Caitlin Clark Signs With Wilson, To Design Signature Basketball

Caitlin Clark Signs With Wilson, To Design Signature Basketball
Caitlin Clark Signs With Wilson, To Design Signature Basketball

Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever has partnered with Wilson. (Photo by Jeff Dean/Getty Images)

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The first time a kid walks up to NCAA Division I all-time scoring leader Caitlin Clark with one of her signature Wilson basketballs asking for a signature, expect it to be a moment the current Indiana Fever player won’t forget.

“I think it is going to take me a second,” Clark tells me after practice from Indianapolis. “You just soak it in. In what I’ve been trying to do over the last year there have been a lot of first and special moments. That will be one. It will be more special for me than for the young fan.”

A new Wilson ball celebrating Caitlin Clark, the WNBA star who has signed with the company to a … [+] multi-year deal.

Wilson

Clark, after finishing her collegiate career at the University of Iowa, was selected first in the WNBA draft by the Fever. She made her regular-season debut May 14, meaning Clark and her team have been busy on the business side of basketball. Those brand-new deals include two signature products: a signature shoe from Nike
Nike
and a signature basketball from Wilson, his latest sponsor.

Caitlin Clark posing with WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert after being selected first overall pick … [+] by the Indiana Fever during the 2024 WNBA Draft. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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“I think the biggest thing with Wilson is it is a brand I have always had in my life,” she says. “I grew up with this black and yellow basketball that I dribbled in the driveway all the time. I wore it out constantly dribbling on concrete at the hoop in front of our house.”

MORE: Wilson’s Highly Engineered Airless Basketball Releasing At Retail

The deal with Wilson includes special-edition basketballs celebrating Clark, but also an upcoming line of signature basketball styles. Clark will become the only player other than Michael Jordan to be given the signature treatment by Wilson. “I feel fortunate and lucky,” she says. “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.”

More than anything, though, Clarks says she’s looking forward to connecting with the younger generation. When Clarks starts on her signature designs, she’ll focus on things she’s passionate about and that can connect with a variety of people.

Caitlin Clark has played with Wilson basketballs for as long as she can remember. (Photo by Andy … [+] Lyons/Getty Images)

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“I want to create something that captures the joy of basketball and just how much fun it is to play,” she says. “Those have been two constants for me, and it’s something I hope I can share with everyone.”

No matter how the process goes, Clark knows she’s in charge. Her signature is on the ball, after all. “The coolest part,” she says, “is I get to have final say on things.”

Along with the signature basketball, Wilson says Clark will advise and provide feedback on a range of Wilson basketball products. The brand plans to release collections in varying price points celebrating Clark throughout the rest of 2024, alongside working with her to creatively direct the signature line that is planned for a release later this year. The first collection features a Wilson classic white and gold WNBA ball with personalized laser engravings celebrating iconic Clark moments.

A special-edition ball from Wilson celebrating moments from Caitlin Clark’s career.

Wilson

As part of the deal between the brand and player, Wilson will support the Caitlin Clark Foundation and its mission of improving the lives of youth through education, nutrition and sport. “I think it shows that this is a true partnership,” Clark says. “I want to give back to the people and communities that have supported me along the way, and I am grateful to Wilson for being part of that impact.”

MORE: Wilson Creates ‘Sharper’ Blade Racket With V9 Release

“Caitlin Clark is not just a record-setting athlete, but a cultural icon who has had a profound impact on the game,” says Amanda Lamb, Wilson’s global head of brand. “We couldn’t be proud to join forces with her to continue innovating basketball both on and off the court.”

The push into business isn’t anything new for Clark, who already had lucrative NIL deals while at Iowa and majored in marketing while at the Iowa City-based school. “I’m a business major. I know what I am doing,” she says about the influx of sponsorship opportunities. “I get real-world experience every single day, more than anything I could do in school. I have been learning on the fly.”

Clark credits her team around her for helping her navigate all the intricacies of the decisions and the deals, allowing her to focus on playing basketball. Part of that focus on basketball will soon include designing an actual Wilson basketball.

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