University of Iowa star point guard Caitlin Clark recently inked a significant endorsement deal with Gatorade, marking another major name, image, and likeness partnership, and solidifying her status as a rising star both on and off the court. This collaboration makes Clark the second women’s basketball player and fourth overall collegiate athlete to join Gatorade’s NIL roster.
The Gatorade Deal
Clark expressed her excitement about joining the Gatorade family, emphasizing the shared values of competitiveness and dedication to inspiring the next generation. Jeff Kearney, the Global Head of Sports Marketing at Gatorade, highlighted the brand’s commitment to excellence and the enthusiasm to build on Clark’s impact. The collaboration kicked off with a video titled “You Can Too,” aimed at motivating the next generation of basketball players. Additionally, Gatorade has pledged a $22,000 donation to the Caitlin Clark Foundation in honor of her jersey number.
Clark’s NIL Brand Portfolio
Clark has been making headlines since she was a freshman, but leading the Hawkeyes to their first national title game this spring catapulted her to national fame. Her skills have attracted major brands, with Gatorade being the latest addition to her impressive portfolio.
Represented by agent Michael Raymond, Clark signed a deal with H&R Block, which included cash and free tax preparation services in alignment with H&R Block’s unique approach to utilizing NIL to empower female athletes while encouraging financial responsibility. The collaboration incorporates a community service element, where Clark will engage in activities such as coaching youth sports teams, mentoring, tutoring, and volunteering for organizations to promote equity in women’s sports.
Ahead of last year’s women’s March Madness tournament, Buick orchestrated an initiative aimed at elevating the visibility of women in sports, fostering inclusivity, and sparking meaningful conversations around women’s issues titled the “See Her Greatness” campaign. Clark shared compelling promotional videos on Instagram, aligning her brand with Buick’s commitment to championing women’s sports. The campaign also encouraged TikTok users to contribute sports and fitness content under #SeeHerGreatness, amplifying the campaign’s impact across platforms.
The iconic sports apparel brand Nike also entered into an NIL deal with Clark. In October 2022, the athletic apparel giant signed Clark along with four other college athletes including USC basketball player Bronny James, son of NBA player LeBron James. The partnership extends beyond her collegiate career, showcasing the brand’s commitment to supporting athletes from their early years.
As a sophomore, Clark became the first collegiate athlete to partner with Hy-Vee. This collaboration added diversity to her brand associations, aligning her with the Midwest-based supermarket chain. Her involvement extended to several health and wellness campaigns for the company in addition to her promoting some of her favorite go-to items at the grocer on social media.
In October, Clark became the first NCAA athlete to sign with State Farm, a major player in the insurance industry. As a part of the deal, Clark starred in commercials for the company alongside reporter Jenny Taft, NBA all-star Jimmy Butler, and Basketball Hall of Famer Reggie Miller.
Excel Sports Management
In addition to brand partnerships, Clark has signed with Excel Sports Management, a sports agency representing many top athletes. This move positions her alongside WNBA stars Napheesa Collier and Arike Ogunbowale, reflecting her desire to build a robust presence on and off the court.
Continued Success on the Court
As a senior with the Hawkeyes, Clark has maintained her exceptional performance on the court, guiding the team to a 10-1 record and a No. 4 ranking in the Associated Press poll. As of mid-December, Clark is also averaging an impressive 29.5 points, 7.4 assists, and 6.9 rebounds per game. Using her fifth season of collegiate eligibility, Clark has flexibility in her decision-making. However, her future in the WNBA looks promising, with many media outlets projecting her as the potential No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft.