2023 SI Swimsuit Model Olivia Dunne Launches The Livvy Fund at LSU, a Historic Move For Funding Women’s Sports

The gymnast partnered with Bayou Traditions to create NIL endorsement deals for female student athletes.
Olivia Dunne was photographed by Ben Watts in Puerto Rico.

Olivia Dunne was photographed by Ben Watts in Puerto Rico.


Gymnast and social media superstar Olivia Dunne announced today she’s partnering with Bayou Traditions to connect female student athletes at LSU with top brands to secure NIL endorsement deals. The Livvy Fund is a passion project the 20-year-old is launching ahead of her senior year in order to leverage her business connections while educating her female peers on partnerships and personal branding.

Dunne is currently the highest-paid female athlete in the country, earning a seven-figure income through lucrative name, image and likeness deals with brands like On3 and Accelerator Active Energy, both of which have committed funds to the collective.

“I really just hope that [The Livvy Fund] is the first of many,” Dunne tells SI Swimsuit. “I really hope to get as many women student athletes on board as I can. I want to continue to elevate women’s sports as a whole because they really deserve the same publicity as the men’s. We do equal work, we put in equal time in our facilities every day and in school, so I feel like it would be right for this to be equal.”

Because as much as 66% of the money being raised by NIL collectives (funds pooled together by fans and boosters), goes to male athletes, Dunne hopes The Livvy Fund is the first step in the right direction for equity.

“The collectives mostly go to the men’s sports here at LSU and I just want to fight for equal NIL opportunities,” she says. “It’s very important to help educate other student athletes here at LSU on how to be a savvy businesswoman and how to partner with brands. Over the past two years, I’ve learned so much from these brands, so I just want to help educate others and help give equal opportunities.”

The NCAA’s NIL policy is still fairly new, having gone into effect on July 1, 2021, and Dunne understands that she’s in a unique position to help fellow student athletes, particularly women, achieve similar success through brand deals. She says that helping women capitalize on opportunities while they’re still in school is crucial so they can put those skills to work after college in order to grow their brands even further.

“I just want to show other girls that they can have it all, they can be a savvy businesswoman, they can capitalize on their NIL while still in college,” Dunne says. “Being at the forefront of NIL while still at LSU and while only being 20-years-old, I hope that it shows other girls that they can do it, too.”

In addition to the brands contributing to The Livvy Fund, fans and supporters are welcome to donate through one-time, monthly or annual payment options. Donations of any dollar amount are accepted, and fans can also opt to join a level of support ranging from $10 to $5,000 monthly. While monetary donations are always appreciated, Dunne adds that there are other ways to support The Livvy Fund.

“Spreading the word, posting [about] it and just publicizing this fund [are all great ways to help] because I really want this to take off,” she says.

While the fund is specific to LSU female student athletes, the New Jersey native says that expanding similar programs to other college campuses in the future is not out of the question. As for long-term goals, Dunne hopes The Livvy Fund will facilitate long-lasting brand deals with her peers. And when it comes to creating those long-lasting partnerships, Dunne knows exactly what makes for a good business relationship.

“Partner with brands that feel authentic to you and that align with your core values,” she advises. “That’s probably the most important thing because your audience can detect if something is not authentic. And [make sure] that you’re partnering with a brand that has the correct intentions.”

Dunne also points out the importance of curating a supportive team while building a business empire.

“I have great people around me, very trustworthy people on my team,” she admits. “So [just] surround yourself with trustworthy people, trust in your gut and stay true to yourself and don't listen to the outside noise.”

As she gets ready to begin her senior year of college this fall, Dunne hopes The Livvy Fund will create a legacy at LSU that lasts long after she graduates.

“I feel like it’s a way for me to leave my mark here at LSU,” she says. “It’s surreal that I’m even in this position to help others, but I feel like that’s what I was always meant to do.”

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Published
Cara O’Bleness

CARA O’BLENESS

Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.