The Athlete’s Choice: Why More and More Athletes are Using OnlyFans

The Athlete’s Choice: Why More and More Athletes are Using OnlyFans

“There’s plenty of women out there with great bodies who look pretty that box. It’s not just that. It does frustrate me a little bit but I just keep proving them wrong.”

Ebanie Bridges, Professional Boxer / OF Creator

In the age of social media, athletes are able to stay connected with their fans and promote themselves like never before. But there’s a new platform on the rise that is quickly becoming an elite athlete favorite: OnlyFans. On OnlyFans, stars from a variety of sports—from boxers Ebanie Bridges and Andy Ruiz to UFC star Khamzat Chimaev—are using this creative outlet to not only keep in touch with their supporters but also capitalize on innovative ways to market themselves and generate income.

So why exactly are more competitive athletes turning towards this subscription-based video streaming platform? In this Q & A Session, we’ll explore how OnlyFans has become an invaluable asset for top-level players that want both profitability as well as recognition in the sporting world.

Jessica Vaughn

“We have to take our 15 minutes and build our lives and empires off that initial leg up.”

Jessica Vaughn
Former Playboy Playmate / MMJ

Mike Dixon: Hi Jessica, thank you once again for taking time out to answer my questions.

Jessica Vaughn: Appreciate you reaching out and putting some thought in to what’s probably seen by many of the uninitiated as strange, Onlyfans promotions by pro athletes.

Q.) You chose to model for an international brand like Playboy way before OnlyFans was created. You see the crossover between athletes and OnlyFans, why the sudden change?

Paige VanZant (L) Jessica Vaughn (R) from Mr. Olympia in Las Vegas. 
Paige VanZant (L) Jessica Vaughn (R) from Mr. Olympia in Las Vegas. 

A.) You could say I got in early. That has upsides and downsides. I had to go through a lifetime of social stigma and lesser available technological tools and marketplaces. There wasn’t a consumer base that was so familiarized to the subscription model to crowd fund creators yet.
I can see the appeal for under compensated athletes to have a member site. You truly can make it anything you want that your audience craves. We have to take our 15 minutes and build our lives and empires off that initial leg up. For me it was Playboy. For someone like Paige VanZant, it’s the UFC. Paige could have easily been a career glamour model. It seems fitting she’s getting her chance, and all while being about to curate her image herself. Before Onlyfans, it was hard to find the funding to produce photo shoots. We had a lot of images made of us that were less than flattering and shoots we had zero creative control. That’s all changed now that consumers pay the creator directly. I’m really happy to see public figures take control of their brands and imaging, now.

Q.) Should athletes be concerned about the images online forever, because there is a possibility that it will come back to haunt them in the future? For example: Their kids might see it.

A.) I think the world is rapidly in a state of significant change. Everyone has always had to ask themselves these questions about how images might come back to haunt them. Modern branding has allowed us to reclaim what was commonly seen as shameful and we are now making purposefully integrious and mainstream. Personally, I picked a line I was willing to create and asked myself to never go beyond that point. I knew society was largely forgiving of Playboy with the likes of Jenny McCarthy, Carmen Electra, etc. I rather arbitrarily made that my line at 20 and have done well to work within that creative space without caving to constant pressures to “show more” and “do more”. I won’t encourage my daughters to model but I will use my nude modeling as an opportunity to introduce them to economic realities that necessitate people to choose some things they do in life. No one really understands anyone else’s story so its wise and kind to remain non-judgmental as I’m largely libertarian about what adults want to do with their bodies, especially in non-destructive ways like creating art.

Q.) Some athletes are not earning enough money for competing in combat sports. Does this help them long term if they are severely injured in the ring?

A.) Brand development is the long-game. Female athletes have a unique opportunity to convert sports fans to lifelong supporters of whatever she might venture to next! I think about how WWE owns the character so the athletes can’t even use their stage names to independent profit from their brand. That seems so heavy-handed. I’m happy other promotions see this as overstepping and allow contract athletes to broker their own brand deals, influencer posts, etc. A subscription page with content is well within their rights to produce, and I’m glad to see these young hustlers exploring all the tools available to build relationships with the fans who support them. Community is founded in a vast array of formats. Enriching the lives of athletes and fans alike is a win-win.

