Caitlin Clark Ranked 4th Most Marketable College Basketball Player (Men & Women combined!)

Franisdaman

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College basketball's Most Marketable Players​

By Myron Metcalf
ESPN Staff Writer
Aug 25, 2022

1. Aliyah Boston, South Carolina
2. Hanna & Haley Cavinder, Miami
3. Oscar Tshiebwe, Kentucky

4. Caitlin Clark, Iowa Hawkeyes

The Big Ten women's basketball player of the year is an automatic bucket no matter where she is on the floor, which is why she has attracted praise from the likes of Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. The major brands have noticed, too. The junior currently has deals with tax preparation company H&R Block, trading card company Topps and supermarket chain Hy-Vee, all contributing to a reported seven-figure income off NIL.


5. Hailey Van Lith, Louisville
6. Shaqir O'Neal, Texas Southern
7. Amari Bailey, UCLA
8. Azzi Fudd, UCONN
9. Sedona Prince, Oregon
10. Drew Timme, Gonzaga


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IllQChawk

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Seems Fran might mention Caitlin’s seven figure NIL deal to Estrella and Power. It’s possible to earn an insane amount of NIL cash playing basketball at Iowa.
Clark earned her just dues on the court before NIL, Estrella and Power hasn't done a thing on the court for Iowa or anyone else for that matter.
I'm not one to just give outlandish money willy nelly to players that haven't done squat on the court.
Sure, there should be a minimum amount to keep the players happy but not 8, 9, or 10 figure amounts until they earn it, otherwise it's just not college basketball.
Where does it stop, when kids in high school demand NIL money or else they go to a school that gives into their demands....
 

DanHawkPella

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Clark's image is national and impactful because she is a UNIQUE player for her sport, and has huge Tiktok views and other social media footprint (twitter) even outside of her own accounts because people make montages of her shot making and playmaking all the time.

Would be hard to replicate on the men's side - the being unique part - but still worth selling.

One can see where Clark could stay at Iowa all 4 years and not really hurt her earning potential much.

The base salary for Picks 1-4 in the WNBA draft in 2022 is expected to be $72,000. Yikes. But the WNBA is losing money and is only solvent due to NBA contributions, so it's partially understandable. If they want to pay more money they need to earn more fans, pure and simple. Only 2 WNBA teams averaged over 3,000 fans per game in 2021, and that was probably PAID attendance not ACTUAL attendance. Iowa averaged 8,200 last season.
 

undersized_post

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Clark's image is national and impactful because she is a UNIQUE player for her sport, and has huge Tiktok views and other social media footprint (twitter) even outside of her own accounts because people make montages of her shot making and playmaking all the time.

Would be hard to replicate on the men's side - the being unique part - but still worth selling.

One can see where Clark could stay at Iowa all 4 years and not really hurt her earning potential much.

The base salary for Picks 1-4 in the WNBA draft in 2022 is expected to be $72,000. Yikes. But the WNBA is losing money and is only solvent due to NBA contributions, so it's partially understandable. If they want to pay more money they need to earn more fans, pure and simple. Only 2 WNBA teams averaged over 3,000 fans per game in 2021, and that was probably PAID attendance not ACTUAL attendance. Iowa averaged 8,200 last season.
I agree with a lot of what you've said here, but wanted to offer some context for the WNBA 2021 attendance numbers. This season began before the COVID vaccine was widely available for all populations, and as such the arenas were forced to sell tickets in "pods" of 2 and 4 spaced 6 feet apart, which severely cut in to the attendance numbers. Numbers have returned to normal this season.
 

DanHawkPella

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I agree with a lot of what you've said here, but wanted to offer some context for the WNBA 2021 attendance numbers. This season began before the COVID vaccine was widely available for all populations, and as such the arenas were forced to sell tickets in "pods" of 2 and 4 spaced 6 feet apart, which severely cut in to the attendance numbers. Numbers have returned to normal this season.
Fair point. Some prior seasons were closer to 5-7k I believe.
 

bdg8

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Is that 7 figures accurate? If so good for her
 

BraydonRoberts5

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Is that 7 figures accurate? If so good for her
No idea, but that figure surprised me too. I agree with the article's premise: that Clark is one of the more marketable college athletes. That said, she's also been fairly selective about her NIL deals, so I thought she might lag behind players like Bueckers or Boston on the women's side.

