WNBA

Caitlin Clark’s Nike deal reportedly worth $28 million over 8 years, plus her own signature shoe

Caitlin Clark's Nike deal reportedly worth $28 million over 8 years, plus her own signature shoe

Caitlin Clark’s $28 million deal with Nike is the richest sponsorship contract for a women’s basketball player. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Caitlin Clark will be getting a signature shoe as part of an endorsement deal with Nike, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Clark, who went No. 1 overall in last week's WNBA Draft to the Indiana Fever, will reportedly sign an eight-year, $28 million deal to join the likes of LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Sabrina Ionescu, and Elena Delle Donne with her own Nike shoe.

Per the Wall Street Journal, Clark was in high demand by sportswear giants. Under Armour and Adidas talked about a contract with the NCAA's all-time leading scorer — with Clark very involved in the discussions — but ultimately their offers fell short.

Under Armour had reportedly offered Clark $16 million over four years, while Adidas proposed $6 million over four years.

Puma was also briefly involved but dropped out after learning Clark was seeking at least $3 million per year in any deal.

Nike's original offer to Clark was reportedly worth $3.5 million a year and did not include a signature shoe. It instead pitched Clark to become the female face of the Kobe Bryant line, which relaunched last summer. Eventually Nike added a signature shoe as part of an updated proposal.

Clark originally signed a name, image and likeness deal with Nike in 2022, but that deal expired following the 2023-24 season.

Clark's reported contract with Nike will dwarf her WNBA contract that's scheduled to pay her $338,056 over four years. Clark will earn a base salary of $76,535 as a rookie. It's a number that was negotiated long before Clark turned pro as part of the WNBA's collectively bargained rookie wage scale.

The salary numbers are jarring considering that Clark built a multi-million-dollar brand as a superstar at the University of Iowa. Her ascent as an elite playmaker and college basketball's all-time leading scorer landed the Hawkeyes in back-to-back national championship games. It also contributed to record-shattering ratings that saw Iowa's NCAA title game against South Carolina draw 18.7 million viewers, roughly 4 million more than the men's championship between UConn and Purdue. The ratings bonanza continued at last week's WNBA Draft, where Clark led a parade of rising stars as the No. 1 selection by the Fever.

While Clark's deal is a record for WNBA players, it is still significantly lower than what some NBA rookies received when they first entered the league.

LeBron James signed a seven-year, $90 million deal with Nike after forgoing college to enter the NBA after his senior year of high school in 2003. That same year, after leading Syracuse to a national title, Carmelo Anthony joined the Jordan Brand for $40 million over six years.

Three years later, Kevin Durant signed on with the swoosh for $60 million over seven years.

Zion Williamson, the No. 1 pick in 2019, topped James' annual take from Nike when he signed a then-record five-year, $75 million deal.

No official terms have been released, but Williamson's record was likely broken by San Antonio Spurs rookie Victor Wembanyama. "The Alien" signed on with Nike in October and his deal is rumored to be in the $100 million range.

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