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NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament - Final Four

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The bag has officially changed for WNBA players.

Caitlin Clark is helping usher in a new era of the W, and it starts with the massive contract she’s inking with Nike.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the former Iowa Hawkeye is being offered an eight-year deal worth up to $28 million.

While it pales in comparison to the deals the NBA players get with leading sneaker brands, it will be the largest in women’s basketball history.

The deal is more of a re-up because she was signed to the Swoosh during college, which explains why she habitually wore several of Kobe Bryant’s silhouettes.

Clark helped break several records she already set with viewership for her Women’s March Madness games—24 million viewers, to be exact.

So, while Nike may have been the most lucrative, it wasn’t the only major sportswear brand paying attention and pitching Clark.

There was adidas, which even showed her a prototype of her own signature sneaker, but the bottom line fell well below Nike’s, at just $6 million over four years.

Under Armour also pitched Clark, with the help of fellow sharpshooter Steph Curry, but the deal—which also included a signature shoe—would have been $16 million over four years and didn’t pique her interest either.

Lastly, Puma realized that her buying price would be at least $3 million a year and immediately gave up.

NIL deals, including State Farm, Gatorade and Xfinity, have been a massive source of income for Clark over her college career. Her initial two-year deal with Nike began in 2022, and with many of her favorite ballers being Nike athletes, she was more than excited to join the roster.

“I grew up watching Nike athletes across all sports play their game,” Clark said at the time. “They have inspired me to work hard and make a difference. I’m humbled to be part of this first Nike basketball class and passionate about inspiring the next.”

While Clark’s bringing more eyes to the league—which has been in great hands lately with players like Sabrina Ionescu, Aja Wilson and Breanna Stewart—helps everyone get more lucrative brand deals, it still doesn’t change the dismal WNBA salaries.

As previously reported, the current WNBA CBA only offers rookies $76,535 in their first year, but with the CBA expiring in 2027, the reckoning of women getting better pay may be coming soon.

Below, see how social media is reacting to Clark’s record-breaking deal and whether her fellow 2024 draftees should be getting those same offers.

Caitlin Clark’s Reported $28M Nike Deal Is Game-Changing For WNBA Players  was originally published on cassiuslife.com

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