Unequal NIL Benefits: Caitlin Clark Thriving While Others Lag Behind

Some money is better than no money until you realize how much more money you should be getting.

2023 has been good for Caitlin Clark. After a March Madness run that took her to the National Championship Game, making her America’s latest sweetheart, she’s started the 2023-2024 season on fire (29.5 points, 7.4 assists, and 6.9 rebounds per game) and seems to be a lock to the Indiana Fever, who have the No. 1 pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft.

But most importantly, Clark is getting paid. According to a report from Front Office Sports, her NIL portfolio has solidified her as “one of the most marketable college athletes.” Clark is the first college athlete to sign with State Farm and has deals with Nike, Buick, Topps and H&R Block. She also joins UConn’s Paige Bueckers, Penn State’s Nick Singleton, and Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders as the only four college kids with Gatorade deals. The company is donating $22,000 to the Caitlin Clark Foundation.

“This partnership is special because not only does Gatorade fuel the best athletes in the game, but they’re also committed to leading by example and giving back, which is what I strive to do every day,” she said in a statement. “I’m honored to join such an iconic brand that has some of the most elite athletes in sport on their roster and can’t wait for what’s ahead.”

This is the part where you can be happy that a woman in sports is getting compensated just as good, or better, than the men, but still be upset that she, and other women and men, aren’t getting anything close to what they deserve.

“NIL, the much-ballyhooed acronym that allows college athletes to turn their name, image and likeness into cash