Hopefully, there’s enough room in the “Bayou Barbie” house for all the deals Angel Reese is bringing in. The national champion and media darling can now add “highest paid” to her résumé as Sponsors United reports that she’s landed more NIL deals than any player, man or woman, in the NCAA tournament.
Though fifth on the list overall behind several football players and Lauren Burke, a softball player for Texas, Reese is leading the pack in hoops with 17 NIL deals totaling $392,000 per year with companies like Bose, JanSport, McDonald’s, Outback Steakhouse, Xfinity, and others. She is ninth overall among college athletes, according to Sportscasting.com, and seems poised to keep running it up.
A true Gen Z “it girl,” Reese’s unapologetic authenticity and fashion sense have caught the eye of legacy brands like Coach, who gifted the LSU Tigers leather backpacks at the beginning of the 2022 season on behalf of the double-double record-holder. One scroll through her Instagram, and it’s clear why her star continues to rise; she is, at once, an average college student and yet keenly aware of her influence on others. The latter has never been more true as she’s navigated the past few days of a media circus that followed her iconic victory over Iowa. While criticism and praise have floated around sports media, Reese has been steadfast, bold, and unbothered.
Most recently, first lady Dr. Jill Biden threw out the idea of having both LSU and Iowa visit the White House, a move that is in direct opposition to the usual order of business of having only champions honored in this way. Reese reposted a tweet featuring a quote from Dr. Biden with the response “A JOKE” and doubled down on her stance while being interviewed by the I Am Athlete subsidiary “Paper Route,” saying, “I just know if the roles were reversed, they wouldn’t be the same. If we were to lose, we would not be getting invited to the White House.” She said she and her teammates would visit former President and first lady Barack and Michelle Obama instead.
Heard you, Queen!