Nike nears eight-figure deal with basketball sensation Caitlin Clark ahead of pro debut - Hindustan Times
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Nike nears eight-figure deal with basketball sensation Caitlin Clark ahead of pro debut

Bloomberg | | Posted by Tuhin Das Mahapatra
Apr 19, 2024 03:17 AM IST

Nike Inc. is in talks with Caitlin Clark for an endorsement deal ahead of WNBA debut.

Nike Inc. is nearing an eight-figure endorsement deal with basketball star Caitlin Clark ahead of her professional debut set for May, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

Indiana Fever's Caitlin Clark, middle, poses with general manager Lin Dunn, left, and head coach Christie Sides following a WNBA basketball news conference. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)(AP)
Indiana Fever's Caitlin Clark, middle, poses with general manager Lin Dunn, left, and head coach Christie Sides following a WNBA basketball news conference. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)(AP)

Clark, who was selected as the top pick in the WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever this month after one of the greatest college careers of all time, was sponsored by Nike through a name, image and likeness agreement during her time as a student-athlete at the University of Iowa.

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A spokesperson for Nike declined to comment on the matter.

ALSO READ| 2024 WNBA draft: Caitlin Clark makes history again, but this time in Prada; Indiana Fever swoop in for the 1st pick

Nike will launch a signature shoe for Clark

Clark is expected to have a signature shoe line with Nike as the world’s largest sportswear company assembles a lineup of young basketball players, with top-selling names like LeBron James and Kevin Durant nearing retirement. She would join Nike’s cohort of stars in their 20s with sneaker franchises, including Ja Morant, Zion Williamson and Devin Booker.

Nike Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe mentioned Clark on a conference call with investors and analysts in March. Nike featured Clark in a commercial that aired that month, shortly after she broke the NCAA scoring record.

Women’s sports are attracting more attention from the big athletic brands as viewership rises and more stars emerge, but few have granted women athletes sneaker lines.

ALSO READ| SNL Weekend Update: Caitlin Clark dunks on Michael Che's sexist joke; Colin Jost presents receipts

Nike released a signature shoe with New York Liberty star Sabrina Ionescu in September. Donahoe said that Ionescu’s shoes are “deeply resonating across gender” as more NBA players adopt her sneakers on court. Puma SE also has a line with her teammate, two-time most valuable player Breanna Stewart.

The Athletic first reported that Clark was close to an agreement with Nike.

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