Outside of the family of Minnesota based Suni Lee, the whole world expected Simone Biles to solidify her standing as the greatest women’s gymnast and cash in even more millions with her high watt smile and out of this world talent.
But that didn’t happen, and now it’s Lee who has the chance to turn her gold medal into a seven figure payday through her newfound fame.
Olympic medal winners get paid, but the big bucks come with endorsements and appearance fees. A gold medal will be accompanied with a check for $37,500. Lee already has one of those, and the $22,500 that goes along with a silver medal, and Lee has a chance to pile up multiple medals as the individual competitions continue.
But Sportico reported that because of what Lee represents, she’s in line for big bucks once she leaves Tokyo. Here’s what Vince Thompson, the CEO of sports marketing agency MELT said.
“She represents hope and aspiration, and that’s massively valuable. She is the holy grail of consumers, the target for nearly every marketer in America. It’s a dream scenario.”
A gold medal in women’s gymnastics is the gift that keeps on giving though, plus Lee is young, just 18-years old compared to the 24-year old Biles, which means a return to the Olympics in three years in Paris is very likely.
Regardless though, just winning the one overall gold could be wroth as much as $10 million during her career according so some experts.
Lee also brings diversity to the table for potential sponsors as an Asian American Athlete, which Sportico said could provide a sustainable revenue stream for her for years.
And don’t forget this money making opportunity for Lee. She is scheduled to enroll in classes at Auburn University this fall, and as a gymnast there, she would be in line to make millions thanks to the fact that NCAA athletes can now earn money on their name, image and likeness.
Without that rule change allowing that, it would have not made sense for her to participate in college sports.