With the opening up Name, Image, and Likeness opportunities for college athletes, many probably figure superstar football and men’s basketball players will be the major benefactors. Sisters Haley and Hanna Cavinder, twins that play basketball at Fresno State, have already shown that there are significant opportunities for many other athletes out there as well.
The Cavinder twins, who are originally from Arizona, were the Bulldogs’ two leading scorers this year. Haley averaged 19.8 points per game, while Hanna scored 17 per game.
They have amassed a significant social media presence, with over 3.3 million followers on their joint TikTok account, and over 250k followers each on Instagram. Today, they were able to capitalize on it.
Haley and Hanna Cavinder have signed what they say is the first NIL deal on the Icon Source marketplace in NCAA history. The pair now endorse Boost Mobile as well as Six Star nutrition. Boost took out billboard space in Times Square in New York City to celebrate the milestone.
ON A BILLBOARD IN TIME SQUARE 😭 WHAT IS LIFE… blessed❤️ pic.twitter.com/ZyA4Uim5zB
— Hanna Cavinder (@CavinderHanna) July 1, 2021
The Trevor Lawrences and Zion Williamsons of the world will certainly have the opportunity to make plenty of money in endorsement deals, far more than the average player. The Cavinder Twins, who are not household names to even many women’s basketball fans, show just what a huge opportunity this can be for so many athletes, though.
In March, ESPN’s David Hale wrote about the marketability of the Cavinders and other less-recognized college athletes across the country.
The twins could have a potential combined income of more than a half-million dollars annually thanks to their massive online following, according to Opendorse — and they’re not alone. From volleyball player Lexi Sun, the most followed athlete at football-crazed Nebraska, to Olivia Dunne, a freshman gymnast at LSU, whose nearly 5 million combined followers on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok make her one of the most potentially valuable brands in college sports, women are countering the persistent narrative that star athletes from the big-time men’s sports stand to gain the most from the coming changes.
In fact, of the 30 most-followed college athletes, according to Opendorse’s tracking, only 16 come from the revenue sports of football and men’s basketball, while more than one-third of the list is made up by women. A new study from Temple University suggests women and athletes in non-revenue sports like rowing or volleyball would have, on average, about the same earning power as those playing football or basketball.
Today’s changes to the NIL rules are an absolute game-changer for college sports, and it goes far, far beyond the major revenue sports.