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Gymnast Olivia Dunne tops list of most influential female college athletes

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LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne has been named the most influential female college athlete thanks to her impressive social media following and lucrative sponsorship deals.

The New Jersey native turned 20 last Saturday, but she has even more to celebrate now that she has topped On3’s NIL Valuation list ranking college athletes by performance, influence, and exposure.

Dunne has a valuation of $2.3 million, according to the sports website, which uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate the monetary value of an athlete’s name, image, and likeness (NIL).

Olympic gymnast-turned-NCAA star Sunisa Lee, 19, comes in second place with a valuation of $1.5 million, followed by UConn basketball player Paige Bueckers, 20, at $816,000.

For years, the NCAA penalized college athletes for signing endorsement deals, selling autographs, or making paid appearances, among other violations, but the restrictions were lifted on June 30, 2021. 

College athletes wasted no time capitalizing on the new rules that allow them to profit off their NIL, and On3’s valuation list highlights the ten female stars who are making the most out of their newfound earning potential. 

1. Olivia Dunne, 20, Gymnast at LSU 

NIL Valuation – $2.3 million

Per Post Value – $31,000 

LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne, 20, tops On3's NIL Valuation list ranking college athletes by performance, influence, and exposure

LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne, 20, tops On3’s NIL Valuation list ranking college athletes by performance, influence, and exposure

Dunne has a valuation of $2.3 million, according to the sports website, which uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate the monetary value of an athlete's name, image, and likeness (NIL)

Dunne has a valuation of $2.3 million, according to the sports website, which uses a proprietary algorithm to calculate the monetary value of an athlete’s name, image, and likeness (NIL) 

Olivia Dunne started participating in gymnastics at the age of three, and the New Jersey native is now one of the top earners in collegiate sports after raking in her first million by the time she was 18. 

After years of competition, she made her elite debut at the 2014 American Classic and went on to join the U.S. national gymnastics team three years later. In 2020, she stepped away from elite gymnastics to compete at the college level at Louisiana State University. 

Dunne grew her social media following by sharing an inside look at her glamorous life as an NCAA gymnast. By August 2021, she was the most-followed college athlete with 5 million combined followers across multiple platforms. 

Initially, she wasn’t allowed to make money off of her online fame due to the NCAA’s restrictions on payments to athletes, including sponsorship deals, but that all changed when the organization changed its policy in June 2021. 

The influencer has a combined total of 8.3 million followers on TikTok and Instagram

The influencer has a combined total of 8.3 million followers on TikTok and Instagram

In September 2021, she announced that she had landed a partnership with activewear brand Vuori, which Forbes reported was worth 'mid-six figure'

In September 2021, she announced that she had landed a partnership with activewear brand Vuori, which Forbes reported was worth ‘mid-six figure’

A month after it was announced that college athletes were allowed to earn a profit off of their name, image, and likeness, she signed with Endeavor Talent Agency’s WME Sports.

By September 2021, Dunne had announced that she had landed a partnership with activewear brand Vuori, which Forbes reported was worth ‘mid-six figures.’

As her star continued to rise, she went on to score lucrative deals with American Eagle, PlantFuel, and Bartleby. 

Dunne now has a combined total of 8.3 million followers on TikTok and Instagram, and her posts are valued at $31,000 each, according to On3. 

2. Sunisa Lee, 19, Gymnast at Auburn  

NIL Valuation – $1.5 million 

Per Post Value – $21,000 

Sunisa Lee, 19, comes in second place with a valuation of $1.5 million - a year after she won the gold in the women's gymnastics all-around final at the Tokyo Olympics

Sunisa Lee, 19, comes in second place with a valuation of $1.5 million – a year after she won the gold in the women’s gymnastics all-around final at the Tokyo Olympics 

Lee, who is known as Suni to friends and family, went on to achieve great success as a gymnast at Auburn University

Lee, who is known as Suni to friends and family, went on to achieve great success as a gymnast at Auburn University

Sunisa Lee, who hails from Minnesota, is the daughter of Laotian refugees who fled the country in the wake of the Vietnam War — and she became the first Hmong-American to represent the United States at the Olympics.

She was six when her parents signed her up for classes at Midwest Gymnastics Center in Little Canada, where she trained with the gym’s owners and coaches Jess Graba and Alison Lim throughout her elite gymnastics career.  

In August 2019, tragedy struck her family when her father, John, fell off a ladder while trimming a neighbor’s tree branches, paralyzing himself from the waist down. He was still in the hospital when he insisted that she still compete in her first senior national championships days later. 

