LUBBOCK, Texas — Shannon Woolsey is a Texas Tech University cheerleader who has tumbled her way into the spotlight and now uses it as a part time career.
Starting her cheer career at just five years old, she has been able to make a name for herself throughout the years.
“I was so young when it started I had no idea about any of it lie social media,” said Woolsey “how crazy it is and how many opportunities you get from it. but here I am.”
She currently has 255,000 followers on Instagram and has gained national attention after taking part in the Netflix documentary series “Cheer.” Woolsey was a member of the cheer squad at Navarro College at the time.
“We knew this show was going to be really big in the cheer-world but we didn’t know it was going to be worldwide,” said Woolsey. “I had no idea people were going to be so interested in what we do and follow our journey to Nationals.”
It was after that show when she received sponsorship opportunities for more well-known brands like Reebok, Crocs, Victoria’s Secret Pink and Johnson & Johnson.
Unlike other college athletes, cheerleaders are not regulated by the NCAA. This allows them to sign profitable sponsorship deals.
“The people under NCAA — they get the scholarships, they get the benefits, they get the training [and] get the meal plans we don’t get,” said Woolsey.
She hopes they can get to a point where all athletes receive both benefits, but for now she is enjoying the extra income and the support that comes from social media.
“The cheer-world is so big, and it just amazes me that me just posting a picture or answering a [direct message] really helps somebody get through something in life,” said Woolsey.