Catlin Clark strikes new NIL deal that will follow her to WNBA

Following the money in Iowa often leads directly to Caitlin Clark.
Ohio State v Iowa
Ohio State v Iowa / Matthew Holst/GettyImages

The sports weekend to kick off March was dominated by Caitlin Clark. The all-world guard for the Iowa Hawkeyes women's basketball team announced her intentions to enter the 2024 WNBA Draft and set a new all-time mark for points in NCAA history.

While there is certainly more work to be done with the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA tournament on the horizon, off-the-court pursuits helped fill in the gaps for the news cycle swirling around Clark as her collegiate career nears its close.

Wednesday it was announced that Clark has signed an historic new partnership deal that will follow her into the WNBA. Clark has signed a multi-year deal with Panini, one of the world's largest sports trading cards and memorabilia brands, making her the first female athlete to have an exclusive deal with the company.

There's no doubt that Clark's memorabilia will quickly become incredibly valuable, be it signed jerseys or trading cards that picture either her record-setting college career or a rookie card when she is inevitably drafted first overall by the Indiana Fever. These items will begin to roll out on April 1, though the exclusivity between Clark and Panini is effective immediately.

“Caitlin is a generational talent, and it is natural that she should be our first multi-year exclusive female athlete,” Panini senior vice president of marketing and athlete relations Jason Howarth said in a news release. "We’ll have a range of products and memorabilia featuring Caitlin that we believe fans will love.”

Collectors will be able to pre-order a special Caitlin Clark trading card product in April as Panini is set to release a variety of cards that will celebrate her career.

Panini, of course, isn't the first major brand to partner with the legendary Hawkeye. Clark also has endorsement deals with the likes of State Farm, Nike, Gatorade and several others.

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