Caitlin Clark Shoe Deal: Will Nike Pay Her the Projected $3 Million Or Will She Walk to Competitor Brands?

Iowa Hawkeyes sensation Caitlin Clark is the woman of the hour.

The 22-year-old guard recently declared for the 2024 WNBA draft and is expected to be drafted first overall by the Indiana Fever.

Clark’s stunning rise in popularity over the last two years has prompted the biggest sporting brands to line up to sign her.

Caitlin Clark Shoe Deal: Will Nike Pay Her the Projected $3 Million Or Will She Walk to Competitor Brands?

She’s also expected to become the 13th WNBA player and the first rookie to get a signature shoe. While it’s a foregone conclusion that Clark will wear her signature shoe in her WNBA debut for the Fever, it’s unclear which brand she’ll be sporting.

Iowa star Caitlin Clark goes up for a layup against Ohio State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa on March 3, 2024.

The Iowa guard is currently signed to Nike, but with her contract expiring, brands are lining up to lure her with unprecedented offers.

An insider told the Wall Street Journal that Nike, Adidas, Puma, and Under Armor will compete to land the superstar guard. She’ll reportedly be offered almost $3 million a year.

Clark’s deal is expected to be bigger than an NBA first-rounder’s shoe contract, which is usually in the $1-2 million range.

Explaining why brands are desperate to land Clark, shoe industry analyst Matt Powell told the WSJ,

“She is a once-in-a-generation player. I think this is an opportunity for brands to really get after the women’s side of the business, which they really continue to fail at.”

It’s no surprise that brands are willing to hand Clark the biggest deal in the history of women’s basketball even before her professional debut. She has already showcased her ability to pull in viewers.

Ticket prices for her final home game as a Hawkeye ranged from $460 to $5,700.

The WNBA draft is a month away, but season ticket prices for the Fever, who hold the top pick, have more than doubled and are rising since Clark declared that she’s leaving college to turn pro. She’s a walking gold mine in women’s basketball, so unsurprisingly every massive brand wants a piece of her greatness.

Caitlin Clark’s epic college career

Caitlin Clark had the option to return for a fifth season in college but decided to forego the final year of her eligibility and declare for the 2024 WNBA draft. She’ll cap off her college career in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and will look to go one better than she did last year.

Clark has enjoyed a stellar college career. She began her domination in her freshman season, averaging 26.6 points, 7.1 assists, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.3 steals.

She improved in her sophomore year, averaging 27 points, eight assists, eight rebounds and 1.5 steals. In her junior year, she led the Hawkeyes to the NCAA National Title game, but couldn’t lead them past the finish line, as they lost 102-85 against LSU.

Clark averaged 27.8 points, 8.6 assists, 7.1 rebounds, and 1.5 steals, and swept during the awards season, winning AP Player of the Year, Naismith College Player of the Year, USBWA National Player of the Year, Wade Trophy, and the James E. Sullivan award.

She’s the favorite to repeat as the winner of those awards after an incredible final season in college. She’s averaging 32.3 points, 8.7 assists, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.

In her final regular season home game for the Hawkeyes, Clark broke Pete Maravich’s record for most points in college basketball history, which stood for 54 years.

She now has her eyes set on bidding goodbye to her alma mater by helping them win their maiden National Title.

A fairytale ending awaits Clark and it remains to be if she can make it her lore.

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