In the world of collegiate athletics, few stars shine as brightly as Olivia Dunne, the 21-year-old varsity gymnast from Louisiana State University. Despite her efforts to maintain a semblance of normalcy, Dunne's ascent to fame, especially in the digital realm, has been nothing short of meteoric.
The journey began in 2020, amidst the quietude of COVID-19 lockdowns. Dunne turned to social media, sharing videos of her gymnastic routines. This digital foray rapidly transformed her into an online sensation, amassing a staggering following of over 10 million across various platforms.
Her soaring popularity caught the attention of Leaf Trading Cards, leading to a landmark partnership. The highlight of this collaboration was the sale of Dunne's autographed leotards through their mobile store, priced at $129 each.
These items, embodying the essence of Dunne's athletic prowess and star appeal, sold out within a mere 24 hours after release, underscoring her significant influence and popularity.
Dunne's Lucrative Endorsements
Beyond her social media triumphs, Dunne has also made significant financial strides, courtesy of the 2021 NCAA rule amendment.
This change, allowing student-athletes to monetize their name, image, and likeness, has notably benefited Dunne, making her the third-highest valued college athlete in the nation. Her prowess in commercial endorsements was highlighted when she revealed earning $50,000 for a single social media promotion in 2023.
The narrative of Olivia Dunne's life isn't solely about her professional achievements. Earlier this year, she announced her relationship with Paul Skenes, an LSU graduate and notable baseball player. Skenes, after a remarkable senior year, was the first overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2023 MLB entry draft.
However, the flip side of fame has its challenges. Dunne, now necessitating a full-time security detail, has stepped away from in-person classes, citing safety concerns. This aspect of her life reflects the complexities and demands of modern celebrity status, especially for young athletes.
As she prepares to graduate from LSU in the coming year, the trajectory of Dunne's career, along with her relationship with Skenes, remains a subject of much fascination. Their combined potential and future endeavors, both in and out of their sporting realms, are eagerly anticipated.
The swift sale of Dunne's leotards is a testament to her entrenched fame and the promise of what lies ahead for this remarkable gymnastics starlet.