Knowing her dad was watching on TV, a then 16-year-old Lee dominated the competition, finishing the all-around in second place finished behind Simone Biles and earning gold on uneven bars.

In 2020, Lee became depressed when the Olympics were postponed, and she even considered quitting gymnastics. When she finally got back to the gym, she broke her foot, setting her back. She also lost a beloved aunt and uncle who contracted COVID-19. 

Lee has a total of 3.5 million followers across Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, and social media posts are valued at $21,000 each, according to On3

Lee has a total of 3.5 million followers across Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, and social media posts are valued at $21,000 each, according to On3

The gold medalist has a number of big-name partnerships, including deals with Target, Amazon, and Gatorade

The gold medalist has a number of big-name partnerships, including deals with Target, Amazon, and Gatorade

Despite her struggles, she became a household name after last year’s Tokyo Olympics, where she won a gold medal in the women’s gymnastics all-around final and helped Team USA take home silver.

Shortly after the Olympics, she went on to compete on season 30 of ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ where she finished in fifth place. 

The gymnast may not have attended Auburn University if the NCAA hadn’t opened the door for college athletes to earn money, allowing her to profit off of her Olympic fame.  

Lee, who is known as Suni to friends and family, has already had a great deal of success at college and was named SEC Freshman of the Year this past spring.

She also finished first on the balance beam and second in the all-around at the 2022 NCAA championships. 

Lee has a total of 3.5 million followers across Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, and social media posts are valued at $21,000 each, according to On3.

The gold medalist has a number of big-name partnerships, including deals with Target, Amazon, and Gatorade.

3. Paige Bueckers, 20, Women’s Basketball Player at UConn

NIL Valuation – $816,000 

Per Post Value: $11,200

UConn guard Paige Bueckers, 20, has taken the third spot with a valuation of $816,000

UConn guard Paige Bueckers, 20, has taken the third spot with a valuation of $816,000

Bueckers tore her ACL during a pick-up game in August, and it was announced that she would miss the entire 2022-2023 season, leaving her with three years of eligibility

Bueckers tore her ACL during a pick-up game in August, and it was announced that she would miss the entire 2022-2023 season, leaving her with three years of eligibility

Paige Bueckers has been playing basketball since she was five and was a star athlete when she was a student at Hopkins High School in Minnetonka, Minnesota. 

She was ranked as the number one recruit in her class by ESPN and won the 2020 Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year award her senior year. 

Bueckers, who is now a junior, averaged 20 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in her freshman year at the University of Connecticut. It is widely regarded by experts as one of the most historic first-year campaigns in UConn and NCAA history. 

In November 2021, the Huskies guard signed her first endorsement deal with the e-commerce platform StockX. That same month, she became the first college athlete to be signed by Gatorade. 

The college basketball star has a total of 1.38 million followers across Instagram and TikTok

The college basketball star has a total of 1.38 million followers across Instagram and TikTok

Buekers has deals with StockX, Crocs (pictured), Cash App, and Chegg

Buekers has deals with StockX, Crocs (pictured), Cash App, and Chegg

She also has deals with Crocs, Cash App, and Chegg. 

Bueckers tore her ACL during a pick-up game in August, and it was announced that she would miss the entire 2022-2023 season, leaving her with three years of eligibility. 

She shared last month that she will return to the Huskies for the 2023-2024 season, despite being eligible for the WNBA draft.  

The college basketball star has a total of 1.38 million followers across Instagram and TikTok, which puts her per post value at $11,200, according to On3. 

4. Haley Cavinder, 21, Women’s Basketball Player at Miami

NIL Valuation – $794,000 

Per Post Value – $10,700

5. Hanna Cavinder, 21, Women’s Basketball Player at Miami

NIL Valuation – $790,000

Per Post Value – $10,600

Identical twins Haley and Hanna Cavinder have taken the fourth and fifth spots on On3's NIL Valuation list

Identical twins Haley and Hanna Cavinder have taken the fourth and fifth spots on On3’s NIL Valuation list

The 21-year-old sisters from Gilbert, Arizona, started their college basketball careers at California State University, Fresno, before transferring to the University of Miami

The 21-year-old sisters from Gilbert, Arizona, started their college basketball careers at California State University, Fresno, before transferring to the University of Miami

The 21-year-old sisters from Gilbert, Arizona, started their college basketball careers at California State University, Fresno, before transferring to the University of Miami 

Haley and Hanna amassed a large social media following during the pandemic, and now have 4.1 million followers on their shared TikTok alone

Haley and Hanna amassed a large social media following during the pandemic, and now have 4.1 million followers on their shared TikTok alone

Identical twins Haley and Hanna Cavinder have taken the fourth and fifth spots on On3’s NIL Valuation list. 

