Vance uses Tik Tok to build her career on and off the court

The graduate transfer came to Temple for two reasons: getting better on the floor and growing her brand off of it.

Temple Volleyball outside hitter/middle blocker Olivia Vance has utilized her talent on the court to expand her brand off of it. | LILLIAN PRIETO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Last season, Olivia Vance wrapped up her volleyball career at Toledo with an extra year of eligibility and a desire to enter the business world.

The six-foot middle blocker was a force in the 2022 season, leading Toledo in both kills and blocks. Off the court, Vance was busy building her brand around her identity as a student-athlete with nearly 109,000 followers on TikTok and more than 21,000 followers on Instagram. 

Vance, who majored in marketing with a minor in entrepreneurship at Toledo, wanted to expand her network for her future business career. She entered the NCAA Transfer Portal for her graduate year and moved to Temple to be part of a top-four market and join a team with a bright future. 

“I had a lot of little mini culture shocks while living in North Philly, but I’ve already learned so much,” Vance said. “I’m really glad that I’m here and in this experience. Temple’s a little hidden gem up here.” 

Now, she’s thriving as a key player for Temple Volleyball, and has provided a much-needed spark to the offense. Vance is third on the team in kills, with 164 kills and 47 blocks in 67 sets and an average .222 kills per attack attempts this season.

She is learning what it means to be her own business and has utilized her skills on the floor to find opportunities after school in a major market — social media.

Vance funnels her volleyball career into her social media accounts, which took off in March 2020 when she posted her first TikTok video. In it, she participated in the “unphotogenic athlete” challenge, posting a video featuring funny and unflattering pictures of her on the court. 


#greenscreen why I always look so angry when I celebrate tho 🤔😂 #volleyball #d1athlete #gorockets

♬ original sound – Rachizzel

Though the video had just a couple thousand likes, it was Vance’s first step on a new and still growing path. Three years later, Vance has accrued more than nine million likes on her account. 

Although she doesn’t know exactly where she wants to take her career, Vance uses her platform to expand her network, finding brand deals and opportunities related to her content.

“I’m the type of person where I’m very ‘go with the flow,’” Vance said. “If an opportunity arises, I’ll go after it.”

The Owls recruited Vance in the winter, as head coach Linda Hampton-Keith needed a strong attacker that could supplement outside hitter Taylor Davenport, who finished fifth in the AAC in kills in 2022. 

“We were primarily looking for a middle, but her role has expanded so much since she’s been here,” Hampton-Keith said. “She’s allowed us to really branch open our offense. We really loved her leadership, and we thought she could come in and help us immediately.”

As she continues her Temple career, Vance is studying in the Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship program at Fox School of Business. Through her studies, she has learned about potential opportunities with Name, Image and Likeness deals and landed an agreement with Olly, a vitamin company, and another with the Wells Fargo Center. 

Vance is also working with Justin Miller, Temple Athletics’ chief of staff, to form a media mentorship program for student athletes. The duo wants to help Temple athletes learn about and start working toward NIL deals. 

Miller was looking for someone who was active with NIL deals, and after speaking with Vance, he knew she would be the perfect person to set an example for younger student athletes.

“She’s actively engaged and is a great resource,” Miller said. “She’s thinking about herself in a different way, as her own brand, and I think that’s certainly admirable.” 

Vance uses her social media to teach student athletes the power of NIL and what it takes to play Division I sports, often showcasing her time as an athlete and what got her to Temple. Her posts about the Owls have allowed the team to expand their fan base throughout Temple and Philadelphia.

Though she isn’t sure what the future holds, Vance has turned quite a few heads in Philadelphia, growing her brand while helping younger athletes. As she continues her time at Temple, Vance wants to utilize her skills on the court to make a better life for herself off the court.

“I think she is in a space where she is affecting the whole sport of volleyball, and collegiate volleyball on this really positive level,” Hampton-Keith said. “She’s very mindful and professional, she understands the impact that her social media can have and she uses it for good.”

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