On3 releases its top 10 list of women’s March Madness NIL valuations
The GIST: March Madness and name, image and likeness (NIL) continue to go hand-in-hand. Last week, On3 dropped its top 10 list of women’s March Madness NIL valuations, with popular hoopers like Caitlin Clark and Haley and Hanna Cavinder making the cut.
The methodology: On3’s algorithm uses athletic performance, influence and exposure to track standard market NIL value for high school and college players, instead of strictly tracking the value of completed NIL deals or an athlete’s all-time NIL value.
The list: Miami’s Cavinder twins are on top with an NIL valuation of $835K each, while LSU freshman Flau’jae Johnson ranks third with $654K. Louisville’s Hailey Van Lith ($460K) and LSU’s Angel Reese ($371K) round out the top five.
- The bottom half of the lineup posted NIL valuations ranging from $154K to $223K. UConn’s Azzi Fudd and South Carolina’s Zia Cooke are the only players from their powerhouse squads on the list, while Iowa’s Caitlin Clark sits in 10th spot.
The context: On3’s rankings correlate heavily with each athlete’s social media audience, but not their teams’ digital fanbases. For example, the Cavinder twins’ 4.8M followers well outpace Miami’s women’s hoops team, and five of the 10 most followed teams have no players on the list.
- However, social media isn’t the whole story. Clark doesn’t play for a highly followed team or rank in the top 10 most followed players, but her status as the most exciting March Madness player has sponsors taking note. The guard raked in over $1M in NIL deals before signing with Nike last October. Baller.
Zooming out: The names on the list are as noteworthy as one name off it — South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston, who’s widely considered to be the best player in the NCAA tourney. The same isn’t true for top men’s talent Purdue’s Zach Edey, who ranks third for On3’s men’s March Madness NIL valuations.
- This begs the question: How much influence does media coverage have over NIL deals in women’s sports? South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley suggested Boston is unfairly flying under the media’s radar, which might be hindering her dealmaking prospects.