The Indiana Fever star is already a huge name.

Caitlin Clark

There is no doubt Caitlin Clark’s ascension to the WNBA may have changed the game forever after a sharp rise in the league’s popularity. But one basketball expert, Jason Whitlock, thinks her impact has been so vast that she could filter into the minds of NBA players too.

For decades, NBA players have been chosen as the face for sports brands and endorsing products for lucrative fees. But Clark, the No.1 pick for the 2024 WNBA Draft, is tearing up the status quo after her record-breaking stint in college basketball.

The 22-year-old, now playing for the Indiana Fever, already has 2.2million followers on Instagram and Whitlock, speaking on the latest episode of his show ‘Fearless’, predicts it won’t be long before NBA players queue up to partner with Clark to get sponsors.

“The other thing that I think will be different about this next generation of NBA stars, at least this year, in the next year, for the next two years, at least if not longer, I think they’re going to be competing with Caitlin Clark in terms of like what brands are using in commercials, and just pushing who is the face of basketball, more so than the face of the NBA,” Whitlock said.

“If I’m Ant-Man [Anthony Edwards] and I really want to be the face of the league, I pretend like I’m the biggest Caitin Clark fan on the planet and try to bait marketers and brands [by saying], ‘Hey, put me and Caitlin Clark in a commercial’.”

Caitlin Clark becomes a marketer’s dream

Clark recently signed a long-term shoe sponsorship deal with Nike, joining a long line of NBA and WNBA stars such as Michael Jordan in doing so. The figures on the deal have not been disclosed, but it is believed she will earn an eight-figure fee from the sportswear giant.

The impact of Clark cannot be denied, with the WNBA Draft attracting 2.4 million viewers – four times the number of viewers that tuned in for the 2023 Draft.

Likewise, fans followed the Iowa Hawkeyes just to catch a glimpse of her in action after she broke the all-time points scorer record with 3,951 points, surpassing the total previously set by Kelsey Plum.

Now with the Fever, it seems feasible that Clark could rise to the same level of popularity as some of the NBA’s most iconic players if she continues on the same trajectory.