The 21-year-old sisters from Gilbert, Arizona, started their college basketball careers at California State University, Fresno, where they combined to average 34.2 points per game in their three seasons with the Bulldogs, according to the Associated Press.

Haley and Hanna amassed a large social media following during the pandemic, and now have 4.1 million followers on their shared TikTok alone.

Many of their viral videos show them dancing and wearing their basketball uniforms. They also have a combined total of 977,000 followers on their shared and individual Instagram pages. 

The 5-foot-6 guards didn't waste any time cashing in on their fame. They signed their first major endorsement deal with Boost Mobile on July 1, 2021, the day the NCAA rule changes went into effect

The 5-foot-6 guards didn’t waste any time cashing in on their fame. They signed their first major endorsement deal with Boost Mobile on July 1, 2021, the day the NCAA rule changes went into effect

Haley (pictured) has a per post value of $10,700, while Haley's is slightly less at $10,600, according to On3's metrics

Haley has a per post value of $10,700, while Haley's (pictured) is slightly less at $10,600, according to On3's metrics

Haley (left) has a per post value of $10,700, while Haley’s (right) is slightly less at $10,600, according to On3’s metrics

In June, Forbes estimated that they have earned $1.7 million in deals before taxes and agents' fees

In June, Forbes estimated that they have earned $1.7 million in deals before taxes and agents’ fees

The 5-foot-6 guards didn’t waste any time cashing in on their fame. They signed their first major endorsement deal with Boost Mobile on July 1, 2021, the day the NCAA rule changes went into effect. 

They now have more than 30 other brand partnerships, including Venmo, Champs Sports, and Core Hydration. 

The Cavinder twins announced in April that they were transferring to the University of Miami to play for the Hurricanes. They insisted at the time that the move had nothing to do with increasing their NIH deals. 

In June, Forbes estimated that they have earned $1.7 million in deals before taxes and agents’ fees. 

Haley has a per post value of $10,700, while Haley’s is slightly less at $10,600, according to On3’s metrics. 

6. Flau’jae Johnson, 18, Women’s Basketball Player at LSU

NIL Valuation – $587,000 

Per Post Value: $8,000 

Flau'jae Johnson, 18, from Georgia, is both a rapper and a basketball star. She made the 2022 McDonald's All-American team (pictured) this past spring before starting her freshman year at Louisiana State University

Flau’jae Johnson, 18, from Georgia, is both a rapper and a basketball star. She made the 2022 McDonald’s All-American team (pictured) this past spring before starting her freshman year at Louisiana State University 

Johnson was just 13 when she appeared on the third season of the Lifetime competition series 'The Rap Game' in 2017. A year later, she made it to the quarterfinals of NBC’s 'America's Got Talent'

Johnson was just 13 when she appeared on the third season of the Lifetime competition series ‘The Rap Game’ in 2017. A year later, she made it to the quarterfinals of NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent’

Flau’jae Johnson is a double threat as a rapper and basketball star. 

The teen, who hails from Georgia, is the daughter of the late rapper Camoflauge, who was murdered before she was born. 

Growing up, she was mentored by her father’s friends Master P, Birdman, and Boozie Badazz, who saw her musical talent at an early age. 

Johnson was just 13 when she appeared on the third season of the Lifetime competition series ‘The Rap Game’ in 2017. A year later, she made it to the quarterfinals of NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent.’

She was also a star on the basketball court as a student at Sprayberry High School. She was ranked the No. 6 guard in the nation by ESPNW’s Hoopgurlz and was named a 2022 McDonald’s All-American. 

Johnson has 1.1 million followers across social media, in addition to her subscribers on YouTube, where she shares her latest music videos

Johnson has 1.1 million followers across social media, in addition to her subscribers on YouTube, where she shares her latest music videos

The 5-foot-10 guard signed a shoe deal with Puma in September, and she has the potential to become one of the most influential college athletes

The 5-foot-10 guard signed a shoe deal with Puma in September, and she has the potential to become one of the most influential college athletes

Johnson already had more than 120,000 subscribers on YouTube and a distribution deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation before she started her freshman year at Louisiana State University this summer. 

‘I don’t feel like anyone has ever done what I’m doing,’ she told The Washington Post last spring. ‘Quavo raps and he likes to play basketball, but he’s not a pro. Dame Lillard is a pro basketball player and he makes music, but it’s secondary for him. For me, neither one outshines the other. I’m trying to shine through it all.’ 

