Angel Reese, Olivia Dunne using NILSU to promote women's sports at LSU

LSU's Angel Reese and Olivia Dunne have become two of the most impactful athletes in college sports today.

Colorado v LSU
Colorado v LSU / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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LSU female athletes, gymnast Olivia “Livvy” Dunne and basketball player Angel Reese are two of the highest paid athletes in the NIL era of college athletics. On the surface, this may not seem shocking, but it is how they are using their money and name recognition that are.

Dunne has been on the women’s gymnastics team at LSU since 2021 and is entering into her fourth year with the Tigers. Beyond gymnastics, Dunne has gained popularity on social media, and leveraged this into massive philanthropic and empowerment efforts for females.

Reese is most known for her, and the LSU women’s basketball team’s incredible national championship run last year led by their head coach, Kim Muhlke. Like Dunne, Reese has used her notoriety in a positive way to empower others and give back.

Angel Reese, Olivia Dunne using NILSU to promote women's sports at LSU

In an article by Sports Illustrated writer, Stephanie Apstein, Reese and Dunne’s NIL deals are gone into detail on as far as how they’re using the money; and it may shock you.

“Even the girls who walk on, they’re getting money,” said Reese to Apstein. “Everybody’s benefiting from it, not just the stars of the team.”

According to Apstein, Dunne recently announced the creation of the Livvy Fund, a program within the school’s collective to connect other LSU women athletes with brands.

It is evident that Dunne and Reese are making a concerted effort to be inclusive not just to their teammates, but supporting all women’s sports at LSU. Dunne told Apstein, “There’s definitely an underlying problem, which is that the money needs to go to support women’s sports, because there’s not many [lucrative] professional leagues for women’s sports after college.”

Apstein states that “On3, which tracks NIL Deals, ranks Olivia Dunne as the no. 3 earner in the country…Reese eight with $1.7 million.”

Apstein appeared on Lockedon LSU on YouTube and was interviewed by host Caroline Fenton to break down the article further. Apstein said “I don’t think they set out to be the pace setter in women’s sports, but that’s kind of what’s happened.”

Hopefully more notoriety and equity across the board will follow suit with women’s sports. Trend setters like Dunne and Reese have set the tone. Now it is up to other female athletes that emerge to follow. All can agree though that a job has been, and is continuing to be well-done by Dunne, Reese and LSU as a whole surrounding their NIL as a whole.