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NIL, or Name, Image, and Likeness, has opened up a new world of financial opportunity for high school and college athletes. Brands like Nike and Gatorade have already partnered with top student-athletes, such as LeBron James’ son, Bronny James, who has an estimated NIL value of $4.9 million.

University of Iowa basketball star Caitlin Clark has been making headlines during her March Madness run. In addition to breaking records on the court, she has secured lucrative deals with major brands like Nike, Gatorade, and State Farm. According to Ayden Syal, CEO of NIL marketing platform MOGL, there has been a significant increase in March Madness sponsorships and influencer-marketing campaigns in recent years.

NIL deals have become a billion-dollar industry since their introduction to amateur sports in 2021. On3 tracks these partnerships and ranks student-athletes based on their annual NIL Valuation, taking into account factors like roster value performance, influence, exposure, and deal data. This calculation results in their total NIL Valuation, which can lead to substantial earnings for student-athletes.

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. As of March 26th 2024, the top 10 student-athletes profiting the most from NIL have valuations starting at $1.5 million.

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