Haley and Hanna Cavinder Talk NIL Deals and the Women Who Inspire Them

The twins are paving the way for female athletes one NIL deal at a time.
Hanna and Haley Cavinder

Hanna and Haley Cavinder.


As March descends into Madness, keep an eye on Miami guards Haley and Hanna Cavinder. The 22-year-old twins are stars both on and off the basketball court. As social media influencers, the Cavinder sisters use their platforms on Instagram and TikTok—where they have a collective 4.4 million followers on their joint accounts—to give their fans a sneak peek at their lives as college athletes and entrepreneurs.

When the NCAA’s name, image and likeness (NIL) policy went into effect on July 1, 2021, all collegiate athletes were then empowered to pursue monetized opportunities. The Cavinders have earned an estimated $1 million in NIL deals since, working with brands like Venmo, Gopuff, Boost Mobile and Six Star Pro Nutrition.

The twins spent their first three seasons at Fresno State, but entered the transfer portal last spring and announced that they would play their senior seasons with the Hurricanes. During the 2021-22 season at Fresno State, Haley set the NCAA record for free-throw percentage in a season (97.3%), while Hanna started all 29 games and averaged 37.1 minutes per contest—the 15th-highest in the NCAA. This year Haley has started every game and leads Miami in scoring. (12.9 points per game).

Last month, the NCAA issued its first ruling in a name, image and likeness (NIL) infractions case. The case centered on the recruitment of the twins to Miami and resulted in a three-game suspension for Hurricanes coach Katie Meier and a review of a Miami booster who has funneled NIL deals to the school’s athletes. (The Cavinders were not penalized or sanctioned in any way.)

We chatted with the entrepreneurial athletes to learn more about their NIL deals, the women who inspire them and more.

Leading the way in NIL

Hanna shares that she and her sister realized that they could monetize their TikTok and other social media platforms as soon as the NIL rules went into effect. At that time, the twins got an agent to help them find brands to work with.

As trailblazers in the NIL spaces, Haley says she and her sister hope to inspire future generations of athletes to take control of their careers as they’ve done over the past year.

“[Our platform has allowed us] to just showcase that to younger girls that play basketball or play any type of sport and just be good influences for them,” she says. “Being able to inspire them and [help them] understand that if they do something, just put your mind to it, do it at 100 percent, you can accomplish it.”

The sisters, who are both communications majors, also cohost a podcast together called Twin Talk. As for balancing school, athletics and the business aspects of their lives, the sisters admit they definitely have a lot going. Hanna says while being organized and great communication skills are key, having a partner in crime by her side is also extremely beneficial.

Haley and Hanna Cavinder

Haley and Hanna Cavinder courtside.

“We hold each other accountable, we know what our priorities are,” she says. “I mean, I’m not gonna lie, we are busy 24/7. If we’re not doing school or basketball, NIL is next.”

While their personalities are quite different—Hanna says her sister is an introvert, while she’s more blunt—the two are “the closest people in the world” and are always aligned when it comes to selecting the brands they partner with.

“Haley and I definitely have the same approach to it,” Hanna shares. “Being able to work with brands that we truly believe in and represent, like Champps, WWE, LifeWallet, Cigarette Racing. We just are very similar in that aspect.”

In addition to the aforementioned deals, the twins cofounded Baseline Team last January—they own a 25% stake in the streetwear clothing company.

“We love style, we love fashion, we love the streetwear look, so when they reached out to us, it was a perfect collaboration for us,” Haley says. “Just being able to learn more about the business and have equity, that’s our first business that we have equity in, so it’s something that Hanna and I are very passionate about.”

Their female role models

While the Cavinder twins are leading the way for future generations of athletes, there are a few important women who have influenced them to get to where they are today, including 23-time Grand Slam tennis champion Serena Williams and their mom, Katie Cavinder.

“Serena Williams has just inspired so many young female athletes and her competitiveness and just seeing what she did in the tennis world is something that I loved watching,” Hanna says. “I’m not even a huge tennis fan and I just always love to watch her matches because of the type of competitor she is.”

Haley says that while she admires female athletes like Skylar Diggins-Smith and Simone Biles for their leadership skills and roles as strong and impactful women, her mom is her ultimate idol.

“She’s the most hardworking, badass woman I’ve ever met in my life,” she says. “Just having her to learn from, she’s made us so mentally tough [and taught us to] appreciate the little things in life. Having her in my corner is the most comforting and inspiring thing.”

The Cavinder twins

The Cavinder twins.

As for the life lessons they’ve gleaned being in the spotlight thus far, Hanna says the sisters have learned that they can’t please everyone. Instead, the twins focus on creating content and pursuing business endeavors that represent them and are aligned with their target audience.

“You have to be true to who you are and you can’t change the opinions that people have of you, so don’t try to,” she says. “Everybody will always have assumptions or opinions of you. If you are trying to change them or you get mad about them, it’s just gonna waste your energy.”

The Cavinder twins show up for themselves and each other every day in order to reach their goals. They say they hope to inspire other women and young girls to reach for success, no matter their aspirations.

“Do things for yourself and at the end of the day, you’ll live with no regrets,” Hanna says. “Just believe in yourself and continue to work hard because no matter what, your work ethic will teach you so many things in life.”

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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.