Zia Cooke, one of the highest paid college basketball players, talks about impact of sponsorship deals


University basketball made headlines very last month for a rationale beyond the NCAA March Madness tournament when Opendorse released new information showing that ladies basketball gamers are the 2nd best paid university athletes. Zia Cooke — a junior guard and leading scorer for the College of South Carolina’s women’s basketball staff, which gained the tournament in March — was named one particular of the maximum paid out faculty basketball players in the Remaining 4, in accordance to Bloomberg.

“It just exhibits that we can do a good deal of issues that a large amount of people today say we are not able to do,” she advised CBS News. “To see all the women on there for the NIL and I consider it was just a single boy it exhibits that we can do pretty much every little thing they can do. It is a business and it truly is super successful for gals and guys.” 

NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - Final Four - Portraits
Zia Cooke, #1 of the South Carolina Gamecocks, poses throughout media working day at 2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball Closing Four at the Minneapolis Convention Middle on March 30, 2022, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos through Getty Pictures


Opendorse, which is based mostly in Lincoln, Nebraska, tracks what sports activities brokers get in touch with title, graphic and likeness, or NIL, deals, and uncovered college soccer players are paid out the most, though men’s basketball gamers drop in a close 3rd at the rear of their feminine counterparts.

This will come soon after the U.S. Supreme Court dominated final 12 months school athletes should be permitted to management their title, image and likeness, and make funds off it. Now, you can catch your favored university athletes sporting Puma gear, keeping a Doordash bag with their individual discount code or even starring in a professional. 

Women basketball players have been in a position to money in extra than their male counterparts, owing in element to their bigger social media followings.  

“I sense like a large amount of persons basically do enjoy women’s basketball. It can be just tough for them to confess it, which I do not know why,” Cooke reported. “But I believe that the paper reveals it all, the stats. The stats show it all.” 

Cooke has about 228,000 followers on Instagram. And if you want this younger star to shout out your merchandise, her posts are valued at a likely $8,000 every, Bloomberg claimed. She’s the top likely earner on her crew, and one particular of the top likely earners in collegiate basketball.  

The point guard recently partnered with H&R Block in her most significant deal to date, and reported operating with the enterprise was “tremendous, tremendous fun.”

“It gave me a possibility to exhibit who I am for one moment,” she explained. “I have done DoorDash, which was also tremendous exciting. I did Bojangles discounts and I’ve performed Fenty Pores and skin, Rihanna’s line, so I have quite a bit and it is just the beginning. I’m energized for what else is in keep.” 

What does a younger 21-yr-outdated do with so much cash? For Cooke, she doesn’t even glance at her account.

“I really really don’t even want to know how a lot income I have,” she claimed. “I haven’t seemed at the account due to the fact I’ve started out. Now I’m just striving to continue to be centered on my very best work….I want to help you save mainly because at the time you see the prices, like you want to purchase stuff like that.” 



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