- Clark broke the all-time college women’s basketball scoring record on Thursday
- Without NIL, Clark would have gained nothing from his successes at Iowa.
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On Thursday night, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark became NCAA women’s basketball’s all-time leading scorer, surpassing Kelsey Plum’s total of 3,527 in the first quarter of a Hawkeyes game against Michigan.
Clark earns exactly zero cents per game at Iowa, making her overall college total $0, the exact amount Plum earned at Washington before her WNBA stardom.
Clark is now under NCAA control as name, image and likeness bills have been passed, and has a NIL value of $818,000 according to On3Sports.
The Hawkeyes phenomenon has signed NIL agreements with companies including Gatorade, Nike, Buick and State Farm.
Nike released a poster after Clark broke the record against Michigan with the slogan “if you break it, you own it.”
Clark is beloved by Iowa fans and has reportedly earned over $800K in NIL deals.
One of Clark’s most recognizable NIL agreements is with the State Farm insurance company.
Graduating from high school in 2020, Clark’s first full season as a collegiate athlete occurred before a single NIL law was passed.
Clark’s first reported NIL deal was with grocery store Hy-Vee, which the Iowa star agreed to in January 2022.
Big-name brands have surrounded Clark since his stardom as he became one of the biggest stars in college athletics, regardless of sport or gender.
Clark’s star power has exploded over the past year, matching the interest in women’s college basketball in general.
Last year’s title game, between Clark and Iowa against the Angel Reese-led LSU Tigers, broke the previous viewership record of 5.7 million viewers with 9.9 million viewers. That record will likely fall again in less than two months.
Clark also partnered with Gatorade for a multi-year NIL deal, it announced last year.
Nike released a poster of Clark after he broke Plum’s all-time scoring record on Thursday.
Clark will likely be the No. 1 overall pick in this summer’s WNBA Draft, but she would likely earn more if she stayed at Iowa.
The WNBA’s average annual salary for the 2023 season was $147,745, according to the Sport News.
Clark is the fourth-highest-earning basketball player on NIL deals, according to On3, and ranks first among active players not playing for LSU.
Angel Reese and Flau’jae Johnson play for Kim Mulkey, while Haley Cavinder, one half of the social media-famous Cavinder twin sisters, will not suit up for TCU for her final year of eligibility until next season.
Clark is the No. 5 earning woman overall, with LSU gymnast Olivia Dunne topping all other women in NIL worth with $3.5 million.
She’s one of the best college basketball players I’ve ever seen, but without NIL, Clark would be earning money for the university, while earning nothing herself.