty, fashion, and female entrepreneurship. With the help of Viral Nation, Masai has over 465 thousand followers on TikTok and has signed with WWE and is a GymShark athlete, representing their brand every chance she gets.
Chet is an impressive 7’0” center who was selected second overall in the 2022 NBA draft by the Oklahoma City Thunder, after spending only one season at Gonzaga University. He gained a large following on Instagram after attending Steph Curry’s SC30 Select Camp in 2019 and now loves to share basketball content to almost 650 thousand followers. Chet’s biggest endorsements include Neiman Marcus, a chain of luxury department stores, and Google Pixel.
University of Michigan sprinter, Ziyah Holman, is an All-American, three-time Big Ten champion and school record holder. Ziyah has a total of 106,000 followers on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok and ranks third in college women’s track for her NIL valuation. A great addition to VN Sports, Ziyah has had the opportunity to endorse companies like Pearson, Urban Outfitters, and tennis star Naomi Osaka’s suncare brand, KINLO.