Sulem Urbina

“The extra income helps a lot specially in between fights when there is no income coming in.”

Professional Boxer / OF Creator

Q.) Why did you join OnlyFans?

A.) OnlyFans is trying change the narrative and stop being looked at as just a site with Rated R content. They want different people to showcase their talent and want to become a platform that is the go-to for fans.

Q.) Does using OnlyFans assist with your income because some fighters are not earning enough revenue in combat sports?

A.) The extra income helps a lot specially in between fights when there is no income coming in.

Q.) How has it impacted your relationship with your boxing promoter and fans?

A.) Nothing has changed for me with my audience, of course some people are judgy but that’s ok they still subscribe.

Q.) How has it impacted your relationship?

A.) My relationship is absolutely fine.

Rebecca Ruber

“I think professional athletes are realizing that they need to market themselves to help them become a household name.”

Boxing Reporter for Inside the Ring w/ Rebecca Ruber

Q.) How do you think this will impact the sports industry?

A.) I think professional athletes are realizing that they need to market themselves to help them become a household name. Talent only takes you so far in this world we are living in. You have so many talented athletes out there, but many aren’t recognized by the public eye. People care more about the # of followers someone has, which I disagree with, but in the world we live in where people are constantly seeking new information to consume, athletes are starting to realize they need to produce more organic content to connect with current/potential fans.

Q.) Do you see this as a positive or negative trend?

A.) I think it’s both a positive and a negative. Just like anything else, it’s all about perspective and how you choose to look at it. I think it’s unfortunate these professional athletes have to now not only wear the hat of a professional athlete, but also the hat of a marketing manager for themselves, but for maximum exposure, you gotta do what you gotta do!

Q.) What implications do you see for female athletes joining OnlyFans?

A.) I think there’s that initial shock factor when you hear “OnlyFans” but I think with female athletes feeling that they have a lot of catching up to do in the “athletic space” with the male athletes, we have to use social media as a tool to get our names/brand out there.

It’s a good way to make money and market yourself to your fans on a more organic/personal level.

That doesn’t mean women should feel pressured to post thirst traps or things they don’t feel comfortable posting. Again, OnlyFans can be used in so many different ways!

Valentina Bellucci

There was always a conversation about women being underpaid in sports and sometimes it makes sense because viewership is way different.

Model / Actress / OnlyFans Star

Q.) What do you think of the recent trend of women athletes joining OnlyFans? 

A.) I love it! I read an interview with one UFC fighter who said she made more money on her OnlyFans than she did fighting. I also hear a lot of athletes are being shamed for their content but people will always talk. They talk but they still subscribe, or worse, steal their favorite athletes’ content from various forums or social media groups. Anyhow, I am happy to see strong women figures doing whatever they want and making money. 

Q.) How do you think this will impact the sports industry? 

A.) I think athletes will be more confident in their star power and also they will have another source of income which will definitely help and make them more comfortable. I also believe sports organizations will be fine with it in a long run and who knows, maybe they will try to get their piece of the pie at some point. 

Q.) What implications do you see for female athletes joining OnlyFans? 

A.) In my opinion, now athletes will be able to clearly see how they can monetize their huge following on social media. It’s one thing to have a million followers on Instagram, it’s another to have ten thousand who pay you $10/month and pay extra to talk or interact with you somehow. 

Obviously, creators join OnlyFans to make money but I’m sure a lot of them ask themselves a question “Do my fans really like me that much to pay me every month to see my content and interact with me?”. And I say all this knowing that not every female athlete is going to post nude or adult content. 

Q.) Do you think this is a good way for female athletes to make more money?

A.) Of course. There was always a conversation about women being underpaid in sports and sometimes it makes sense because viewership is way different. I am a big fan of tennis and usually, I read some stories after Grand Slam tournaments and I see how big of a difference there is between let’s say men’s final and women’s final. So it’s understandable that female athletes will make less if the viewership and sponsorship money is way smaller compared to men. With subscription platforms, female athletes have a pretty big advantage over men and another source of making even more money than they make as athletes. If that’s the case, why not? Especially, if there are fans who are not even interested in nudity. They would pay tons of money just to interact with a famous athlete, get a short video or dedicated picture. 

Kiki Klout

“This would open doors for not only the creator but also the subscriber to have that one on one experience that they wouldn’t necessarily get from social media.”

