Caitlin Clark surpasses 3,000 points on historic night (1:24)Caitlin Clark becomes the 15th player in Division I women's basketball history to reach 3,000 points en route to her 35 points in Iowa's 67-58 win over Iowa State. (1:24)
National player of the year Caitlin Clark has signed with Gatorade, becoming the fourth collegiate athlete and second women's basketball player to join its roster.
The deal marks the expanding name, image and likeness portfolio for the Iowa point guard, who has taken the sport by storm since her freshman year but catapulted to national fame this spring when she led the Hawkeyes to their first national title game.
Her other NIL partnerships include State Farm, Nike and Hy-Vee, among others, and she recently signed with Excel Sports Management, whose women's basketball clients include WNBA stars Napheesa Collier and Arike Ogunbowale.
"I am fortunate to be part of the first generation of collegiate athletes who are not only able to contribute to the legacy of our colleges and universities, but also start to build something of our own off the court," Clark told ESPN. "Working with a brand like Gatorade is really a dream come true, but NIL is about more than just endorsements and partnerships. Athletes are learning about entire industries, how they work, and how we might be able to pursue other passions while we are playing and after our playing careers are over."
Caitlin Clark is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft, should she leave Iowa. David Purdy/Getty Images
To launch the Gatorade deal, Clark appears in a new video titled "You Can Too" aiming to inspire the next generation of basketball players, and the company will donate $22,000 (a reference to Clark's jersey number) to the Caitlin Clark Foundation.
"At Gatorade, we take pride in our elite athlete roster and have had the privilege of fueling some of the greatest athletes of all time," global head of sports marketing at Gatorade Jeff Kearney said in a statement. "We're thrilled to be a part of Caitlin's journey to greatness early in her career and look forward to building upon the incredible impact she's already made."
"Gatorade fuels some of the greatest athletes in sport, as well as ones I have looked up to growing up, so it's a dream come true joining the Gatorade Family," Clark added. "Gatorade also shares my competitive mindset of wanting to be the best, and that commitment to excellence extends beyond the court, too. We share similar values in terms of wanting to lead and inspire the next generation, so I'm excited to leverage our collective platforms to make an impact."
Gatorade's other collegiate athlete signees are UConn guard Paige Bueckers (the 2021 women's basketball national player of the year), Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders and Penn State running back Nick Singleton.
As a senior with the Hawkeyes, who graduated two starters from last year's squad, Clark has guided the team to a 10-1 record and No. 4 ranking in the Associated Press poll while averaging 29.5 points, 7.4 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game. Iowa's sole loss came to current No. 12 Kansas State.
Clark, a native Iowan from West Des Moines, is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA draft, should she leave Iowa; she has a fifth season of collegiate eligibility she may use due to the COVID year.
"One of the biggest things for us this year was understanding that we have a different team and don't have to be exactly who we were last season," Clark said. "We're settling into that and are focused on not getting ahead of ourselves. Coach tells us to be where our feet are, and that means staying present in the moment, whether it be winning the drill, winning practice or winning games."
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