There aren't a lot of college basketball players who carry the clout of Iowa Hawkeyes senior guard Caitlin Clark.
With 3,462 career points across 123 games in Iowa City, Clark is 65 away from the NCAA women's basketball record of 3,527, set by former Washington Huskies star Kelsey Plum in 2017. Clark also is aiming to lead the nation in scoring for the third time.
Clark's current averages of 32.4 points (first in the nation), 7.9 assists (also first) and 7.0 rebounds show the dexterity of her game. The fourth-year star out of West Des Moines is slicing up opponents' defenses with ease since arriving at Iowa in 2020. The exploits of Clark and the third-ranked Hawkeyes (21-2) have drawn much interest in Iowa sports betting.
In her first three seasons with the Hawkeyes, Clark averaged 26.6, 27.0 and 27.8 points per game, while winning the 2023 Associated Press Player of the Year, Honda Sports Award, John R. Wooden Award, Naismith & USBWA Players of the Year, Wade Trophy and James E. Sullivan Award.
That success on the court, teamed with Clark's 1.1 million followers across Instagram, X and TikTok, mean that the 22-year-old is cashing in big time on her NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) rights before she steps foot on a WNBA court in 2024.
Thanks to Clark's electric play and the success of the Hawkeyes over the last few year, Carver Hawkeye Arena has become the place to be.
We're well past the halfway point of the season, and there's no denying that Clark is one of the most personable athletes in the nation, which allows her to join a roster of talented stars when it comes to landing NIL partnerships.
With that in mind, IowaBets.com – your source for Iowa sports betting promo codes - broke down Clark's NIL value and a host of other basketball-centric information, ahead of the Hawkeyes' home clash against Penn State on Thursday evening.
According to Boardroom.tv and On3.com’s NIL rankings, Clark's current valuation is $818,000, ranking 37th on the latter's NIL 100 list and No. 4 among NCAA women's basketball players.
Clark's been able to roll up that valuation thanks, in large part, to her pacts with brands like Gatorade, State Farm, Nike, Buick and the Iowa Cubs.
So, while Clark continues to smoke her NCAA competition, she also is building her brand before she enters the professional ranks later this year.
Clark joined a roster of talented athletes from varying colleges across America that have inked deals of late, thanks to her play against colleges over the last four years.
Here's a rundown of Clark's pact and what Iowa fans should know about their renaissance woman in the backcourt.
The biggest deals that Clark has signed are Gatorade, Buick, Nike, State Farm and Topps — netting the Iowa native big bucks before she officially enters the WNBA ranks via the 2024 league draft.
Clark, who found greatness early in Iowa City, has cashed in on that brand name recognition to become one of the most lucrative college athletes in the nation.
Here's a brief rundown of the brand partnerships that Clark has signed and what Hawkeyes fans should know about her business dealings. The financial terms of Clark's brand deals have not been released, though we do know that several directly benefit the Caitlin Clark Foundation, illustrating how much the senior cares about her fanbase at large.
Caitlin Clark was included in the initial roster of five NCAA athletes to earn a pact with an iconic brand like Nike, joining Bronny James and JuJu Watkins (USC), Haley Jones (Stanford, now WNBA) and DJ Wagner (Kentucky) in October of 2022.
The deal came on the heels of the NCAA's relaxed regulations, with the five basketball players joining Rachel Heck (Stanford golf) and Reilyn Turner (UCLA soccer) on Nike’s college athlete roster.
While no financial terms were released when Nike announced their sports partnership with Caitlin Clark Oct. 10, 2022, there's no doubt that her pact with Phil Knight & Co. plays a large role in her current valuation.
While we do not know what the terms of the sports deal were between Caitlin Clark and sports drink monolith Gatorade, we do know that the corporation made a $22,000 donation to the Caitlin Clark Foundation when the two sides announced a pact in mid-December.
The partnership came a little more than nine months after Clark's 30-point showing in the national championship game against LSU. Iowa lost, 102-85.
It was that NCAA title game run that built Clark into a national name, with the senior Iowa native thriving on the sport's biggest stage, while flashing the personality needed to thrive as a pitch person for a given corporation.
Clark is one of the elite women to ink a partnership with Gatorade, as the Iowa point guard joins UConn's Paige Bueckers and Penn State running back Nick Singleton among the first college athletes to sign a sports marketing deal with the beverage giant.
As Clark seeks to become the first college athlete on the women's side to crack the career 5,000-point mark, it's worth wondering how many more points the reigning national player of the year can total before the women's basketball season wraps.
