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Caitlin Clark and the WNBA: They Need Her More Than She Needs Them

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Scranton chapter.

Women’s sports are often overlooked and under-supported. However, over the past two years, the University of Iowa’s women’s basketball program has become a national focus because of Caitlin Clark’s talent. After Clark and Iowa lost the championship game during 2024’s March Madness, fans of Clark and women’s basketball posed the question: What happens now?

Caitlin Clark ended up being drafted first overall in the WNBA to the Indiana Fever. She recently received the James E. Sullivan Award for the second straight year, which is awarded to the nation’s “most outstanding player at the college or Olympic level” (Fox News, 2024). Caitlin Clark also recently signed a deal with Nike for $28 million over eight years (Wall Street Journal, 2024).

The hope for Caitlin Clark’s WNBA career is that she brings more viewers and more ratings to the league, which has faced criticism for underpaying their star players. Last year’s WNBA draft only had 572,000 viewers, which was the highest in almost twenty years. The WNBA’s highest contracts are only hundreds of thousands of dollars, while the NBA pays its players upwards of two hundred million. Caitlin Clark will be making $338,056 over her four-year contract. With more viewership and attendees at games to see Clark play, the WBNA will be able to raise salary caps and be able to pay their players more.

The WNBA faces a multitude of issues simply because they are a women’s sports league, just like the NWSL or the PWHL. A lack of media coverage and visibility have been the number one issue (in my opinion) that they have had to deal with. Hopefully, Caitlin Clark and the rest of the WNBA’s 2024 draft class, which includes other NCAA stars like Angel Reese and Kamilia Cardoso, brings more fans to the women’s basketball world.

Lexi Maese

Scranton '26

Hi! I'm Lexi Maese from Marlton, NJ. I'm a sophomore secondary education and history major. If not listening to 90s grunge rock, I'm probably watching The Sopranos for the millionth time, or whatever hockey game is on.