Caitlin Clark Joins Michael Jordan With Iconic Wilson Deal

On May 21, it was announced that Caitlin Clark signed a sponsorship deal with Wilson Sporting Goods Company. 

The sponsorship was first announced by Wilson on X, and puts Clark in prestigious company. She joins NBA legend Michael Jordan as the only two players to receive their own line of signature basketball styles from the global sporting goods brand.

Driveway. NCAA. WNBA.

Playing with Wilson since the journey began – now we’re making it official.

Welcome to Wilson Basketball, Caitlin.
– –@CaitlinClark22 @WNBA@IndianaFever pic.twitter.com/Pm8BGDi40s

— Wilson Basketball (@WilsonBasktball) May 21, 2024

“I feel fortunate and lucky,” Clark said in a May 21 Forbes article by Tim Newcomb. “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.”

Per the Forbes article, “The deal with Wilson includes special-edition basketballs celebrating Clark, but also an upcoming line of signature basketball styles.”

“Along with the signature basketball, Wilson says Clark will advise and provide feedback on a range of Wilson basketball products,” Newcomb wrote. “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.”

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Clark also told New comb that, more than anything, she’s, “looking forward to connecting with the younger generation,” through her Wilson basketballs. 

Michael Jordan’s Wilson Sponsorship Details

Like Clark, Wilson signed Michael Jordan during his rookie season with the Chicago Bulls. 

A 1997 article from the Chicago Tribune’s George Lazarus explained details of Jordan’s deal.

“Wilson inked Jordan in 1986, then signed him to a lifetime contract in 1992, a pact which allows the Chicago-based company to use his name on other sports equipment, including a new line of Jordan-branded golf clubs,” Lazarus wrote.

“But the MJ basketballs are the core business, either sold at retail or the 250,000 balls shipped last year to J.C. Penney Co. for promotion tie-ins.”

The Chicago Tribune article also notes that, as of 1997, Wilson had already created eight signature basketball models. They also were planning to introduce two more to the market at the time Lazarus wrote the article. 

Clark’s Wilson Sponsorship Doesn’t Conflict With Nike Deal

Considering that Clark signed an eight-year $28 million deal with Nike at the end of April, it’s clear that the two sporting good brands are okay with the Iowa icon being endorsed by both. 

The reason why is that Clark’s Wilson deal is limited to basketballs, and doesn’t include her collaborating on apparel. 

TMZ spoke with former Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro as part of an April 27 article. In the piece, Vaccaro states that Clark should have sought a Nike deal more similar to the one Jordan signed.

“She should have gotten a piece of everything just like Michael Jordan,” Vaccaro said.

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“She will never be at a higher peak than she was during college this last year in that Final Four,” he added. “If she’s going to be the greatest woman player in the world, it’s going to take time to do that — and she can do that.”

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