Caitlin Clark put off the WNBA to return for her senior season at Iowa. Boardroom breaks down how she’s using NIL to partner with big brands.
If you don’t know Iowa superstar Caitlin Clark by now, you just aren’t paying attention.
The reigning National Player of the Year has been dominant on the court, earning unanimous All-American honors while averaging 27.8 points, 8.6 assists, and 7.1 rebounds per game last season. She also led Iowa to last year’s national title game, where the Hawkeyes fell to Angel Reese and LSU.
Clark put her WNBA aspirations on hold one more time to return for her senior season in Iowa City, where she’s taking full advantage in the name, image, and likeness (NIL) space through various partnerships and deals with some of the biggest brands out there. Recently, she signed on with Excel Sports Management to secure representation as she wades through a bevvy of deals off the court.
Let’s break it down.
Caitlin Clark NIL Market Value
All data via On3.com’s NIL rankings as of Nov. 2, 2023.
Women’s College Basketball NIL rank: 3
Overall NIL rank: 49
Total followers: 1 million (763K on Instagram, 156K on X, 126K on TikTok)
10-week high: $764,000
10-week low: $752,000
The above monetary figures are via On3’s NIL Valuation, a proprietary algorithm that “establishes the overall NIL market and projected 12-month growth rate by measuring two categories, Brand Value Index and Roster Value Index.”
Notable Caitlin Clark NIL Deals
After making history during March Madness, Clark made history as State Farm’s first collegiate athlete and the first female on the company’s roster. Clark is in good company, as State Farm also sponsors Patrick Mahomes and Chris Paul.
“Welcoming Caitlin Clark to our team expands and strengthens our ability to positively impact communities, engage with audiences in meaningful ways, and reinforces our commitment to raising the visibility of women in sports. As a fellow Good Neighbor, we can’t wait to drive progress forward together with Caitlin for years to come,” State Farm Chief Marketing Officer Kristyn Cook said in a statement.
Ahead of Iowa’s run to the national title last season, Buick tapped women’s college basketball’s best players for its “See Her Greatness” campaign. In addition to Clark, Stanford‘s Cameron Brink, South Carolina‘s Aliyah Boston, UConn‘s Azzi Fudd, and UCLA‘s Kiki Rice also partnered with Buick.
Whenever a major brand seems to target basketball’s elite for an NIL partnership, Clark always seems to be involved. Last year, Nike teamed up with Clark, Bronny James, DJ Wagner, JuJu Watkins, and Haley Jones on long-term deals.
“I grew up watching Nike athletes across all sports play their game,” Clark said. “They have inspired me to work hard and make a difference. I’m humbled to be part of this first Nike basketball class and passionate about inspiring the next.”
Other notable deals: Topps, Iowa Cubs, H&R Block
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