Olivia Dunne’s Potential NIL Boost After LSU’s NCAA Gymnastics Championship Win

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NCAA Gymnastics Championship: Will Olivia Dunne’s NIL Deal See a Boost After LSU Tigers’ Victory?

The stage is set for the highly anticipated NCAA Championships, where the No. 2 LSU gymnastics team is gearing up to showcase their talent in the semifinal showdown. With a remarkable record of 25-3, including a 5-2 SEC standing, the LSU Tigers are no strangers to the spotlight, making their 33rd appearance in this prestigious event. As they prepare to compete against top-tier opponents in the first session of the semifinals, all eyes are on standout gymnast Olivia Dunne.

Livvy’s ascent as a social media powerhouse, with over 10 million followers, has opened doors to lucrative NIL deals, surpassing seven figures. As the Tigers head towards the semifinals, a pertinent query arises: Could Olivia Dunne’s NIL contracts experience a substantial surge if LSU clinches the National Championships?

Beginning her training at ENA Gymnastics in Paramus, New Jersey, at the age of three, Olivia Dunne quickly exhibited promise in gymnastics. Her ascent to the elite level was marked by notable performances at prestigious events such as the American Classic, the U.S. Classic, and the 2017 and 2018 City of Jesolo Trophy, where she represented Team USA’s elite. Despite facing setbacks, including injuries that sidelined her during the 2019 season, Dunne’s passion for gymnastics remained staunch.

Olivia Dunne
Olivia Dunne (Credits: PEOPLE)

In 2020, she began a new chapter by joining the LSU Tigers gymnastics team. Throughout her collegiate career, Dunne has consistently impressed on the uneven bars and floor exercises, earning high scores above 9. During the 2020–21 NCAA gymnastics season, making her NCAA debut against Arkansas, Livvy delivered a strong performance, scoring 9.875. With an impressive National Qualifying Score (NQS) of 9.9 on bars, Dunne entered the postseason with confidence.

After enduring injuries that sidelined her for much of the 2022–23 season, including two torn labrums, a torn biceps, and a stress reaction in her leg, Dunne made a triumphant return to competition on February 24 against Alabama.

She delivered a commendable performance on the uneven bars, scoring 9.825. Ahead of the semifinals, Dunne’s dedication and skill were on full display in her recent Instagram story. Rotating on the uneven bars with precision and hope for a perfect 10, she executed a flawless landing, eliciting cheers from her teammates.

Olivia Dunne has established herself as a notable figure in NCAA athletics, securing the third position among the highest earners in NIL deals, trailing behind prominent names such as Bronny James and Shedeur Sanders.

Olivia Dunne
Olivia Dunne

Despite not hailing from a sporting family background, Dunne’s remarkable journey to becoming the highest-paid female athlete in the NCAA, with NIL deals valued at $3.5 million, underscores her entrepreneurial drive and commitment to her sport. Nevertheless, Dunne’s achievements have not been immune to criticism.

When she and LSU basketball player Angel Reese graced the cover of Sports Illustrated’s October “The Money Issue” last year, some fans took to social media to question her status as an athlete, with one saying, “Livvy Dunne doesn’t count as an athlete,” and one person commenting, “Is Liv even an elite gymnast?” Yet Dunne remained unfazed by the backlash, emphasizing that “People need to understand that I’ve worked for everything I’ve earned.

Dunne’s journey to stardom took an unexpected turn during the spring of 2020 when the pandemic forced gyms to close and meets to be canceled. Stranded in Jensen Beach, Florida, Dunne turned adversity into opportunity by posting videos of her beach gymnastics on TikTok, quickly amassing hundreds of thousands of followers.

Her strategic approach to social media, coupled with a strong work ethic, laid the foundation for her success. Navigating NCAA eligibility rules, which previously prevented athletes from monetizing their social media following, proved challenging for Dunne.

However, with the NCAA’s rule change in July 2021, allowing athletes to earn money from their name, image, and likeness, Dunne seized the opportunity. Signing with WME Sports and securing exclusive brand partnerships, such as with activewear brand Vuori, Dunne solidified her position as one to watch out for in the NIL landscape.

Olivia Dunne
Olivia Dunne (Credits: Panola Watchman)

As of May 2023, Olivia Dunne became the highest-valued women’s college athlete, boasting an impressive NIL valuation of $3.3 million. This valuation paved the way for lucrative endorsement deals with a diverse range of brands, including Grubhub, Vuori, Bodyarmor, American Eagle Outfitters, Motorola, Nautica, Accelerator Active Energy, ESPN, and Forever 21.

Her influence saw her debut in the 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, a cover feature on Sports Illustrated’s October “The Money Issue” alongside Angel Reese, and an exclusive profile in Elle Magazine. Furthermore, Dunne’s entrepreneurial spirit shone through with her inclusion in Forbes’ prestigious 2024 30 Under 30 list and recognition on Forbes’ 2023 Top Creators list. In July 2023, Dunne revealed that she had garnered over $500K for a single social media post.

Leveraging her platform for positive change, Dunne partnered with Bayou Traditions to launch The Livvy Fund, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at connecting female student-athletes at LSU with top brands to secure NIL endorsement deals. Notably, Dunne’s “Livvy Fund” collaborated with Accelerator Active Energy to pioneer a revolutionary NIL deal, benefiting several of her gymnast teammates.

This innovative partnership marked a significant milestone in the evolving landscape of athlete endorsements, empowering eight LSU gymnasts, including Konnor McClain, Ashley Cowan, Jillian Hoffman, Chase Brock, KJ Johnson, Haleigh Bryant, Sierra Ballard, and Kiya Johnson, as ambassadors of the energy drink company.

In May 2024, she was set to grace the pages of the 60th anniversary issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit as an official rookie. Through her entrepreneurial endeavors and commitment to empowering fellow athletes, Olivia Dunne has proven she is here to stay and make an impact.

As Olivia Dunne continues to ascend the ranks of NIL deals as an NCAA athlete, her journey thus far has been nothing short of extraordinary. While she has yet to secure a championship title, there’s no denying the impact she has made both on and off the gymnastics mat.

Winning a championship would undoubtedly add another accolade to her already impressive resume, potentially silencing any remaining skeptics and further bolstering her widespread appeal. However, regardless of the outcome, Dunne’s trajectory appears promising. As the LSU Lady Tigers gear up for the 2024 NCAA National Championship title, only time will reveal if Dunne and her teammates will emerge victorious.


By Christopher Kamila

I am an experienced content writer with a specialization in WordPress. I have written engaging articles for various websites that have achieved a total of 5,500 monthly views. In addition, I have played a key role in boosting their organic traffic by 30% and achieving top Google rankings through SEO. My passion lies in creating user-friendly content.

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