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Angel Reese is swapping the Bayou for Chicago and emerging with a new persona

Former LSU star Angel Reese was selected seventh overall by the Chicago Sky during the 2024 WNBA draft. As she moves her life from the Bayou to Chicago, she wanted to spice up her nickname, which was formerly Bayou Barbie, to reflect her new life.

She took to social media to ask her followers what her new nickname should be, but it couldn’t be just anything. As Reese put it: “i need a new name now that i’m in chicago lol something cute that is catchy like Bayou Barbie.”

Reese is a new class of athlete who grew up in college during the name, image and likeness era, when college athletes were finally able to monetize their personal brands. She is entering into the WNBA with a huge social media following, multiple endorsement deals and a strong brand identity.

One of the sponsorships Reese will take with her to the WNBA is a multiyear, exclusive partnership with Panini America, which includes autographed trading cards and memorabilia. Thus, it may seem comical that she is searching for a new nickname, but it is actually a savvy business move as she transitions from college into the W from one city to a new city.

“Hey y’all, so it’s the Chi Barbie here,” Reese said in a video on social media. “I want y’all to know I’m still gonna be the Bayou Barbie, but like, I’m going to Chicago now.”

This new wave of players is shaping how athletes transition from college to the pros. They have business acumen and understand what it is like to run a business and a brand. They are finally allowed to fully flourish in their entrepreneurial journey, and the opportunities it will open for all athletes are going to be exponential.

Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire