With more than 900,000 followers on Instagram and 336,000 on TikTok, the basketball court isn't the only area where former Hopkins basketball standout Paige Bueckers accumulates massive stats.
Now the University of Connecticut star is looking to take advantage of her name, image and likeness to start profiting as a college athlete, which is allowed after the NCAA's Board of Directors officially approved clearance for students to make money off things such as social media posts, endorsement deals and sponsorships in June.
Bueckers, who became the first freshman in women's college basketball history to win the John Wooden Award and be named the Associated Press Player of the Year and the Naismith College Player of the Year, has filed for a trademark on her nickname, "Paige Buckets," according to a document from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The trademark filing, which was first reported by the New Haven Register, was made on July 13, about two weeks after the NCAA approved the clearance. Buecker's filing includes future revenue from athletic apparel, namely, shirts, pants, jackets, footwear, hats and caps and athletic uniforms.
Bueckers filed for the trademark using a Los Angeles address that's associated with the Wasserman Media Group, and the Wall Street Journal reported that she will be represented by agent Lindsay Kagawa Colas.
In that same story, the newspaper reported that Bueckers could have earning potential over $1 million, which Bueckers wrote was "a big number for a small town kid."
She added that she hopes whatever endorsement deals she makes can start to bridge the gap in earning potential between male and female athletes. It's an issue that has only become more prominent in recent days after an independent audit commissioned by the NCAA suggested that the men's and women's Final Four should be combined in one location to provide greater equity between the two genders.
One area where the new rules regarding NIL deals can help Bueckers is that because the WNBA doesn't allow players to be drafted until they are 22 — unlike the NBA, which sets the limit at 18 — she will likely have to stay in college for all four years.
That's where the potential to make a large sum of money comes into play, and her agent says it will likely come down to how much time Bueckers can commit to those responsibilities while also juggling college courses and being the best player in the nation.
"We're approaching this, I think, with the understanding that the potential is really limitless," Colas told the Wall Street Journal. "It really comes down to: What are the right deals, and how much time does Paige have to spend?"
Bueckers is the latest collegiate athlete from Minnesota to talk publicly about their earning potential. Minnehaha Academy graduate Hercy Miller announced in July that he had signed a $2 million endorsement deal over four years with Web Apps America.