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Female athletes who have cashed in on NIL deals

New NCAA policy allowing student-athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness has changed the game of college sports forever, and female athletes are already cashing in.

A growing list of college athletes (and even some high school stars) are inking partnership deals and signing with sponsors, proving the profitability of women’s sports.

Haley and Hanna Cavinder, Fresno State

@haleycavinder, @hanna.cavinder

The Cavinder twins were some of the first athletes to sign a sponsorship deal, announcing a partnership with Boost Mobile shortly after NIL restrictions were lifted. According to some estimations, the basketball duo could make more than their coach this season. 

Lexi Sun, University of Nebraska 


Volleyball standout Lexi Sun has opted for deals that enable her to express her personal style, signing sponsorships with Borsheims and REN Athletics.  For her partnership with Borsheims, Sun created a unique jewelry collection, and her custom-designed sweatshirt with REN Athletics quickly sold out. Sun is the first female athlete from Nebraska to sign a NIL deal. 

Aliyah Boston, South Carolina

South Carolina women’s basketball star Aliyah Boston inked her first partnership deal in July with Bojangles, a regional fast-food chicken chain. With her significant social media following (36,000 on Instagram) and basketball credentials (First Team All-American in 2021), she is likely to attract other NIL opportunities in the future. Boston recently signed with NIL agency Octagon Basketball, the same company representing Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith.

Azzi Fudd and Jaiden Fields

@azzi35, @jaidenfields

UConn basketball star Azzi Fudd (last year’s No. 1 recruit) and Georgia softball star Jaiden Fields are now Chipotle’s first-ever college athlete ambassadors. Their partnership will help promote Chipotle’s “Real Food For Real Athletes” platform, which is focused on “helping athletes of all levels perform their best through real food and real ingredients.” Fudd is also partnering with Chipotle to help support underrepresented communities.

Olivia Dunne, Louisiana State University


With more than 5.7 million followers on TikTok and Instagram, Olivia Dunne is the most followed student-athlete on social media. The LSU gymnast is predicted to reach $1 million in NIL deals even after just finishing her freshman year. Activewear brand Vuori and plant-based wellness company PlantFuel are among Dunne’s growing list of partnerships. 

Jada Williams, UCLA commit


16-year-old UCLA commit Jada Williams is already cashing in on her NIL rights, even before she steps foot on campus. Williams inked a multi-year deal with Spalding, making her a brand ambassador for both the company’s basketball equipment and its sportswear. Williams joins a stacked roster of athletes, which includes Damian Lillard, DeMar DeRozan and Ezi Magbegor.

Taylor Burrell, Jaelin Howell, Rayniah Jones, Trinity Thomas

@taylor.burrell, @jaehowell, @rayniahjones, @gymtrin

Milner Technologies, a workflow solutions company, struck a sponsorship deal with four female athletes from Florida, including Taylor Burrell (University of Miami, volleyball), Jaelin Howell (Florida State, soccer), Rayniah Jones (University of Central Florida, track & field), and Trinity Thomas (University of Florida, gymnastics). Each athlete will receive $5,000 each with an opportunity for further earnings down the road.

Mia Raffael, Kathleen Jones, Hannah Preissler

@mia_raffaele, @kathleen.m.jones, @hannah.preissler

GoPuff, an e-commerce food delivery service, is offering all student-athletes an endorsement program. Participants will receive payment for promoting GoPuff on social media and through other marketing platforms. Athletes including Mia Raffael (University of Miami, track & field), Kathleen Jones (Ohio State University, tennis), and Hannah Preissler (University of Nebraska, track & field) have signed up for the partnership.

Degree Deodorant’s inaugural #BreakingLimits Athletes 

A group of inspiring college female athletes were chosen for Degree Deodorant’s inaugural #BreakingLimits marketing campaign. Degree’s historic program was intended to celebrate the landmark NIL movement and will highlight each college athlete’s personal story of overcoming adversity.

