March Madness creates opportunities for student-athletes to capitalize off their name, image and likeness. And while a lot of attention has been on football since NIL’s inception, more and more brands understand that women’s basketball stars have massive social media followings and can create a solid return on investment for NIL deals.
The men’s NCAA tournament continues with the Sweet 16 starting on Thursday, and by the end of the weekend, we’ll know who will be playing in the Final Four. On3 breaks down the top 10 On3 NIL Valuations of players starring in the Sweet 16.
Gonzaga center Drew Timme
On3 NIL Valuation: $902,000
On3 NIL 100 Rank: No. 26
Social Media Followers: 112K
He returned to college basketball for another year, and it has paid off. Drew Timme is averaging 21.1 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists this season, while shooting an outstanding 62.1% from the field. Timme also came up big in the first two rounds of the tournament with 28 points, eight boards and three assists against TCU and 21 points against Grand Canyon in the first round.
Timme’s also found plenty of success off the court. Since the start of the tournament, he’s gained more than 2,000 followers on social media. Plus, in recent weeks, he signed with Beats by Dre. He previously gifted his teammates headphones as part of the agreement. Timme is one of three college basketball players promoting Continental Tires this March, too. Barstool Gonzaga has merchandise featuring the big man. He signed with Seven1 Sports & Entertainment Group for representation back in August 2021. The agency was founded by former NBA stars Jermaine O’Neal and Tracy McGrady.
UCLA forward Jaime Jaquez
On3 NIL Valuation: $847,000
On3 NIL 100 Rank: No. 34
Social Media Followers: 63K
UCLA star Jaime Jaquez passed Bill Walton to move into the top 12 on the school’s career scoring list and that helped boost his On3 NIL Valuation by more than $425,000 since the start of the NCAA tournament. He led UCLA with 24 points, eight rebounds and four assists in a 67-62 victory over Northwestern in the Round of 32. Jaquez is 11 points behind Charles O’Bannon for No. 11 overall. But he couldn’t believe he passed an icon like Walton.
“I’m just blessed,” Jaquez said. “I’m just blessed to be in this position, blessed to play under such a great coach, blessed to go to this institution. I don’t really know what to say. That’s crazy.”
The second-seeded Bruins take on No. 3 Gonzaga on Thursday, and a big part of UCLA’s success over the past four years has come from Jaquez’s strong play. That’s helped him also become a success story in the world of NIL, and a return trip to the Final Four could cement his status as one of college sport’s biggest earners.
Since the start of the tournament, he’s executed deals with Bose, Casper and Tocaya Modern Mexican – a deal that featured his sister, Gabriela Jaquez, who is on the UCLA women’s team.
Houston guard Marcus Sasser
On3 NIL Valuation: $801,000
On3 NIL 100 Rank: No. 41
Social Media Followers: 31K
The city of Houston is hosting the Final Four this year and the Cougars may just be playing in it thanks to Marcus Sasser. He entered the tournament battling a groin injury and played only 14 minutes in the first-round victory over Northern Kentucky. Yet, he fought through the pain to play 31 minutes, score 22 points and drain some key free throws against Auburn. The senior was the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year and is Houston’s first first-team All-American since Hakeem Olajuwon.
The NIL partnerships continue to roll in, too. He has signed with Little Woodrow’s, Bose and Athletic Brewing Company leading into the tournament. That does not include the agreements he has signed through the Houston NIL collective Linking Coogs. More opportunities will be there if he can get Houston back home, and he’s already developed into one of the most popular players in the tournament with an increase of more than 2,000 social media followers in the past week and a jump of more than $259,000 in his On3 NIL Valuation.
Alabama forward Brandon Miller
On3 NIL Valuation: $662,000
On3 NIL 100 Rank: No. 59
Social Media Followers: 64K
Coming out of high school, Brandon Miller ranked as the No. 14 player in the On3 Industry Ranking and the No. 1 player in Tennessee. He was named a McDonald’s All-America and the 2022 Tennessee Gatorade Player of the Year. He’s made an immediate impact on the court for top-seeded Alabama. During his freshman season at Alabama, Miller emerged as one of college basketball’s most electrifying players by averaging more than 19 points, eight rebounds and two assists. He also scored 19 points in the second-round game against Maryland.
There is controversy surrounding Miller since his name was linked to the murder of Jamea Harris. Former teammate Darius Miles has been indicted with a capital murder charge already. No charges have been pressed against Miller, and he has continued to play.
Miller does have a handful of NIL deals and his On3 NIL Valuation has increased $241,000 since the start of the tournament.
Houston forward Jarace Walker
On3 NIL Valuation: $567,000
On3 NIL 100 Rank: No. 74
Social Media Followers: 31K
While Sasser has deservedly grabbed a lot of headlines, insiders know that freshman forward Jarace Walker is one of the big reasons the Cougars have had so much success this season. Walker – who is in the top 10 on most NBA draft boards – averages 11.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and one steal. The former On3 Industry five-star prospect out IMG Academy hauled in 10 rebounds against Auburn in the Round of 32 and he scored 16 points in the first round.
As he’s become more and more of a household name in college basketball, Walker has seen a steady climb in his On3 NIL Valuation. He’s seen a 37% increase in his value alone since the start of the tournament, and his list of completed deals includes powerhouse brands like LG Electronics and Gallery Furniture.