The 5-foot-10 guard signed a shoe deal with Puma in September, and she has the potential to become one of the most influential college athletes. 

Johnson has 1.1 million followers across social media, in addition to her subscribers on YouTube, where she shares her latest music videos. 

The teen has a per post value of $8,000, according to On3. 

7.  Hailey Van Lith, 21, Women’s Basketball Player for Louisville

NIL Valuation – $545,000  

Per Post Value: $7,500

Hailey Van Lith, 21, was mentored by late NBA star Kobe Bryant before she committed to play for the University of Louisville

Hailey Van Lith, 21, was mentored by late NBA star Kobe Bryant before she committed to play for the University of Louisville

Van Lith became one of the first college athletes to sign with Octagon in August 2021. The sports and entertainment agency also represents Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and NBA star Steph Curry

Van Lith became one of the first college athletes to sign with Octagon in August 2021. The sports and entertainment agency also represents Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and NBA star Steph Curry

Hailey Van Lith was in elementary school when she started her basketball training with her father, Corey, who played at the University of Puget Sound. 

The Washington native went on to be mentored by Kobe Bryant, and she struck up a friendship with his daughter Gianna while training at the Los Angeles Lakers star’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, California.

Bryant, Gianna, and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, in 2020. 

As a student at Cashmere High School, she was named the Gatorade Washington Girls Basketball Player of the Year twice and made the roster for the McDonald’s All-American team. 

This past season, she helped the Cardinals make it to the Final Four, but the team lost to the South Carolina Gamecocks

This past season, she helped the Cardinals make it to the Final Four, but the team lost to the South Carolina Gamecocks

Van Lith, who has 788,000 social media followers across platforms, has deals with Adidas, Dicks Sporting Goods, Valentino, Overtime, and Billionaire Girls Club

Van Lith, who has 788,000 social media followers across platforms, has deals with Adidas, Dicks Sporting Goods, Valentino, Overtime, and Billionaire Girls Club

In 2020, the 5-foot-7 guard was ranked the No. 5 player in the nation by ESPNW’s Hoopgurlz, and she committed to play for the University of Louisville.

Van Lith became one of the first college athletes to sign with Octagon in August 2021. The sports and entertainment agency also represents Olympic gymnast Simone Biles and NBA star Steph Curry. 

This past season, she helped the Cardinals make it to the Final Four, but the team lost to the South Carolina Gamecocks, who ended up winning the championship. 

Van Lith, who has 788,000 social media followers across platforms, has deals with Adidas, Dicks Sporting Goods, Valentino, Overtime, and Billionaire Girls Club.

Her per post value is now at $7,500, according to On3. 

8.  Sedona Prince, 22, Women’s Basketball Player at Oregon

NIL Valuation: $529,000

Per Post Value: $7,300

Sedona Prince, 22, plays for the Oregon Bucks after transferring from the University of Texas

Sedona Prince, 22, plays for the Oregon Bucks after transferring from the University of Texas 

In 2021, Prince made headlines when she pointed out the striking differences in the facilities at the men's and women's NCAA tournaments in her now-viral video

In 2021, Prince made headlines when she pointed out the striking differences in the facilities at the men's and women's NCAA tournaments in her now-viral video

In 2021, Prince made headlines when she pointed out the striking differences in the facilities at the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments in her now-viral video

Sedona Prince was raised in Texas, where she started playing basketball in the fourth grade, but she struggled with being bullied over her height when she was growing up. 

The 6-foot-7 center transferred schools for her freshman year before returning to Liberty Hill High School. She was picked for the McDonald’s All-American team her senior year. 

Prince started college at the University of Texas in 2018, but she had to sit out her freshman season due to an ACL injury.  

In an Instagram Live interview last year, she opened up about how she didn’t feel comfortable coming out as gay until she was in college.  

‘It was difficult. I came out when I came to college. I didn’t really have relationships in high school at all. I wasn’t really focused on that, didn’t really know who I was as a person. I knew I was gay freshman year of high school, but I just didn’t accept it until I could really be who I wanted to be, and that was in college, when I was out of my hometown in a much bigger place with people I didn’t know,’ she said. 

After the NCAA's endorsement restrictions were lifted, she signed deals with Crocs, Native, and Doordash

After the NCAA’s endorsement restrictions were lifted, she signed deals with Crocs, Native, and Doordash

Prince has a total of 3.3 million social media followers and was named Female Athlete of the Year at the inaugural NIL Summit

Prince has a total of 3.3 million social media followers and was named Female Athlete of the Year at the inaugural NIL Summit

‘And I’m like, “I’m just gonna be whoever I wanna be.” I started realizing I love women and I’m gay, and it was big for me because I grew so much. Now I’m so open with my story and who I am as a person, my sexuality, for the purpose of hopefully helping other kids open up and be comfortable with who they are.’

Prince transferred to the University of Oregon, but she also had to sit out the 2019-2020 season after her hardship waiver to grant her immediate eligibility was denied. 

She went on to file a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA and the Power Five conference seeking damages over its name, image, and likeness restrictions.

In 2021, Prince made headlines again when she pointed out the striking differences in the facilities at the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments in her now-viral video

After the NCAA’s endorsement restrictions were lifted, she signed deals with Crocs, Native, and Doordash. She has a total of 3.3 million social media followers and was named Female Athlete of the Year at the inaugural NIL Summit. 

Prince’s per post value is $7,300, according to On3. 

9.  Jade Carey, 22, Gymnast at Oregon State 

NIL Valuation: $258,000 

Per Post Value: $3,500 

Jade Carey, 22, tumbled her way to Olympic glory when she won the gold in the floor exercise and placed eighth in the all-around competition during last year's Tokyo Games

Jade Carey, 22, tumbled her way to Olympic glory when she won the gold in the floor exercise and placed eighth in the all-around competition during last year’s Tokyo Games 

The Olympian finally made her NCAA debut at Oregon State this January, but just months later, she announced that she was returning to elite gymnastics

The Olympian finally made her NCAA debut at Oregon State this January, but just months later, she announced that she was returning to elite gymnastics 

Jade Carey was training as an elite gymnast when she deferred her enrollment at Oregon State University — and her agreement to compete for the Beavers — until after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

After the Summer Games were postponed due to the pandemic, she enrolled in classes but held off from making her NCAA debut. 

The Arizona native tumbled her way to Olympic glory when she won the gold in the floor exercise and placed eighth in the all-around competition. 

The gymnast finally made her NCAA debut this January and won her first all-around title. She was later named Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year and Freshman of the Year.  

Carey boasts deals with Amazon Fashion, Reebok, and OZONE leotard, and her earning potential is bound to increase

Carey boasts deals with Amazon Fashion, Reebok, and OZONE leotard, and her earning potential is bound to increase 

Carey has a social media following of 367,000 and a per post value of $3,500, according to On3

Carey has a social media following of 367,000 and a per post value of $3,500, according to On3

Carey boasts deals with Amazon Fashion, Reebok, and OZONE leotard, and her earning potential is bound to increase following her return to elite gymnastics.  

She and Jordan Chiles are the first U.S. Olympic female gymnasts to return to elite competition after a college season, NBC Sports reported in August. 

Carey won gold on the vault and silver on the balance beam last week at the Paris World Challenge Cup, her first international competition since the Olympics. 

The Olympian has a social media following of 367,000 and a per post value of $3,500, according to On3. 

10. Grace McCallum, 19, Gymnast at Utah 

NIL Valuation – $209,000 

Per Post Value – $3,000

Olympic gymnast Grace McCallum is the last athlete to be featured on On3's ranking of female college influencers

Olympic gymnast Grace McCallum is the last athlete to be featured on On3’s ranking of female college influencers

The Minnesota native represented the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and took home a silver medal in the team event before starting her freshman year at the University of Utah

The Minnesota native represented the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and took home a silver medal in the team event before starting her freshman year at the University of Utah

McCallum has deals with Dick’s Sporting Goods, Headspace, and Unilever

McCallum has deals with Dick’s Sporting Goods, Headspace, and Unilever

McCallum has deals with Dick’s Sporting Goods, Headspace, and Unilever

The college gymnastics star has 417,000 followers across social media platforms

The college gymnastics star has 417,000 followers across social media platforms

Olympic gymnast Grace McCallum is the last athlete to be featured on On3’s ranking of female college influencers. 

The Minnesota native represented the U.S. at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and took home a silver medal in the team event before starting her freshman year at the University of Utah. 

She made her NCAA debut this past January, and a month later, she earned her first collegiate perfect 10 on the uneven bars. 

McCallum also helped the Red Rocks secure its second consecutive team title at the Pac-12 championships. The team came in third place at the NCAA championships. 

The teen has deals with Dick’s Sporting Goods, Headspace, and Unilever.

And with 417,000 followers across social media platforms, she has a per post value of $3,000, according to On3.  

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