UConn star Paige Bueckers teams up with Caitlin Clark, Gatorade to promote girls participation in sports

With the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament set to tip ofd Friday, Gatorade has tapped UConn superstar Paige Bueckers and Iowa’s Caitlin Clark to headline a campaign promoting participation in sports for young girls titled ‘You Can Too’.

Paige Bueckers, Caitlin Clark promote girls sports with Gatorade

Bueckers’ contribution to the campaign is the “Paige Manifesto,” a short film that she co-produced chronicling her recovery from a season-ending ACL tear in August 2022 to return to the court this season.

Gatorade will also make two $25,000 donations on her behalf: One to Laureus USA, which works to use sports as a vehicle for social change, and one to the Paige Bueckers Foundation, which Bueckers established in 2022 via an NIL partnership with Cash App.

The film premiered on Gatorade’s social media channels Wednesday.

“It was always my dream to work with Gatorade, and the reality has been even better than I imagined because together we are elevating women and our stories,” Bueckers said in a release.

“This manifesto and the donations to Laureus USA and the Paige Bueckers Foundation are just the next chapter in that partnership. I hope this film inspires people and shows that no matter the obstacles you face, you can shine.”

Gatorade will release a custom water bottle and towel co-designed by Clark in conjunction with Bueckers’ short film, also making two $25,000 donations in her name to the Caitlin Clark Foundation and Women’s Sports Foundation.

Boardroom on X: "Paige Bueckers is getting her own Gatorade bottle as part  of the brand's Fuel Tomorrow Gx Collection. The campaign features bottles  designed by some of its youngest athlete partners

The campaign culminates with the company’s ‘Equity in Sport Event’ at the women’s Final Four in Cleveland, where Gatorade will surprise a local organization with $50,000 in equipment.

Bueckers became Gatorade’s first collegiate NIL deal signee at the start of her sophomore season in November 2021, previously working with the company to release a custom water bottle.

Clark joined a star-studded Gatorade roster in December that also includes Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders and Penn State running back Nick Singleton.

The partnership isn’t the first time Bueckers and Clark have worked together despite any on-court rivalry between arguably the two best guards in the country. The pair won gold medals together playing for USA Basketball in both the 2017 FIBA Americas U16 Championship and the 2019 FIBA U19 World Cup.

“There’s a lot of great basketball going on in the women’s game right now and amazing players. A lot of different people are doing great things in the limelight,” Bueckers said earlier in the season.

Paige Bueckers, Caitlin Clark and the can't-miss future of women's  basketball - The Athletic

“Me and Cait have a great relationship: We played together in USA basketball, we’ve competed against each other during AAU growing up, so we go way back.

We’ve known each other a long time, and of course you appreciate each other’s game and just what we’re trying to do for women’s basketball.”

Bueckers is having a remarkable comeback in 2023-24 following two seasons colored by major knee injuries. The senior guard missed 19 games in 2021-22 after having surgery on a tibial plateau fracture, and she sat out all of her junior year with a torn ACL.

This season she is averaging 21.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.4 blocks per game to earn Big East Player of the Year for the second time in her career. Bueckers was also named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy after winning the award as a freshman in 2021.

UConn is a 3-seed in this year’s March Madness and will host 14-seed Jackson State in the first round Saturday at Gampel Pavilion. The Huskies have reached at least the Sweet 16 in every since NCAA Tournament since 1993.

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