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Women’s basketball’s biggest star is getting a signature shoe

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Caitlin Clark, Nike

She took the college basketball world by storm. Now Caitlin Clark’s stardom is set to be ratified further with a lucrative sponsorship deal and a signature shoe.

An NCAA Women’s basketball championship, being snapped up as the first overall pick in the WNBA Draft and now a lucrative sneaker deal. Fair to say, it’s been a mammoth few months for women’s basketball’s brightest star, Caitlin Clark.

A name perennially on the lips of basketball fans, Clark’s meteoric rise has been a joy to watch for millions. A certified star in the eyes of those fortunate to watch her, Clark’s ability to sink threes from the deepest ranges is rivalled by only a handful of players, male or female.

Having taken the basketballing world by storm, the consensus greatest prospect in women’s basketball history is set to kick her WNBA career off with a bang by inking a lucrative endorsement deal with global sportswear powerhouse, Nike.

Aside from the financial upside of the deal, which more than compensates the relativity limited WNBA salary Clark will earn from the Indiana Fever, the point guard will be getting her own signature shoe. Here’s what we know so far.

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Caitlin Clark’s Nike deal: What we know

What will the deal look like?

It’s been reported Clark’s deal with Nike is valued at US $28 million over eight years. Clark’s endorsement contract with Nike follows the expiration of her previous deal with the global sportswear giant, which ended at the conclusion of the recent college basketball season.

Clark is not only the hottest prospect in American women’s sports, but one of the hottest prospects in American sports. Such is her booming popularity, her University of Iowa team attracted record-breaking attention during the recent NCAA college basketball season, with lines of fans snaking for miles to catch the point guard sensation.

Her declaration for the 2024 WNBA Draft did not cool the fanatic interest in Clark. More than 2 million people tuned in to the 2024 Draft, where Clark was taken first overall by the Indiana Fever, where she will play alongside Australian guard, Kristy Wallace. According to reports, those viewership figures were four times higher than that of the 2023 Draft.

Such is Clark’s high demand, it’s also said she turned down offers from Adidas and Under Armour to continue her relationship with Nike.

For sneakerheads, Clark’s decision to ink a deal with Nike brings the added benefit of a signature shoe, which will no doubt fly off shelves quicker than ice blocks on a warm summer day.

Any idea how the shoe looks?

At this stage, no. Nike, nor Clark’s camp have revealed any designs for the signature shoe. There hasn’t been a reported release date for the shoe and with the 2024 WNBA season tipping off in less than a month, Nike will be racing against the clock to get the shoe over the line if they intend to drop it when the season begins.

caitlin clark
Caitlin Clark is on the cusp of signing an eight-figure deal with Nike

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Who is Caitlin Clark?

My colleague Ely Corliss has already written an exceptional deep dive into who Caitlin Clark is. You can find his wonderful article here.

For a quick refresh on Clark, she’s a six-foot point guard, twice the Naismith College Player of the Year, and a scoring phenomenon unlike anything we’ve seen in women’s basketball history. A record-breaker in every sense of the word, Clark’s name is not only etched in the NCAA’s Women’s basketball history books but also a holder of multiple NCAA records, meaning her achievements stack up incredibly well against some of the finest male collegiate basketballers of all time.

What’s the go with her WNBA contract?

Almost as soon as she was drafted, Clark’s rookie WNBA contract was brought to life, kicking online debates into gear about pay disparities between male and female professional sporting leagues. Despite being the hottest prospect in WNBA history, and likely one of the competition’s top performers from the moment she steps foot on the court, Clark’s four-year rookie deal is measly compared to those dished out in the NBA.

Across four years, Clark’s rookie contract breaks down like this:

2024: $76,535 (USD)

2025: $78,066

2026: $85,873

2027: $97,582

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Valued at $338,056 across the duration of the deal, Clark’s contract isn’t even worth a quarter of the first-year contract earned by the 30th pick of the 2024 NBA Draft. As is the case in the social media age, everyone has an opinion on the matter. Prominent US sports broadcaster Pat McAfee called the deal ‘laughable’ on his show, while others online have slammed the deal and called for the WNBA to increase player salaries.

They say a rising tide raises all boats. Caitlin Clark is a rising tide bracing to sweep the WNBA, will she be able to raise the league’s levels both on and off the court?

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Kyle Robbins
Kyle is a senior sports writer and producer at Only Sports who lives and breathes sport, with a particular burning passion for everything soccer, rugby league, and cricket. You’ll most commonly find him getting overly hopeful about the Bulldogs and Chelsea’s prospects. Find Kyle on LinkedIn.

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