The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

The student news site of Brimmer and May School | Chestnut Hill, MA

The Gator

Caitlin Clark Receives Record Nike Contract

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Caitlin Clark and Nike Swoosh courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Basketball fans were stunned when former Iowa women’s basketball star and 2024 WNBA first overall pick Caitlin Clark signed a lucrative 8-year, $28 million deal with Nike, including a signature shoe. 

Clark’s college success increased the popularity of the women’s game. Clark’s final college game drew 18.7 million viewers, more than the 2023 NBA Finals and the 2023 World Series. Her popularity gained widespread culture traction,  as country music superstar Tim McGraw wore her Indiana Fever Jersey as a tribute during his April 18 concert.   

Clark’s Nike contract is fascinating because her base salary is only $76,000, which is lower than some NBA fines. For example, Minnesota Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was fined $100,000 for making a money sign to referees during a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 10. 

It was revealed that Clark’s four-year contract will be worth $338,000. In contrast, the 2023 NBA first overall pick Victor Wembanyama’s four-year contract is worth $55 million. 

Her contract had many fans confused and outraged, but the main reason for her low salary is that the WNBA’s profits are lower than the NBA’s.

The NBA generated about $10 billion in revenue during the 2022 season, compared to the WNBA’s estimated $60 million.

“The generation of revenue is the simple reason for the salary disparity between the two leagues in the same sport” writes Sporting News Writer Sara Tidwell in her 2023 article, WNBA salary, contracts: How much money do women’s basketball players make?.

Yet with Clark’s entrance into the WNBA, there are signs that revenue will increase with more merchandise and ticket sales, as well as TV and advertising deals. 

Clark’s popularity produced heavy interest in the WNBA and season tickets for the Indiana Fever sold out less than a week after the draft. In addition, 36 of the Fever’s 40 regular season games are set to be nationally televised, and the Las Vegas Aces and Washington Mystics are planning to play their games against the Fever in larger stadiums. Additionally, the 2024 WNBA draft drew more than three million viewers.

With more eyes than ever on women’s basketball, there is hope that the WNBA will someday be able to provide fairer pay to its players.

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About the Contributor
Jack Malloy
Jack Malloy, Journalist
Jack is in 11th grade and this is his third year of Journalism. He loves playing with his dog and watching sports with his dad. His favorite sport to watch is football and his favorite team is the Baltimore Ravens. He enjoys Skiing in the winter and going to Boston Celtics games

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