Angel Reese has said playing in the NCAA is more lucrative than the WNBA, adding that she is in no rush to join the league, although she won’t be eligible for drafting until next year.
“I’m in no rush to go to the league,” the 20-year-old second-year student at Louisiana State University said on the I Am Athlete podcast. “The money I’m making is more than some of the people that are in the league that might be top players.”
The LSU Tigers star is cashing in on her popularity off the court. On her official website, she is selling merchandise in addition to signing lucrative deals with powerful brands.
According to Sponsors United, no player, man or woman, has signed more deals than Reese in the history of the NCAA tournament. So far, the college basketball player has signed 17 NIL deals totaling $392,000 per year with brands such as Calvin Klein, Bose, JanSport, McDonald’s, Xfinity, and Coach, among others, the nypost reported.
Meanwhile, CNBC reports that the deals net her at an estimated $1.3 million per year, citing sports media platform On3.
The Maryland native’s success comes on the back of the growth of her social media handles. She now has over one million followers on both Instagram and TikTok, going from LSU sensation to social media influencer.
According to her manager, Jeanine Ogbonnaya, many more brands have been calling since her last match, where she finished with a double-double and copied Iowa star Caitlin Clark‘s “you can’t see me” celebration in the game’s closing seconds before pointing out her ring finger.
“She’s not just a student-athlete anymore or a marketable women’s basketball player where we’re doing these one-off deals,” Ogbonnaya said. “I think at this point, she’s got the following to back it up where she can be doing long-term partnerships that truly align with her brand and her messaging, and finding those brands that align with that as well.
“I think this whole weekend, really, everyone took notice of her lashes and her lip gloss, how beautiful she is. The modeling, the fashion, and the lifestyle space is definitely something that we’re really pushing toward.”