Model / Actress / OnlyFans Star

Q.) What do you think of the recent trend of women athletes joining OnlyFans?

A.) I am a big advocate for weight loss and fitness and I feel that OnlyFans is a great place where women not only can express their sexuality but also love for fitness.

Q.) How do you think this will impact the sports industry?

A.) Considering how OnlyFans is such a great outlet for being able to express yourself individually to fans/subscribers it could also be a great place that people can come to if they have personal questions from their favorite creators on the platform. This would open doors for not only the creator but also the subscriber to have that one on one experience that they wouldn’t necessarily get from social media or just signing onto a club membership that just allows a program to be sent to you without having the open door for questions to be asked on how it works or have that guidance.

Q.) Do you see this as a positive or negative trend?

A.) Since OnlyFans has become so related to sex work/sex industry, I feel it could impact both in a negative and positive way. Negatively I could see men/women subscribing to their favorite fitness model because they are wanting more than just some good workout advice, creating backlash or negativity from the misperception of the subscriber due to the website’s image. On a positive note, I could see it being a door opener for the creator who’s willing to make the extra cash by creating the content that the subscriber is requesting outside or a meal or workout plan.

Q.) OnlyFans is a great opportunity for women to share their content with fans, but it can also be a place where they receive negative feedback from trolls. What advice would you give to any woman using OnlyFans?

A.) Coming from a creator that has been using the platform for over four years now, and along with using social media, in general you’re always going to have negative feedback and it’s just something you’ll have to learn to deal with when it comes to building a following.

Michelle Joy Phelps

“OnlyFans is a great platform to engage with your fans and create content they appreciate.”

Boxing Reporter for Behind the Gloves

Q.) Why did you join onlyfans?

A.) I’m happy to be a part of something that can help break a stereotype and push for more creators to join. By the way, I’m not doing any nudity and still making insane money weekly.

Q.) Why the big fuss about you joining OnlyFans?

A.) I like that many of us are changing the perception of OnlyFans. Simply based on the media coverage OF has received, they’ve only ever focused on the adult side of it. I thought that’s what this platform was about as well but it’s not. Creators of all types are on here monetizing on subscriptions and making great money. I chose it because the analytics showed how OF was bringing in thousands of new subscribers daily; miles ahead of the other platforms and I have a large male fan base that already are subscribers to OnlyFans.

Q.) How do you handle online trolling?

A.) I don’t pay attention to it. I get online trolling on Facebook and IG and twitter… but make no money from it. At least now I am making thousands a week and those who subscribe aren’t trolling. They want to be there. So it’s fine. But I don’t listen to the noise. I’m a strong woman who knows exactly what she’s doing and I made the right choice. We are now seeing more and more women joining after realizing they too can make great money by posting exclusive content like training, glamour shoots, bikini, etc.

OnlyFans is a great platform to engage with your fans and create content they appreciate. It also eliminates a lot of the abuse because those who pay to subscribe actually like you and want to be positive.

OnlyFans connecting stars with fans

With the success of OnlyFans, it is time to change the perspective of Rated R content. This new era of social media allows athletes, media personalities, and creators from all industries to profit directly from their fan base. The fans are given access to exclusive content that they cannot find anywhere else and are willing to pay for it.

A spokeswoman from OnlyFans said: “Over the past year, over 135 martial and combat sports athletes have joined creators from a range of sports who have recognized the advantages OnlyFans offers them to connect with their fans, and grow their fan base.”

OnlyFans is proud of the growing number of athletes and sports stars who are joining our community of over 3 million content creators from all categories including comedy, fashion, glamour, cooking, and more. 

Creators are sharing content including training videos, behind the scenes footage, and exclusive personal insights to athletes lives gives fans the chance to engage with their favorite sports stars in a way that’s only possible on OnlyFans. The platform also allows athletes the ability to monetize content to their fans that previously wouldn’t have been seen or would have been given away for free on other sites.”

“OnlyFans is an opportunity for athletes to build their community of fans while monetising exclusive content.”

Thanks for reading. Make sure to bookmark this site and check back daily for the latest sports news and analysis year-round. Also, you can follow me on Twitter at @MikeDixon_VST, and that’s where you can ask questions.You also can ask questions via email at [email protected]