If the 7 figure number is accurate (and I have no reason to dispute it) I wonder if she would actually lose money by going to the WNBA?
 
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kceasthawk

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4. Caitlin Clark, Iowa Hawkeyes

The Big Ten women's basketball player of the year is an automatic bucket no matter where she is on the floor, which is why she has attracted praise from the likes of Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. The major brands have noticed, too. The junior currently has deals with tax preparation company H&R Block, trading card company Topps and supermarket chain Hy-Vee, all contributing to a reported seven-figure income off NIL.


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Wow who says women don't get a fair shake? Three of the top four are ladies......
 

DodgerHawki

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Clark earned her just dues on the court before NIL, Estrella and Power hasn't done a thing on the court for Iowa or anyone else for that matter.
I'm not one to just give outlandish money willy nelly to players that haven't done squat on the court.
Sure, there should be a minimum amount to keep the players happy but not 8, 9, or 10 figure amounts until they earn it, otherwise it's just not college basketball.
Where does it stop, when kids in high school demand NIL money or else they go to a school that gives into their demands....
Your last sentence is pretty much already happening. It definitely is a factor in a lot of decisions.
 

grhawk

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Clark's image is national and impactful because she is a UNIQUE player for her sport, and has huge Tiktok views and other social media footprint (twitter) even outside of her own accounts because people make montages of her shot making and playmaking all the time.

Would be hard to replicate on the men's side - the being unique part - but still worth selling.

One can see where Clark could stay at Iowa all 4 years and not really hurt her earning potential much.
She has a covid year so probably 5 years instead of 4.
 
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LarryMullenJr.

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It's awesome that Caitlin and others are making money of who they are. But can we stop pretending that the Cavinder twins or Miss Van Lith's popularity has that much to do with what they do on the court?
 

BraydonRoberts5

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It's awesome that Caitlin and others are making money of who they are. But can we stop pretending that the Cavinder twins or Miss Van Lith's popularity has that much to do with what they do on the court?
Van Lith was the best or second best player on a Final 4 team and was also a hyped recruit. I don't think it's fair to group her in with the Cavinder twins (who are still good players, but are certainly much more known for the social media presence).
 

JEDN

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Yup VanLith is a better version of that annoying but talented little guard from Indiana who was a pain in our butt.
 

HawkHoops80

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Wow who says women don't get a fair shake? Three of the top four are ladies......
This is a broad generalization, but women are significantly better at social media than most men. Which in terms of marketability, the more social media followers increases the revenue projections exponentially.
My girlfriend works in the social media marketing world and I argued this summer in the lounge with people who laughed at my 7 figure projections for Clark. I would bet that Clark's TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter follower counts means that a fair market value for just 1 ad post is worth around $10-15K range. Whether Hyvee or any of the other companies is paying her that amount is a mystery, but hopefully she has good representation who knows what her platforms are worth.
 

creslin_hawk

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Clark is remarkably silent on Instagram/Twitter for an influencer though. Its not just how many followers its also engagement.
 

szohn

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There’s really no reason her endorsement deals couldn’t continue after her college career , although she might make more total $ as an Iowa Asst Coach then in the WNBA.
 

joemc2

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There’s really no reason her endorsement deals couldn’t continue after her college career , although she might make more total $ as an Iowa Asst Coach then in the WNBA.
She should be #1.She is the most exciting player in WCBB, a great personality, and the best representative a U could have. I think Iowa should use her even more as a spokesperson and ambassador
 

grhawk

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ESPN has an SEC player Aliyah Boston above Caitlin Clark? The article talks about Boston's 107,000 followers on Instagram but Caitlin has 151,000 followers.
 

