November 15, 2022

Curastory ranks the highest paid college athletes in NIL

Monetizing content has changed the game for talented college athletes. With the launch of our in-depth report on the state of NIL, Curastory removes the mystery behind the business of collegiate sports.

Video content is important now more than ever for college athletes. But that’s no news, is it?

Cisco predicted this shift back in 2018, stating that by 2022 video traffic will amount to 82% of all consumer internet traffic, and current studies are actually confirming these numbers.

The shift to video content is real. The increasing popularity of video creator platforms as well as Instagram pivoting to video-first content shows that even major players are betting on video above all other types of content.

We’ve analyzed data from over 75,000 top performing student athletes from 166 schools across the country, looking at how much top earners make according to Curastory’s industry standard cost per mille (CPM) model. Data has been collected up to August 2022 looking at variables such as viewership, engagement, content quality and more.

Whether you are a brand advertiser or creator, check out the methodology we used below to select the student athletes dominating the creator economy.

Methodology

The student athlete creators included in this report were
based on these categories:

  • Viewership

    The student athlete creator obtains an average engagement of at least 5,000 views per video aggregated across their social channels without ‘viral outliers’. Social channels include Instagram Reels, TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook Watch.

  • Content Quality

    The student athlete creator produces ‘memorable videos’ that cultivate genuine relationships with their audience.

  • Storyteller

    The student athlete creator videos are more frequently telling stories instead of following trends.

Key Takeways You must select who you are to see report*

Student athletes lean into the creator economy

Content creators are the future of influencer marketing.


Video has become imperative for creators trying to win the content war. According to a recent study 83 percent of marketers say that video is more important than ever.


Brands value the power of great video content. Why? According to a recent study, 93% of participants believe that video converts the same or better than other forms of content.


With Curastory, creators get to take their earning power into their own hands. Curastory’s earning report allows creators to know their earning potential making negotiations with brands seamless and transparent.

Any of the student athlete creators researched and selected are the best video creators sharing their many different stories that are leading the industry. Download the full report below.

Curastory demystifies influencer marketing for brands

Companies have picked up on the video trend.

Video is now an integral part of the content strategy for many brands, and 88% of businesses use this type of content as a marketing tool.

The reason is simple. Video content is far more engaging than any other content type. When looking at numbers, videos reach further, generate more clicks and deliver better ROI than their image counterparts.

Any of the student athlete creators researched and selected would be perfect content partners in your next video marketing campaign. Download the full report below.

See full report
University Team Creator Instagram Followers Median Reels Views Instagram URL Instagram Followers Median TikTok Views TikTok URL YouTube Subscribers Median YouTube Views Youtube URL Facebook Watch Followers Median Facebook Watch Views Facebook Watch URL Earnings per Video

Key Takeaways

Los Angeles is the place to be for creative inspiration. The home of the creator economy is the home of the most student athlete creators on this report – the west coast, more specifically Los Angeles. 8% of the student athlete creators in our report live in Los Angeles. The most of any geographical area listed call Los Angeles home with 49 student athletes hailing from USC and UCLA.

Coaches are more supportive of NIL for sports less dominant in the media. Creators topping our report as heavy earners were not the sports we expected, instead Women’s and Men’s Basketball, Women’s and Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field, and Softball hosted the best student athlete creators. If you play a sport like football, don’t fret. It might take some more buy in for your coaches to appreciate your content creation skills just like the 57 football players appearing in our report.

The best schools supporting NIL are far reaching across the United States. The west coast and southern belt are regions with schools supporting NIL the most. Schools with the highest aggregate earners per ad-enabled video on social media are Oregon at $108K driven by Sedona Prince, UCLA at $57K driven by Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Texas at $49K driven by Sam Hurley, Auburn at $35K driven by Sunisa Lee and last but not least, Florida at $31K driven by Riley McCusker.

Key Takeaways

Content is Queen. Women are top performers in this report. Meanwhile, men still hold a strong position. According to The Information, 84% of creators and influencers are women. That is no different for student athletes, but more equitable than the normal creator economy. 85% of student athlete creators in our report are women while also 70% of student athlete creators in the top 10 are women.

Brands are still confused about how to approach NIL. Our report boasts many student athlete creators that have yet to be discovered. Only 25% of the student athlete creators listed have previously had paid partnerships and sponsorships while 75% of them are still waiting for the first brand deal. If there is anything confidently we can tell you here at Curastory, any creator in this report would be the perfect ambassador for your brand.

Student athlete creators are more diverse than the normal influencer population. If you were hoping for more diversity in your creator campaigns, look no further than the creators dominating NIL. 42% of the entire student athlete creator population in our list are people of color while 58% are non people of color. Values that we confidently share are exponentially better than the industry average.

