Sports

Caitlin Clark is set to sign a new Nike deal valued at $28 million over 8 years, reports say

Indiana Fever's Caitlin Clark holds her jersey following a WNBA basketball news conference, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Caitlin Clark appears to be on the cusp of setting another record.

The most prolific scorer in NCAA Division I history and the No. 1 overall pick in the WNBA draft will continue her association with Nike by signing a $28 million contract that spans eight years and includes a signature shoe.

The Wall Street Journal and The Athletic reported the pending deal, citing unnamed people familiar with the negotiations between the sportswear giant and Clark’s agents.

Excel Sports Management, which represents Clark, declined to comment. Nike did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

Clark’s initial name, image and likeness deal, signed in 2022, expired at the end of the 2023-24 season.

The new deal would be the richest sponsorship contract for a women’s basketball player.

Under Armour and Adidas also participated in contract discussions with Clark’s team in February, according to the WSJ and Athletic. Puma also showed some interest but walked away when told the bidding would start at $3 million per year, according to the WSJ.

Clark received offers of $16 million over four years from Under Armour and $6 million over four years from Adidas, with both including a signature shoe, according to the WSJ.

Clark earned about $3 million in NIL money at Iowa with deals she has had with State Farm, Gatorade and others, according to On3.com.

Clark’s agents were working on the new Nike contract even before she announced she would turn pro instead of return to Iowa for a fifth season under the COVID-19 exemption offered to players in college during the 2020 pandemic season.

After averaging 31.6 points and leading the Hawkeyes to a second straight national championship game, Clark was drafted No. 1 by the Indiana Fever on April 15. She’ll earn a $76,000 salary as a rookie.

She’s been the main driver for the dramatic uptick in women’s basketball interest with her mix of deep 3-point shots, flashy thread-the-needle passes and overall court presence. A women’s basketball-record 18.9 million viewers watched Iowa’s loss to South Carolina in the NCAA title game, and a WNBA-record 2.45 million watched the draft.

Of the Fever’s 40 games this season, 36 will be nationally televised, and ticket sales have skyrocketed around the league.

Her marketability is enhanced by her polished performances in media settings, and her surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live” two weeks ago was widely acclaimed and exposed her to an even wider audience.

The reported eight-year contract with Nike shows the sportswear giant’s commitment. At 22, Clark could play well over a decade in the WNBA and she could be on the U.S. roster for the Olympics in Paris this year, in Los Angeles in 2028 and Brisbane, Australia, in 2032.

Related posts

Mad Ants Acquire Former Indiana Tech Standout

Jim Shovlin

Mad Ants Home Tonight, Saturday

Jim Shovlin

Pacers Drub Bobcats 103-76

Jim Shovlin

1 comment

Slacker06 April 24, 2024 at 9:12 am

Good for her!!

Reply

Leave a Comment