As college sports boom in popularity on social media, student-athletes quickly adapt to the latest platforms and promote their skills, accomplishments, and personal brands. With more than 1 billion active monthly users on TikTok, it’s no surprise marketers across all industries use it to engage with consumers. The following top student-athletes leverage TikTok to reach audiences far beyond what traditional marketing offers.
Top student-athlete influencers
Olivia Dunne — LSU Gymnastics
In addition to having more than 4.4 million followers on Instagram, Olivia has become a huge TikTok star since joining the platform in 2020. She collected more than 7.8 million followers there as well. She is one of the most-followed NCAA athletes in the U.S. and the recent NIL ruling by the NCAA has her poised to become one of the highest-paid college athletes in the country. In addition to her athletic career at LSU, Olivia has also been a Sports Illustrated swim model.
Sedona Prince — TCU Basketball
The 6’7” forward for TCU’s women’s basketball team got a boost in her following during the NCAA tournament when she posted a video showing the difference between the men’s and women’s locker rooms. It’s not the first time Sedona has used her massive following to shed light on injustices toward athletes, which means she could pick up some significant sponsorships from brands looking for an outspoken, fearless influencer. More than 2.7M followers tune in to view her insight into this year’s basketball season.
Shareef O’Neal — LSU Basketball
Shaq’s son Shareef is dominating in college athletics — at least when it comes to social media followers. Although his Instagram game is stronger, he’s certainly no slouch when it comes to TikTok, where he has 1.6 million followers. His often humorous videos include his family members and show that O’Neal isn’t afraid to make fun of himself.
Paige Bueckers — UConn Basketball
Paige, a high-profile guard for the UConn Huskies, had a great freshman year in which she swept sports awards, including the ESPYs trophy for Best Female College Athlete. Her growing social media audience led her to gain more than 1 million followers on Instagram and more than 508.8k followers on TikTok.
Jaden Owens — TCU basketball
Owens mastered the art of the viral video, using TikTok to show her dance moves, and frequently enlisting her TCU teammates to join her. The All-American is a highly visible player at a popular school, which gives her even more of a home-court advantage for sponsorships. Her success on and off the court has earned her more than 146K followers.
A.J. Henning — Northwestern University Football
As the star wide receiver for the Northwestern University football team, A.J. has already catches the attention of fans everywhere through his popular TikTok feed. More than 462.5K followers tune in to view his exciting clips on the field as well as some insight into his practice and training routines.
Spencer Lee — Iowa Wrestling
Angel Reese — LSU basketball
Sarah Burwell — Georgia Tech track and field
Sarah considers herself to be “just a runner girl” but more than 36.6K followers suggest she’s much more. Sarah is a track and field athlete at Georgia Tech, where she crushes athletic goals and builds up her social media platforms. Her current feed is full of her routines that help her prepare for this years season.