Share this report

If any of the data was reported on in error, please contact the Curastory Research team.

Key Takeaways

Content is Queen. Women are top performers in this report. Meanwhile, men still hold a strong position. According to The Information, 84% of creators and influencers are women. That is no different for student athletes, but more equitable than the normal creator economy. 85% of student athlete creators in our report are women while also 70% of student athlete creators in the top 10 are women.

Brands are still confused about how to approach NIL. Our report boasts many student athlete creators that have yet to be discovered. Only 25% of the student athlete creators listed have previously had paid partnerships and sponsorships while 75% of them are still waiting for the first brand deal. If there is anything confidently we can tell you here at Curastory, any creator in this report would be the perfect ambassador for your brand.

Student athlete creators are more diverse than the normal influencer population. If you were hoping for more diversity in your creator campaigns, look no further than the creators dominating NIL. 42% of the entire student athlete creator population in our list are people of color while 58% are non people of color. Values that we confidently share are exponentially better than the industry average.

Key Takeaways

Los Angeles is the place to be for creative inspiration. The home of the creator economy is the home of the most student athlete creators on this report – the west coast, more specifically Los Angeles. 8% of the student athlete creators in our report live in Los Angeles. The most of any geographical area listed call Los Angeles home with 49 student athletes hailing from USC and UCLA.

Coaches are more supportive of NIL for sports less dominant in the media. Creators topping our report as heavy earners were not the sports we expected, instead Women’s and Men’s Basketball, Women’s and Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field, and Softball hosted the best student athlete creators. If you play a sport like football, don’t fret. It might take some more buy in for your coaches to appreciate your content creation skills just like the 57 football players appearing in our report.

The best schools supporting NIL are far reaching across the United States. The west coast and southern belt are regions with schools supporting NIL the most. Schools with the highest aggregate earners per ad-enabled video on social media are Oregon at $108K driven by Sedona Prince, UCLA at $57K driven by Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Texas at $49K driven by Sam Hurley, Auburn at $35K driven by Sunisa Lee and last but not least, Florida at $31K driven by Riley McCusker.

Share this report

If any of the data was reported on in error, please contact the Curastory Research team.

Key Takeaways

Los Angeles is the place to be for creative inspiration. The home of the creator economy is the home of the most student athlete creators on this report – the west coast, more specifically Los Angeles. 8% of the student athlete creators in our report live in Los Angeles. The most of any geographical area listed call Los Angeles home with 49 student athletes hailing from USC and UCLA.

Coaches are more supportive of NIL for sports less dominant in the media. Creators topping our report as heavy earners were not the sports we expected, instead Women’s and Men’s Basketball, Women’s and Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field, and Softball hosted the best student athlete creators. If you play a sport like football, don’t fret. It might take some more buy in for your coaches to appreciate your content creation skills just like the 57 football players appearing in our report.  

The best schools supporting NIL are far reaching across the United States. The west coast and southern belt are regions with schools supporting NIL the most. Schools with the highest aggregate earners per ad-enabled video on social media are Oregon at $108K driven by Sedona Prince, UCLA at $57K driven by Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Texas at $49K driven by Sam Hurley, Auburn at $35K driven by Sunisa Lee and last but not least, Florida at $31K driven by Riley McCusker.

Key Takeaways

Content is Queen. Women are top performers in this report. Meanwhile, men still hold a strong position. According to The Information, 84% of creators and influencers are women. That is no different for student athletes, but more equitable than the normal creator economy. 85% of student athlete creators in our report are women while also 70% of student athlete creators in the top 10 are women.
 
Brands are still confused about how to approach NIL. Our report boasts many student athlete creators that have yet to be discovered. Only 25% of the student athlete creators listed have previously had paid partnerships and sponsorships while 75% of them are still waiting for the first brand deal. If there is anything confidently we can tell you here at Curastory, any creator in this report would be the perfect ambassador for your brand.
 
Student athlete creators are more diverse than the normal influencer population. If you were hoping for more diversity in your creator campaigns, look no further than the creators dominating NIL. 42% of the entire student athlete creator population in our list are people of color while 58% are non people of color. Values that we confidently share are exponentially better than the industry average.

See the full Data

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Authors

Ramsey Daniels

Contributors

Anabella Passeri
Ekta Sharma
Emily Anderson
Jade Esmerelda
Stephanie Guzman
Ishita Tibrewal
Arvie Beatriz
Patricia Cruz
Florante Madrid
Johanna Calma
Sergei Tabaniang
Aiwa Albano
Yash Tekriwal

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