What we do know right now is the incredible impact she's made on sports at large, becoming one of the few college athletes on the men's or women's side to pack the house wherever they play.
Clark's deal lets her join professional sports stars like Patrick Mahomes in landing deals with Gatorade over the years.
The Iowa point guard also has lined up a sports marketing deal with trading cards company Topps. Clark becomes one of the rare college athletes to have a card of her own before exiting the college game.
Clark confirmed the deal on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter back in July of 2022, posting: “Grew up collecting trading cards now Topps and I have partnered to officially create my own,” she tweeted. “Could not be more grateful and excited.”
While no financial terms have been unveiled between Clark and Topps, we do know that the cards company was on the trail of one of the elite athletes in the college ranks from the start, notching an partnership with her long before the rest of the Fortune 500 crew came to town.
Clark and insurance firm State Farm inked a partnership back in October, with one of the most elite athletes in the college game becoming the first athlete to sign a pact with the company.
Caitlin's journey as an Iowa guard has led her toward TV stardom. She signed an endorsement pact with State Farm to appear in a line of commercials, with the company gifting her a commemorative pair of khakis to celebrate the occasion, according to On3.com.
“State Farm is a team that looks out for others, which is exactly the kind of legacy I want to leave beyond the basketball court,” Clark said. “I’m honored to be the first college athlete to join the Good Neighbor team – in khakis, of course - and look forward to growing the women’s game together.”
Overall, Clark ranks 37th on On3.com's NIL 100 board, sandwiched between No. 36 J.T. Tuimoloau of Ohio State and No. 38 Zach Edey of Purdue. That ranking is sure to soar in the coming months.
While Clark has exhibited greatness early on in her college career, averaging more than 26 points per game in each of her first two seasons with the Hawkeyes, she made a definitive statement during Iowa's run to the NCAA title game as a junior, helping grow the women's game at the same time.
While Clark is not at the top of On3.com's NIL 100, she does compare favorably to the leaders, including LSU forward Angel Reese, Bronny James of USC and Texas Longhorns quarterback Arch Manning.
We also know that Clark has inked pacts with a myriad of corporations, ranging from car giant Buick to drinks monolith Gatorade and basketball insider Nike.
Her pacts with companies like Gatorade and Nike played a large part in the senior coming back for a fourth season with Iowa. Iowa currently is the second favorite to win the national title at ESPN Bet Iowa (+450), behind only South Carolina (+130).
Here's a look at how that trio of the best athletes in the college game ranks when it comes to NIL valuations:
The NCAA's NIL (Name, Image and Likeness) rules constitute the ability of a college player to monetize their image, whether it be in a video game or a commercial for a local or national company, such as Gatorade.
The NCAA forbade athletes from signing such pacts up until the Supreme Court's 2021 decision in NCAA vs. Alston, in which a majority overruled the NCAA's ability to limit education-related benefits that a given athlete might receive during their respective collegiate careers.
That ruling forced the NCAA to release their first-ever NIL regulations, allowing athletes to monetize their likenesses for the first time. The regulations allowed the game's top athletes to cash in before they turned pro, with the point guard making a terrific living long before she enters the WNBA ranks.
According to USA Today’s The Rookie Wire, the WNBA rookie salary structure last season had anyone picked in spots 1 through 4 to receive a base salary of $74,305 in their rookie seasons, while picks 5-8 received $71,300 each and picks 9-12 earned $68,29.
No data has been released for the 2024 WNBA rookie salary structure, but we do know that the highest-paid WNBA players last season were Arike Ogunbowale, Kahleah Copper and Jewell Loyd, who earned $241,984.
We'll soon know whether the Iowa senior will crack that figure. For now, though, we know that Clark and the Hawkeyes will have to take care of business at home in a women's basketball against Penn State on Thursday evening.
While we do not know the specifics regarding one of the biggest figures in women's basketball, we do know that Caitlin's journey from an unheralded freshman to the reigning national player of the year has been steep, netting her an On3.com NIL valuation of $818K, which ranks 37th nationally and fourth among women's basketball players.
While we're not sure what Gatorade is paying Clark at the moment – at least beyond the $22K donation made to the Caitlin Clark Foundation - we do know the incredible impact she's made on the women's game at large, to even net a partnership with Gatorade in the first place.
Clark can expect to earn a rookie salary of just over $74K in 2024, assuming the sports salary structure remains where it was last season. Clark later can expect to earn somewhere in the six-figure range, as the WNBA's salary cap is $1,463,200 in 2024, which averages out to around $121,900 per player.