Team members include: Charlotte Teeter (Texas Tech, soccer), Dana Rettke (University of Wisconsin, volleyball), Gloria Mutiri (University of Oregon, volleyball), Asikia O’Neal (University of Texas, volleyball), Bailey Moody (University of Alabama, wheelchair basketball), Chayla Edwards (University of Wisconsin, Ice hockey), Emma Hoffart (Missouri Western State University, softball), Jazmyn Foberg (University of Florida, gymnastics), Jhenna Gabriel (University of Texas, volleyball), Lawrence Sapp (University of Cincinnati, Para-Swimming), Logan Eggleston (University of Texas, volleyball).

Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas Re-Signs with Barcelona on Two-Year Deal

Alexia Putellas on the field for barcelona
The two-time Ballon d’Or winner has been with Barcelona for 12 years. (Alex Caparros/Getty Images)

Alexia Putellas has re-signed with FC Barcelona on a new two-year deal that will run through 2026. The agreement includes an option for a one-year extension. 

The two-time Ballon d’Or winner has been with Barcelona for 12 years, and her previous contract was set to expire next month. However, she’s spent the better part of the last two seasons battling injuries, starting with an ACL tear that kept her out of the 2022 UEFA European Women's Football Championship and limited her participation in Spain’s FIFA Women's World Cup win last summer. 

Putellas returned in March from her latest injury setback, making 25 appearances across all competitions for Barcelona this season and scoring 10 goals. 

In total, the midfielder has made 400 appearances for Barcelona. Among her 20 major trophies with the club include eight Liga F titles and two UEFA Champions League titles — including helping the team to its first European trophy in 2021. 

She then won the Ballon d’Or in back-to-back seasons in 2021 and 2022. 

Putellas could add a third Champions League trophy next weekend, when Barcelona faces familiar foe Lyon, a team they’ve lost to in two previous Champions League finals. Should they secure the UWCL, they would win the quadruple for the first time, having already won Liga F, the Copa de la Reina, and the Spanish Supercopa. 

WNBA on Pace for Record-Breaking Season

onquel Jones #35 of the New York Liberty rebounds during the game against the Indiana Fever on May 18, 2024 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn
Indiana's game against New York on Saturday was the most-watched WNBA game to ever air on ABC. (Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)

The WNBA continues its historic trajectory one week into the season, with attendance and viewership skyrocketing across the board. 

Indiana’s Saturday game against the New York Liberty was the most-watched WNBA game ever on ABC, drawing 1.71 million viewers. The Sparks vs. Aces matchup that followed became the third most-watched WNBA game broadcast on ABC with 1.34 million viewers.

On Monday, the tense finish between Indiana and Connecticut drew 1.56 million viewers to ESPN, the second most-watched WNBA game to ever air on cable.

Outside of the league’s viewership, both in-person attendance and merchandise sales have also been on a meteoric rise. On Saturday, the game between New York and Indiana shattered the single-game ticket revenue record in the WNBA, with the Liberty pulling in $2 million in sales. 

New York and Indiana played their home openers in front of more than 17,000 fans, with attendance up 14% year-over-year, according to the league. Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Aces, the Liberty, the Wings, the Dream, and others have already sold out of their 2024 season ticket allotments.

Since April’s WNBA Draft, revenue from the WNBA’s official online store is up 2,260%, already blowing past total sales for the entire 2023 season.

While the numbers may cool somewhat as teams settle into their seasons, the pop in demand has already overwhelmingly delivered for the WNBA in 2024.

Angel Reese Adds USL Team Owner to Growing Résumé

chicago sky rookie angel reese speaking at an event
Star rookie Angel Reese is all in on the USL Super League. (JC Olivera/Variety via Getty Images)

Chicago Sky rookie Angel Reese continues to add to her résumé, becoming the newest member of the DC Power Football Club’s ownership group

The No. 7 pick in the WNBA draft joins an group that includes the MLS team DC United as well as other DC-area community members and business owners. One of the USL Super League’s inaugural clubs, DC Power FC is set to begin play in August. 

"I want to help grow women's sports and elevate female athletes across the board," Reese, who's from Maryland, said in a statement. "We're taking over, and I'm honored to be able to support Power FC and invest in women's soccer in the DMV (District, Maryland, Virginia) community."

