Could Caitlin Clark’s Move to the WNBA Impact Her Earnings? Analyzing the Discrepancy Between the Iowa Star’s College NIL Value and Professional League Salaries

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Caitlin Clark

With just over two months remaining before the WNBA draft, fans eagerly await Caitlin Clark’s decision on whether to turn professional or remain with Iowa for another year. As the projected No. 1 pick, her choice could have far-reaching implications.

Clark has solidified her position as one of the premier collegiate players in women’s basketball, garnering significant attention and numerous NIL deals. NIL, or name, image, and likeness, allows collegiate athletes to monetize their partnerships with brands, akin to sponsorship deals for professional athletes.

According to On3, Caitlin Clark ranks among the athletes with the highest NIL valuation, currently estimated at $818,000. She holds the fourth position among all women’s basketball players in college, trailing only LSU’s Angel Reese and Flau’Jae Johnson, as well as TCU’s Haley Cavinder.

Caitlin Clark (Credits: Goal.com)

Should Clark opt to enter the WNBA draft, her rookie contract would carry a total value of $338,326 as the first pick, as per Sportrac. Year 1 would be valued at $76,535, rising to $78,066 in the second year, and reaching $85,873 in the third year. If the fourth-year option is exercised, it would amount to $97,852.

A pressing question for many is whether Clark would lose money by leaving her NIL deals behind if she were to enter the draft now. At first glance, this may seem to be the case. However, as one of the brightest young stars in the sport, the brands she is affiliated with are likely to continue their partnerships with her as she transitions to the professional level.

While these deals would need to be restructured, Clark is poised to continue earning from sponsorships and brand collaborations even after leaving the collegiate realm.

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By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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