BraydonRoberts5

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There’s really no reason her endorsement deals couldn’t continue after her college career , although she might make more total $ as an Iowa Asst Coach then in the WNBA.
She can have endorsement deals as a pro, but I'm not sure they would be the same companies. She has a deal with Topps now, but WNBA cards are produced by Panini, a separate company. The H&R Block deal she got was part of a program that only sponsored college athletes.

I also think you can argue Caitlin is more valuable to Hy-Vee as a star of the Iowa Hawkeyes than she would be playing for a WNBA team on one of the coasts.
 

ChiPackHawk

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Other than IF she wants to upgrade her level of competition before she uses up her eligibility at Iowa, there is absolutely no other reason for her to leave early. This includes her extra COVID year. She will make far more being marketed in an Iowa uniform than she ever will as a professional. Once she does leave it will be out of sight, out of mind and for the rest of the country, just another unwatched WNBA player. Generational talent or not. Sad, but fact.
 

ZachJump

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Once she does leave it will be out of sight, out of mind and for the rest of the country, just another unwatched WNBA player. Generational talent or not. Sad, but fact.

She is the type of player that if keeps shooting like she does could actually put people in the stands and make people pay attention to the WNBA. Not saying she will - but there are few athletes that you just can't stop watching cause you will miss something and she is one of those few.
 

kceasthawk

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Clark's image is national and impactful because she is a UNIQUE player for her sport, and has huge Tiktok views and other social media footprint (twitter) even outside of her own accounts because people make montages of her shot making and playmaking all the time.

Would be hard to replicate on the men's side - the being unique part - but still worth selling.

One can see where Clark could stay at Iowa all 4 years and not really hurt her earning potential much.

The base salary for Picks 1-4 in the WNBA draft in 2022 is expected to be $72,000. Yikes. But the WNBA is losing money and is only solvent due to NBA contributions, so it's partially understandable. If they want to pay more money they need to earn more fans, pure and simple. Only 2 WNBA teams averaged over 3,000 fans per game in 2021, and that was probably PAID attendance not ACTUAL attendance. Iowa averaged 8,200 last season.
The WNBA has always been mostly subsidized by the NBA and could not exist month to month without such help. Without question CC can make more $$ by staying at Iowa for now. It remains to be seen what she can line up endorsement wise once she goes pro. As you said she has a huge social media presence, so she'll be fairly marketable wherever she ends up.....
 

BraydonRoberts5

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terms of the deal were undisclosed. makes you wonder what she is getting paid by each of these companies (Hy-Vee, H & R Block, Nike, etc).
This isn't a direct answer, but in the linked article below it mentioned H&R Block committed $1 million for sponsorship and support of female athletes. Caitlin is 1 of 8 athletes mentioned in the article with NIL deals.

It's probably not as simple as $1,000,000 divided by 8, but that at least gets us in the ballpark of what the deal is worth.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristi...with-female-student-athletes/?sh=53c4aa904c93
 
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Franisdaman

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Good story from HawkCentral.

Nike chooses its NIL athletes carefully, and the fact Clark was included shows just how big her national profile has become.

Likewise, Clark has been picky about which brands she wants to represent. With Nike, it was an easy choice.


"I’m pretty selective about who I work with," Clark said Tuesday at Big Ten Media Days in Minneapolis. "I think that’s probably a no-brainer for just about anybody in the world. They’re one of the best brands, and obviously a brand that’s so prevalent in basketball and has a lot of athletes that I look up to, especially in the basketball world. I was kind of shocked at first like, ’Oh my gosh, Nike.’ But it’s super cool and I’m super-blessed to have that opportunity.”

Clark praised her parents, Brent and Anne, and their business background for being an asset as she deals with overwhelming requests and time demands in the NIL world. She also has gotten help from an uncle, Mike Nizzi, her mom's brother. Nike reached out after last basketball season, so the deal has been in the works for quite a while.



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