The USL is a sanctioned Division I league, meaning that it is on par with the NWSL and MLS in the United States. The league's eight current clubs are Brooklyn FC, Carolina Ascent FC, Dallas Trinity FC, DC Power FC, Fort Lauderdale United FC, Lexington SC, Spokane Zephyr FC, and Tampa Bay Sun FC.

DC Power FC will also be playing their home games in a familiar location: Matches will be hosted at DC’s Audi Field in partnership with MLS side DC United. Audi Field also home to the NWSL’s Washington Spirit.

"Angel's decision to be a founding investor alongside us in Power FC is groundbreaking," Jason Levien, DC United's CEO and co-chair, said in a statement. "As a Maryland native, Angel is so passionate about being a catalyst for positive change in women's sports in the DMV as well as globally while inspiring the next generation of female athletes. We're looking forward to her partnership in the boardroom as an equity partner."

It's been speculated that the Super League ultimately intends to compete outright with the NWSL. But in its first year, the league will focus on featuring the depth of women's soccer talent in the US.

Former NWSL players like Taylor Aylmer (Spokane), Jordyn Listro (Tampa Bay), Erika Tymrak (Tampa Bay), and Domi Richardson (Tampa Bay) have already announced a return to professional soccer via the USL.

The league is aiming to provide counter-programming to summer women's sports in the States, with a season running from fall to spring like the European calendar.

In a social media post, Reese said that she’s "grateful & blessed" to be part of the new ownership group. It’s the latest move in what has been a whirlwind spring for Reese, which included getting drafted, attending the Met Gala, signing a new partnership with Good American, and debuting with the Chicago Sky, among other achievements.

"Looking forward to creating new opportunities for women in professional soccer," she tweeted. "I’ve always had to desire to invest in a local team as a Maryland native!"

Reese is the latest female athlete to buy into a women’s sports team, joining the likes of Naomi Osaka, who owns a stake in the North Carolina Courage, and Serena Williams, who's part-owner of Angel City FC. 

Other pro athletes involved in women's sports team ownership include Patrick Mahomes, who shares ownership responsibilities of the Kansas City Current with his wife Brittany. Kevin Durant and Eli Manning are part-owners of Gotham FC, while NFL superstar Tom Brady is part-owner of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces.

Nelly Korda Continues Unprecedented LPGA Run

LPGA golfer Nelly Korda poses with Mizuho Americas Open trophy
Nelly Korda took home the title at the Mizuho Americas Open on Sunday. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Nelly Korda continued her unprecedented LPGA run on Sunday, winning her sixth tournament in the last seven starts. 

The 25-year-old Florida native took home the title at the Mizuho Americas Open, becoming the first LPGA player to record six wins in a single season since 2013 — and that’s with three majors and a little over half the season left to play.

"Oh, my gosh, six," Korda said after the win. "I can't even really gather myself right now with that, the head-to-head that Hannah and I had pretty much all day. Wasn't my best stuff out there today, but fought really hard on the back nine."

Korda is just the fourth player on tour to win six times before June 1st, joining LPGA Hall of Famers Babe Zaharias (1951), Louise Suggs (1953), and Lorena Ochoa (2008).

Should her victory run continue, Korda could break the current record for single-season wins, currently set at 13 by Mickey Wright in 1963.

Korda ended Sunday's tournament one shot ahead of Hannah Green, finishing the 18th with a par putt to win it all.

"I mean, to lose to Nelly kind of like is — it's sad, but then it's also Nelly Korda," Green said of her second-place finish. "You know, like she's obviously so dominant right now. To feel like second behind her is quite nice. Unfortunately the bogey on the last has a little bit of a sour taste."

Next up is the US Women’s Open, a tournament that Korda has yet to win in her career. 

"Obviously it's on the top of my priority list," she said. "I just know there is never any good when you put more pressure on yourself. Just going to stay in my bubble that week and take it a shot at a time."

Earlier this year, Korda became the fastest player to collect $2 million in prize money over a single season. This latest win earned her an additional $450,000, bringing her season total up to $2,943,708.

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