Caitlin Clark signs historic multi-year partnership with Wilson

Caitlin Clark has entered the same stratosphere as Michael Jordan.

Clark, the No. 1 pick in this year’s WNBA draft by the Indiana Fever, has signed a multi-year partnership with Wilson, becoming the first athlete to do so since Jordan in the 1980s, according to Boardroom.

Wilson produces the official ball for the WNBA, and this union will include a signature basketball collection that launched Tuesday.

Clark previously signed a historic eight-year, $28 million deal with Nike that includes a signature shoe, and this partnership comes with a brand she used during her childhood.

“I loved that thing more than anything. My brothers and I would always fight over it,” Clark told Boardroom. “That was the best basketball. But I’m just super excited to have a collaboration and create basketballs together that are really cool. I’ve seen the designs that young girls, boys, whoever can get their hands on and go dribble in the driveway or take it to practice with them.”

Wilson released a teaser video Monday night previewing a big announcement “Tomo22ow,” referencing Clark’s number with Iowa and now, Indiana.

The NCAA’s all-time scoring leader will test, advise and offer her opinions on Wilson products, and there will be Clark-inspired merchandise released throughout the year, per the company’s press release.

Boardroom added that Clark’s duties include “thinking of specific silhouettes that make it easier to hoop in and certain fabrics that function outside of just being aesthetically pleasing.”

The merchandise includes her “first-ever signature basketball line” to debut later this year, per Wilson.

photo credit :Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

“I think it is super special, and it’s been fun for me,” Clark told Boardroom. “I feel like I was just that young kid who had those basketballs that I would store in the garage. I’m just very lucky and fortunate to partner with Wilson to create something that everyone can enjoy. It connects with a lot of generations, and it’ll be fun to see kids walking around holding them.”

Tuesday’s merchandise launch features three gold and white balls celebrating Clark, titled “Threes up,” “Record Breaker” and “Crowd Maestro.”

The three balls are each priced at $49.95.

Wilson is made to celebrate the most iconic moments in sport, and we have always aligned ourselves with trailblazers who break boundaries and write their own story,” Wilson’s head of global brand Amanda Lamb said in the company’s press release. “Caitlin Clark is not just a record-setting athlete, but a cultural icon who has had a profound impact on the game. We couldn’t be prouder to join forces with her to continue innovating basketball both on and off the court.”

Clark has only played in four WNBA games so far — all losses, including Monday’s setback against the Sun that featured her receiving a technical foul — but that has not stopped companies from lining up to make the 22-year-old the face of their products and/or brands.

Nike previously won a bidding war to land Clark, who has produced record-setting television numbersat both the collegiate and professional levels.

These contracts help offset a modest WNBA salary — $76,535 for her rookie year and $338,056 over the next four seasons — for Clark despite being the No. 1 pick.

Clark is averaging 17 points, four rebounds and 5.5 assists to start her career, shooting 41.2 percent overall and 34.3 percent from deep.

That she now shares a connection with Jordan is not lost on Clark.

“I feel fortunate and lucky,” Clark told Forbes. “Michael is the best of all time. To see young kids eventually dribbling with my signature [ball], how lucky am I to be part of something like this, to be able to be the first to do this since [Jordan]? I think it puts into perspective how highly thought of Wilson is and what they are doing and the basketballs they are creating.”

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