Caitlin Clark Goes No. 1, Won't Be Taking a Pay Cut

As multiple outlets explain, her sponsorship deals stay with her
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2024 7:49 PM CDT
Caitlin Clark Goes No. 1, Will Earn a Hefty Income
Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, center, poses for photos with teammates and coaches during an Iowa women's basketball team celebration Wednesday, April 10, 2024, in Iowa City, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

As expected, Caitlin Clark was the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft Monday night, going to the Indiana Fever. Yahoo Sports has the full list of draft picks; another big name, Angel Reese of LSU, was the No. 7 pick and will head to the Chicago Sky. As for Clark, her salary in the WNBA will be relatively modest—as the Indianapolis Star and the Washington Post report, this year the No. 1 draft pick's rookie scale starts at $76,535 for the first season and rises in future years. But, and this is a big "but," Clark will retain all the licensing deals she had in college. NCAA refers to "name, image, and likeness" or NIL rights, but in the WNBA, such deals will just be called sponsorship or endorsement deals. Clark's NIL valuation is currently $3.4 million.

She has national sponsorships with State Farm, Gatorade, Nike, Xfinity, H&R Block, Panini America, and more, plus a few regional sponsorships in the Indianapolis area. (The WNBA commissioner recently told TheStreet she also has additional deals in the works now that she'll be a pro.) She can also choose to utilize league sponsorships through the WNBA in the offseason, promoting the league through a Player Marketing Agreement to earn up to $250,000 and/or earning up to $100,000 through a team-specific marketing agreement. And she can earn more playing overseas in the offseason if she so chooses. Last but not least, there's a $500,000 playoff pool and a $500,000 bonus that is split between the two Commissioner's Cup teams. (Clark will be fulfilling a childhood dream.)

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