Top 10 College Sports Athletes Who Earn Zero from Name, Image, and Likeness Deal

Since the introduction of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) deals in amateur sports in 2021, the industry has grown into a billion-dollar market. High school and college athletes have been able to benefit financially from their personal brand and endorsements with major brands like Nike and Gatorade. For example, LeBron James’ son, Bronny James, has an estimated NIL value of $4.9 million.

March Madness has become a significant time for NIL sponsorships and influencer-marketing campaigns. University of Iowa basketball star Caitlin Clark has secured lucrative deals with major brands such as Nike, Gatorade, and State Farm during her March Madness run. Ayden Syal, CEO of NIL marketing platform MOGL, notes that there has been a significant increase in March Madness sponsorships and influencer-marketing campaigns in recent years.

Some top NIL earners have become successful through a combination of talent, skills, and social media presence. However, others might have benefited from their well-known last names in securing deals. The top 10 student-athletes profiting the most from NIL have valuations starting at $1.5 million as of March 26th, 2024. On3 tracks these partnerships and ranks student-athletes based on their annual NIL Valuation which considers factors like roster value performance, influence exposure and deal data to determine their total valuation which can lead to substantial earnings for student-athletes.

NIL deals are becoming increasingly popular among high school and college athletes who want to monetize their personal brand while pursuing their passion for sports. As the industry continues to grow exponentially with new partnerships being formed every day it will be interesting to see how it evolves over time.

It’s worth noting that while some athletes may benefit from their last names or social media presence when securing deals there are still many talented athletes who use their name image likeness to build a successful business ventures outside of sports such as fashion design or technology development.

In conclusion, NIL deals offer high school and college athletes an opportunity to generate revenue by leveraging their name image likeness while pursuing their passion for sports. With major brands like Nike partnering with top student-athletes such as Bronny James it is clear that this trend is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

By Aiden Johnson

As a content writer at, I have a passion for crafting engaging and informative articles that captivate readers. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, I strive to deliver content that not only informs but also entertains. My goal is to create compelling narratives that resonate with our audience and keep them coming back for more. Whether I'm delving into the latest news topics or exploring in-depth features, I am dedicated to producing high-quality content that informs, inspires, and sparks curiosity.

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