May 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Kaitlyn Clark Close to Endorsement Deal with Nike: Sources

Kaitlyn Clark Close to Endorsement Deal with Nike: Sources

(Additional reporting by Shams Charania, Mike Vorkunov and Ben Beckman)

Rising Indiana Fever phenom Kaitlyn Clark — the No. 1 pick in Monday's WNBA draft — is closing in on a lucrative eight-figure endorsement deal with Nike, industry sources say. The athlete.

Those sources said Clark is expected to receive the signature Nike shoe as well. Under Armor and Adidas have also made significant offers to Clark, two industry sources said.

Clark's previous deal with Nike ended after the recently concluded college basketball season, allowing her to enter the market at the height of her popularity. Clark was a supernova at the University of Iowa, breaking records and bringing new fans to college basketball. The women's NCAA Tournament set viewership records with every game Iowa State played, culminating with 18.9 million viewers for the Hawkeyes' national title game loss to South Carolina.

The Fever drafted the 22-year-old Clark first overall in Monday's draft. Interest in the draft was at an all-time high, and it also set records for viewership, with more than four times as many viewers for this year's draft (2.4 million) as last year, breaking the previous record for most watched. WNBA draft, set in 2004.

Clark was expected to land one of the most lucrative sneaker deals in the WNBA as sponsors flocked to her in recent months and showed their desire to be in Caitlin Clark's business. She already has endorsement deals with Gatorade, State Farm, and Panini.

Golden State's Stephen Curry — who launched the Curry brand as an independent venture with Under Armor — participated in the corporate meeting with Clark, industry sources said. Curry Brand signed Kings star De'Aaron Fox as its first female NBA athlete late last year, and University of South Carolina guard MiLaysia Fulwiley signed a multi-year NIL deal, making her the first college athlete to partner directly with the company.

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Last week showed just how in demand Clark is. She appeared as a guest on “Saturday Night Live.” After that, WNBA draft ratings soared. Fanatics said her jersey was the best-selling of any draft pick taken on draft night in company history. Interest in tickets also continued to rise.

In her post-draft press conference, Clark said that turning professional didn't have much of an impact on how she conducted any business off the field.

“If I'm being completely honest, I feel like it hasn't changed much in the way I've lived my life over the past year,” she said. “The sponsorships remain the same. The people around me, agents and others, have been able to help and guide me over the past year. I don’t know if I would be where I am today if it weren’t for a lot of them.


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(Caitlin Clark Image: Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)