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Nike pays tribute to Caitlin Clark after setting NCAA all-time scoring record

NS_headshot_clearbackgroundby:Nick Schultz02/15/24

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The congratulations continue to roll in for Iowa star Caitlin Clark after she broke the NCAA’s all-time scoring record on Thursday. One of the biggest, though, came from Nike.

The shoewear giant posted a tribute to Clark on social media after she passed Kelsey Plum to become the top scorer in NCAA women’s basketball history Thursday night. Clark signed an NIL deal with Nike in October 2022 and recently gave her teammates shoes as gifts on her birthday.

“You break it, you own it,” the tribute read, featuring a photo of Clark raising her arms in celebration.

Clark entered Thursday night’s game eight points short of the all-time record, and she accomplished the feat in just over two minutes of action. Appropriately, the big shot came on a three-pointer from the logo at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. After Michigan’s ensuing possession, Iowa coach Lisa Bluder called timeout to allow the crowd to properly celebrate her achievement.

Clark soaked the moment in and reflected on those who were by her side during her record-breaking career.

“Just grateful,” Clark told Peacock’s Caroline Pineda at halftime. “Thankful to be surrounded by people, to be in a city that supports women’s basketball so much, be surrounded by my best friends and people that want to see me be great and push me to be great every single day.”

Caitlin Clark has become one of the biggest names in college sports

Since NIL came about in 2021 – ahead of Clark’s junior season – she has capitalized on her opportunities in the space. She entered Thursday’s game with an On3 NIL Valuation of $818,000, which put her No. 40 in the On3 NIL 100, the first of its kind and defacto NIL ranking of the top 100 high school and college athletes ranked by their On3 NIL Valuation. She also sits at No. 4 in the On3 College Women’s Basketball NIL Rank.

Clark’s rise to stardom has made her one of the faces of college basketball, and it’s making a major impact.

“Caitlin’s brand is one of the most impactful in all of college sports,” said Chris Aumueller, a former Nebraska tennis player and CEO of FanWord, an NIL storytelling and brand development solution. “Her brand, combined with today’s women’s sports climate, is just the perfect mix. What she has done for not just college basketball but women’s sports, in general, is hard to put into words.”

Repped by Excel Sports Management, Clark also has notable NIL deals with Gatorade and State Farm as part of her growing portfolio. In fact, Thursday night’s game featured the “Caitlin Cast” on Peacock, with a camera dedicated to following Clark, presented by State Farm.

On the court, Clark is in the midst of the best year of her career, averaging a career-best 32.2 points along with 6.9 rebounds and 8.2 assists. Her scoring and assist averages both rank first in the country, and she remains the projected No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft.