Bruce Jenner, who appeared for the first time as a transgender woman on an infamous Vanity Fair magazine cover earlier this week, could parlay his transition into a half-billion dollar fortune within a decade, experts predict.
Jenner’s net worth is already estimated to be $100 million. But experts familiar with the earning potential of media figures told the New York Daily News that the former gold medal Olympian and Keeping Up with the Kardashians star could be worth as much as $500 million in the next five to ten years.
“She could become the wealthiest of them all,” VH1’s The Gossip Table host Rob Shuter told the paper, referring to the rest of the Kardashian family. “If Bruce Jenner made $100 million in 65 years, if all the stars align, she could be worth over $500 million in the next five to 10 years. Caitlyn is going to be a pioneer.”
Jenner is set to star in an eight-part, one-hour reality television series called I Am Cait, airing this summer on E! And he was already earning between $20,000-$40,000 in speaking fees prior to his transition, according to fee tracking website BigSpeak.com. But that figure could shoot up sharply in the wake of Jenner’s transformation and subsequent magazine cover.
“A book deal could hit seven figures,” Brian Balthazar, editor of culture website Pop Goes the Week, told the Daily News. “Speeches could garner six figures each.”
There is no denying the transgender movement’s recent ascendancy in the national culture. In addition to Jenner’s record-breaking magazine cover and upcoming reality show, popular television shows like Amazon’s Transparent have catapulted the issue to the forefront of American consciousness, and some companies are already jumping on the chance to get involved.
Teenager Jazz Jennings recently landed her own reality TV show on TLC, All that Jazz, which will chronicle her life as a transgender girl in high school. The 14-year-old Jennings also became one of the faces of Johnson & Johnson’s Clean & Clear skincare line.
Meanwhile, transgender actress Laverne Cox, best known for her role in Netflix’s hit series Orange is the New Black, is set to star in new transgender legal drama series Doubt on CBS. In April, Cox was named to People magazine’s 2015 list of the word’s “Most Beautiful People.”
The movement’s increasing exposure could lead to big bucks for Jenner, but some experts caution that bigger companies may still be hesitant to get involved.
“The reality of it is, this is still very controversial for a lot of traditional Fortune 100 companies,” Ryan Schinman, founder of media branding firm Platinum Rye Entertainment, told the Daily News. “Certainly, companies might want to attach themselves to her social media and do some branding to reach the millions of followers she has, but these are mid-five to low six-figure deals.”
One company that produced an iconic marketing campaign with Bruce Jenner in the 70s has remained mum on its plans.
“Bruce Jenner has been a respected member of Team Wheaties, and Caitlyn Jenner will continue to be,” General Mills spokesman Mike Siemienas told the paper. “But of course we do not discuss our future marketing plans.”
On Monday, Jenner broke President Obama’s record for fastest Twitter account to reach 1 million followers, accomplishing the feat in just four hours. It had taken the president five hours to reach the 1 million follower mark.
On Wednesday, Transparent creator Jill Soloway revealed that she has already invited Jenner to appear on the upcoming second season of her hit Amazon show.