The 2020 Olympics were a challenge for all involved, considering the ever-changing logistics and shifting preparation obligations for the athletes. What was a four-year physical and mental journey added another grueling 12 months due to circumstances out of anyone’s control. Despite the adversity, Suni Lee persevered, and has flourished in a way many would never have predicted.
Lee took home a gold medal in the Women’s All-Around program during that competition, which was played in Tokyo in the summer of 2021. She stepped up during an uncertain time for the women’s gymnastics team, one which focused on the mental health of teammate Simone Biles.
Since that time, Lee entered college as a high-profile star, and one who could make a boatload of money thanks to the name, image, and likeness rules changing.
Those who may have been watching Lee extremely closely during the 2020 Olympics may have noticed that she sported a specific type of footwear when she wasn’t competing on the mat. Crocs have been a staple of her attire for a long time.
“I’ve always been a big fan of the brand and have worn the shoes for so many years. Comfort is everything to me, especially after a long day on the mat, so I always reach for my Crocs on training days,” she said in a statement. Via Kare11.com
Crocs have made a concerted push to have their products endorsed by high-level college athletes. Men’s basketball players Armando Bacot and Julian Strawther also have deals with the shoe brand.
The terms of Lee’s deal with Crocs has not been released, but it seems like the two are a natural pair. Lee currently attends Auburn University, and has said that this will be her final gymnastics season at the collegiate level before she gets ready for the 2024 Olympics.
According to Sports Illustrated, Suni Lee is one of the six highest-earning female collegiate athletes. It’s easy to understand how that came to be when taking a deeper dive into her roster of NIL agreements.
Even before the ink on her deal with Crocs was dry, Lee was bringing in money from CLIF bar, Amazon, Gatorade, Invisalign, and Target. Those are her highest-profile deals, and Lee also reportedly has other companies she works with as well.
Some estimates calculate that Lee is has brought in close to $1.5 million in NIL-related profits, which is remarkable for someone who was a relative unknown just short two years ago. It stands to reason that her earning potential will continue to grow over time, especially as we get closer to the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.