BATON ROUGE, La. (BVM) – LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne made it onto the prestigious Top Creators 2023 list by Forbes – which features “social media stars who turned followers into fortunes.”
Dunne ranks No. 48 out of 50 thanks to her $2.3 million NIL earnings, as well as her 12 million social media followers, high engagement rates and entrepreneurial activities.
The 20-year-old is the only college athlete to make Forbes’ creators list. The only other current athletes to make the list are professional boxer Jake Paul, professional wrestler Logan Paul and boxer Olajide Olatunji (KSI).
For Dunne, topping the list was only possible thanks to the NCAA’s NIL rule change in 2021 – which now allows college athletes to cash in on their name, image and likeness.
NIL earnings: Dunne has a projected annual valuation of $3.2 million, according to On3. Dunne earned $2.3 million between June 2022 to June 2023, according to Forbes. The majority of that money comes from her brand deals. Her seven-figure income allows her to buy designer Gucci bags and even luxury cars.
Social media following: Dunne is the most-followed female athlete in college sports. She has 12 million social media followers across Instagram and TikTok, which has opened the door for her to book lucrative NIL deals. Dunne claims that posting consistently on social media – no matter how “cringy” it felt – was the key to her NIL success. Now, she’s making as much as $500,000 for a single social media post.
Engagement rates: Dunne has high engagement rates on social media. She receives over half a million likes on an average Instagram post. Her TikToks can receive 10 million views or more. Even an advertisement she posts can be seen by countless users.
Entrepreneurial activities: Dunne is the highest-paid female athlete in college sports. She refers to herself as a businesswoman and is careful to not box herself in as just a TikTok star or Instagram model. Her countless brand deals include partnerships with clothing brands such as Vuori, American Eagle and Forever 21. She sees every opportunity in fashion and fitness to grow her “Livvy brand” as she calls it.
Overall, Dunne is setting an example of how college athletes can cash in if they focus on social media.
When Dunne was asked by Forbes how much sports is a part of her brand, she responded, “I would say it’s 50 percent right now.”