Caitlin Clark reportedly expecting seven-figure Nike endorsement deal worth eye-watering amount

Caitlin Clark is reportedly close to receiving an endorsement deal with Nike.

On Monday 15 April, the University of Iowa senior was drafted first in the WNBA draft for the Indiana Fever, and is now expected to receive a deal with Nike worth $20m, according to The Athletic.

The outlet reports that part of the deal will include a signature shoe and that Nike was chosen over other athletic wear companies that made Clark offers, such as Under Armour and Adidas.

Clark was previously partnered with Nike while playing college basketball with the Hawkeyes under NIL (name, image, and likeness) but that deal was no longer valid after the season ended. Throughout the season, Clark went on to break various records including “record 3,700+ points, 1,000+ assists, and 850+ rebounds in a career,” according to the University’s athletics website.

If the new Indiana Fever player does go on to sign the eight-figure deal with Nike and release a signature shoe, she will then become one of four WNBA players to have their own shoe. Only 12 WNBA players in history have had one.

The only three players who currently have shoes on the market are: Breanna Stewart from the New York Liberty with her Puma Stewie in 2021, Elena Delle Donne a former Washington Mystics player with her Nike Air Deldon in 2022, and Sabrina Ionescu also from the New York Liberty with her Nike Sabrina 1 sneakers, which debuted in 2023.

According to The Athletic, Clark also has endorsement deals with Gatorade, State Farm, and Panini.

From brand deals alone, Clark is estimated to make more than $3m per year, according to her NIL valuation.

The deals come after fans expressed outrage and questioned why her rookie salary in the WNBA is significantly less than the men who play in the NBA. Reports claim that Clark will be making $338,056 with the Fever over a time period of four years while her male equivalent, Victor Wembanyama, signed a contract with the San Antonio Spurs worth $55m over the same time frame.

Even President Joe Biden weighed in on the debate, with Biden taking to X, formerly known as Twitter, to call for female athletes to be “paid what they deserve”.

“Women in sports continue to push new boundaries and inspire us all,” he began his post. “But right now we’re seeing that even if you’re the best, women are not paid their fair share.”

“It’s time that we give our daughters the same opportunities as our sons and ensure women are paid what they deserve,” Biden added.

Other notable celebrities that called out Clark’s salary included Oscar winner Jamie Lee Curtis, who shared a graphic of Clark’s salary to her Instagram account with the caption: “This is OUTRAGEOUS!” and Today show co-host Hoda Kotb.

Kotb called Clark’s  $76,535 first-year salary “ridiculous” during a recent episode of the show. “When I saw the number, $76,000 in the first year and $78,000 in the second year, and $85,000 in the third year, for somebody who is now the face of women’s basketball, it seemed kind of ridiculous,” Kotb said. “A guy who is in the NBA, first year, they can get $10m.”

The Independent has contacted Nike for comment.