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Report: Caitlin Clark to sign eight-figure deal with Nike, receive signature shoe

NS_headshot_clearbackgroundby:Nick Schultz04/18/24


Caitlin Clark at the 2024 WNBA Draft
© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday, the Indiana Fever introduced Caitlin Clark after selecting her No. 1 overall in Monday’s WNBA Draft. She then made an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show as part of a whirlwind 48 hours as she gets ready for her professional career.

She’s also closing in on her first major endorsement deal in the WNBA.

Clark is nearing an eight-figure agreement with Nike and is set to receive her own signature shoe, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported. She had an NIL deal with the shoewear giant during her time at Iowa, but that expired when her career ended. It appears the two sides are continuing the relationship despite bids from Under Armour and adidas.

Nike was among Clark’s most vocal supporters as she put together a record-setting season as a senior in 2023. When she broke Kelsey Plum’s NCAA women’s scoring record, the company released a line of shirts that read “You break it, you own it” and debuted special edition merchandise after she passed Pete Maravich to become the Division I all-time leading scorer.

Clark’s partnership with Nike dates back to October 2022 when she joined the company’s first major foray into the NIL space along with other high-profile names in basketball. She also gave her Iowa teammates shoes on her birthday this year as a part of her deal.

Caitlin Clark is the latest WNBA star to sign with Nike

Nike’s line of WNBA signature shoes goes back to 1995 when it launched the Air Swoopes in a partnership with Sheryl Swoopes. But with her endorsement deal in the works, Caitlin Clark will join a select group of current players in the league with their own shoe.

New York Liberty star Breanna Stewart has a deal with Puma and debuted the Puma Stewie in 2021, and Sabrina Ionescu launched the Air Sabrina 1 with Nike last year. In fact, during Iowa’s run to the NCAA Tournament, Ionescu met with Clark and the Hawkeyes to give them all their own pairs.

Clark will now be joining the former Oregon star as a Nike partner, and they could wind up participating in a high-profile event. Charania recently reported Clark and Ionescu could team up against Stephen Curry and another NBA sharpshooter – perhaps Klay Thompson – at its All-Star Weekend. That could be another interesting connection for the two No. 1 overall picks.

NIL success prepared Clark for WNBA spotlight

Clark put together an impressive NIL portfolio during her time at Iowa, and most of her agreements can continue as she begins her WNBA career. While some argued she effectively took a “pay cut” by going to the W with a $76,000 salary as a rookie, that’s not necessarily the case. She didn’t take any money from the Iowa-focused Swarm Collective – meaning she only had NIL deals with outside organizations and companies.

Clark notably inked partnerships with XfinityGatoradePanini America and State Farm as part of her lengthy portfolio. She later added a partnership with Gainbridge, which owns the naming rights to the Fever’s arena, and signed on with Excel Sports Management to represent her in the WNBA.

Those agreements helped make her the face of college basketball, and she left Iowa with an On3 NIL Valuation of over $3 million.

Clark’s popularity doesn’t seem to be slowing down, either, now that she’s a WNBA Draft pick. Fanatics sold out of her jersey on draft night, and the Fever sold their allotment of season tickets after winning the lottery to get the first chance to draft Iowa. Ticket prices are also surging for Indiana games, both home and away, as she’ll try to carry her momentum from college to the professional ranks.