The NCAA Tournament is known for producing stars in the month of March, and perhaps the biggest star on either the men’s or women’s side has been Iowa women’s basketball point guard Caitlin Clark.
Clark’s tournament run has been historic with three 20-point, 10-assist games, culminating in a 41-point triple-double (41 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists) in Iowa’s 97-83 win over Louisville in the Elite Eight, the first 40-point triple-double in NCAA Tournament history.
Clark has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the last two seasons. Her on-court play produces viral moments on social media and has garnered attention from national sports pundits, professional athletes, musicians and entertainers. Within her social network, Clark has nearly 300,000 followers on Instagram and Twitter.
Clark has partnered with several local and national brands under Name, Image and Likeness, the initiative that allows college athletes to profit through endorsement deal opportunities.
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Here are some of her notable collaborations:
The Vinyl Shop
Clark’s first publicized NIL venture came in August 2021, shortly after NIL laws allowed amateurs to earn money. Clark partnered with The Vinyl Shop, a Des Moines-based and female-owned company, to produce a limited supply of custom T-shirts. Clark has continued to partner with the company for periodic apparel releases.
Another Clark NIL endorsement deal is through Hy-Vee, a supermarket chain with more than 280 locations across the Midwest and the South. Hy-Vee is a sponsor for the annual Iowa-Nebraska football rivalry officially known as the “Hy-Vee Heroes Game,” celebrity chef Curtis Stone, actor Mark Wahlberg, entertainment entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Under the Hy-Vee brand, Clark has appeared in its seasonal magazine and several regional ads and commercials.
On March 1, 2022, Clark announced a partnership with H&R Block, a national tax preparation company, as part of its new “A Fair Shot” campaign, designed to help female athletes earn fair compensation in the NIL space comparatively to male athletes. Clark has appeared in several national ads through the company’s campaign.
In July 2022, Clark partnered with Topps, one of the largest trading-card companies in the United States. It was not only significant for Clark but also the University of Iowa as Clark’s autographed cards were some of the first officially licensed Iowa cards ever produced by the company.
Clark’s most notable NIL endorsement to date arrived in October 2022 when athletic apparel giant Nike signed Clark to an NIL deal alongside four other high school/college athletes including Bronny James, son of NBA player LeBron James, and Stanford women’s basketball player Haley Jones. Clark has Nike-branded shirts available on her website caitlinclark22.com and modeled a pair of Nike G.T. Cut 2 basketball shoes on her Instagram in December 2022.
Clark has shown a particular affinity to the Kobe Bryant Nike shoes during the 2022-23 season. Two pairs in particular that she wears often are the Kobe 5 Bruce Lee Protro and the Kobe 6 Grinch Protro.
Clark entered a partnership with Shoot-A-Way, one of the most prominent basketball shooting machine companies in the world, to give its signature product “The Gun” to her Dowling Catholic high school team in October 2022. According to the company’s Twitter account, Shoot-A-Way products, The Gun is used by every NBA team, 99% of Division I college programs and more than 16,000 high school programs.
At the start of the 2023 NCAA Tournament, Clark announced a new venture with Bose, one of the largest audio equipment manufacturers in the United States. Clark appeared in a Bose ad modeling a pair of wireless headphones. Bose sponsors many notable professional athletes including NFL players Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes, and Olympian Allyson Felix, as well as recording artists and producers including Charlie Puth, H.E.R and more.
March 2023 brought another national endorsement for Clark when she was named to Buick Automotive’s ‘#SeeHerGreatness’ campaign. Buick is a longtime partner of the NCAA and chose Clark alongside several other notable women’s college basketball players: Aliyah Boston (South Carolina), Cameron Brink (Stanford), Azzi Fudd (Connecticut) and Kiki Rice (UCLA) for this year’s tournament campaign to increase visibility across women’s athletics.
Perhaps the most unique of Clark’s NIL ventures is with investment banking company Goldman Sachs. Clark and North Carolina men’s basketball player Caleb Love partnered with Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses Voices program, releasing a nationwide commercial supporting the modernization of the Small Business Administration. It’s one of the first NIL endorsements to support federal policy.
The commercial released during the NCAA Tournament featuring Clark, Love and former North Carolina women’s basketball playerIman McFarland, who is a 10,000 Small Businesses alumna and owner of 21st Century Expo Group.