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LSU gymnast and TikTok star Olivia “Livvy” Dunne has signed a Name, Image, Likeness deal with activewear brand Vuori that will reportedly pay her a “mid-six figures,” according to a Forbes report. Dunne, who competed on the bars as a freshman for LSU in 2020, will spend the next two years doing promo photoshoots for Vuori and will take part in social media takeovers and other marketing campaigns that will be aimed towards her social media empire.
With a current TikTok following of 4.4 million and another 1.3 million on Instagram, Dunne, 18, has been a top-tier target for brands looking to make a splash in the NIL world. Remember, this isn’t about her gymnastics performances. This is about her social media reach. It just happens that she performs on the bars for LSU.
“Nothing has changed at all with my social media stuff. I take it very seriously, and I keep it clean. And mostly I just want to be a role model to young girls. I want to set a good example, and I want to send out a message that we’re more than just our sport. That’s very important to me,” she told Forbes reporter Kristi Dosh.
One interesting takeaway from Dunne’s interview is that she recognizes this is her time, with gymnastics still attached to her name, to cash as many checks as possible.
“Right now it’s all about trying to find a balance between school, social media and gymnastics. All them are top priorities in my life. I think it’s really a special time right now with the NIL change, especially for women’s sports because there’s not a lot of professional leagues after college for women,” she said.
That last sentence is important. Simone Biles, 24, is considered the greatest gymnast in the history of the sport and yet it’s estimated by Forbes that Biles earns $5 million a year in endorsements. It’s a nice chunk of money, but never forget that Biles broke down in an emotional puddle at the Tokyo Games when things went south for her.
Meanwhile, Dunne competed in 11 events as a freshman at LSU and now has a mid-six-figure deal from one brand. College is now the pros for Olympic sports — if you can figure out how to leverage social media and create a brand around your likeness.
And in Dunne’s case, she doesn’t even have to be the best gymnast in the world to get herself a chunk of money. She didn’t even make it past the NCAA regional semis in 2020.
Yes, Simone Biles will have plenty of earning opportunities the rest of her life, but NIL has allowed the likes of Dunne, who most likely not get close to the 2024 Paris Olympic gymnastics team, and others to go out and make money representing brands while the money is being thrown around.
Parents: It’s time to create a strong social media team to go along with those trips to summer camps.