UCLA guard Amari Bailey
On3 NIL Valuation: $551,000
On3 NIL 100 Rank: No. 78
Social Media Followers: 566K
With UCLA’s Jaylen Clark shut down for the year with an Achilles injury, freshman guard Amari Bailey stepped up big time in the first two rounds of the tournament. Buoyed by success in the Pac-12 tournament, when he scored 19 in the final against Arizona, Bailey had 17 points and six assists against UNC-Asheville in the first round and 14 points, six assists and four rebounds against Northwestern. “Amari has tremendous, tremendous talent,” UCLA coach Mick Cronin said. “The more he plays, the more comfortable he gets, the better he gets. And he’s just as good on the defensive end as he is on the offensive end.”
Off the court, Bailey has signed with Roc Nation for NIL representation. Bailey has signed with the underwear brand Ethika, too. With more than half-a-million social media followers, a deep postseason run is only going to strengthen his NIL opportunities.
Miami guard Isaiah Wong
On3 NIL Valuation: $531,000
On3 NIL 100 Rank: No. 81
Social Media Followers: 20K
As a fourth-year junior, Isaiah Wong has propelled the Miami Hurricanes to back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances. This season, he’s averaging 16.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and is shooting 38% from 3-point range. He was named the ACC Player of the Year, an honorable mention All-American and is now fifth on Miami’s career scoring list.
With his success this season, Wong has started to become more of a factor with brands. Since the start of the new year, he’s executed NIL deals with Cards Stock Exchange and Farm to Fork Meals. If he leads Miami to the Final Four and returns next season, he could be one of the college basketball’s biggest NIL earners.
Princeton forward Tosan Evbuomwan
On3 NIL Valuation: $512,000
On3 NIL 100 Rank: No. 85
Social Media Followers: 4.2K
Princeton senior forward Tosan Evbuomwan (pronounced Eh-WHOA-Ma) has emerged as one of the breakout stars of the NCAA tournament. In the Tigers’ upset wins over Mizzou and Arizona, Evbuomwan averaged 12 points, eight rebounds and 4.5 assists, and he also made some key defensive stops. Evbuomwan was the Ivy League Player of the Year.
Evbuomwan has a unique NIL situation because he’s originally from Newcastle, England. International students have limited NIL opportunities because current student visas explicitly bar athletes from working while studying and playing in the U.S. There are around 20,000 international athletes at high schools and colleges across the nation who are in the same bind.
That said, Evbuomwan has promoted a relationship with the Always Ballin apparel company on his social media.
Arkansas guard Anthony Black
On3 NIL Valuation: $469,000
On3 NIL 100 Rank: No. 99
Social Media Followers: 119K
Anthony Black was a well-known name coming out of high school. He was a five-star recruit who picked Arkansas over Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Iowa State and a long, long list of offers. The true freshman has lived up to the hype. He averages 12.6 points, 5.1 rebounds, four assists and two steals. He also had a key block in the upset victory over No. 1 seed Kansas to help the Razorbacks advance to the Sweet 16.
Black has made the most of his NIL opportunities with agreements with NextGenCamps and Bad Boy Mowers. He’s also been associated with teamwide deals with Athlete Advocate Consortium, an Arkansas-focused collective. Through his deal with the AAC, he’s also raised awareness for the local Children’s Safety Center. As a sure-fire NBA prospect, Black could make bank if he is back next season.
Alabama guard Jahvon Quinerly
On3 NIL Valuation: $466,000
On3 College Basketball NIL Rank: No. 14
Social Media Followers: 404K
Jahvon Quinerly is one of the best stories of the NCAA tournament. Last season against Notre Dame, he went down with what turned out to be a torn ACL and Alabama was beaten by the Irish. A year later, it was Quinerly pouring in 22 points against Maryland to lead Alabama to a Sweet 16. “Just tearing my ACL and being able to get back to this point – to make it back to the Sweet 16 for a second time, it’s amazing,” he said.
Quinerly has been a part of several national NIL campaigns, including with Express and Dunkin’. Don’t be surprised if more brands attach themselves to Quinerly’s redemption storyline. That’ll be especially true if the Tide advance to the Final Four.
About the On3 NIL Valuation
The On3 NIL Valuation is the industry’s leading index that sets the standard market NIL value for high school and college athletes. A proprietary algorithm, the On3 NIL Valuation calculates an athlete’s NIL value using dynamic data points targeting three primary categories: performance, influence and exposure.
About On3 NIL Valuation, Brand Value, Roster Value
While the algorithm includes deal data, it does not act as a tracker of the value of NIL deals athletes have completed to date, nor does it set an athlete’s NIL valuation for their entire career.
The On3 NIL Valuation accounts for an athlete’s roster value and brand value. Roster value is the value an athlete has by being a member of his or her team at his or her school, which factors into the role of NIL collectives. Brand value factors in an athlete’s personal brand and the value it could bring to regional and national brands outside of the scope of NIL collectives.
The On3 NIL Valuation is publicly available. Performance, Influence, and Exposure ratings along with the athlete’s personal Brand Value Index and Roster Value Index are available only to the athlete in the “Athlete Verified” private dashboard on the On3 Athlete Network.