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  • Can Caitlin Clark Be Basketball’S Newest And Biggest Superstar?

Can Caitlin Clark be basketball’s newest and biggest superstar?

Lebron James, Steph Curry, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Luka Doncic are the biggest names basketball. But there’s a new name on everyone’s lips on and off the court - Caitlin Clark.

The 22-year-old, who was picked first in the recent Women's National Basketball Association draft, promises to become the biggest star the women’s game has ever seen.

Her impact may surpass even legends of the men’s game. This is a watershed moment for women’s basketball and sport in general.

The NBA's male stars are merchandising cash-cows, cultural icons and frequent faces of everything from soft drink adverts to magazine covers and ads for betting deals for new customers..

However, Clark's impact may surpass even legends of the men’s game. This is a watershed moment for women’s basketball and sport in general.

Clark, newly drafted by the Indiana Fever of the WNBA, is causing a stir that is being felt across basketball, whether it’s the men’s or women’s game.

A recent college basketball game featuring the 6ft star was watched by an estimated TV audience of more than 12million.

To put that into context, that was one of the biggest tune-ins for a college game ever, women’s or men’s, and that TV audience included the likes of bona fide hoop legend James and hip hop star Travis Scott.

The game between Clark’s University of Iowa and Louisiana State University was part of the NCAA Championship, and tickets for the match were outstripping the demand for the men’s equivalent.

This is all part of what is fast becoming known as the ‘Caitlin Clark Effect’ on basketball and it's making the women’s game explode like never before.


Who is Caitlin Clark?

Born is Des Moines, Iowa, Clark starred as a guard for her college team, although it wasn’t quite enough to secure wins in the Division 1 championship game or the NCAA final.

She recently broke the record tally for the number of three-pointers scored in a single season, smashing Curry’s much touted total.

She’s brash with her trash-talking, but charming too, and her propensity for winning games and demolishing long-established records is bringing audiences flocking to the women’s game in numbers never seen before.

The records that Clark has set across her college career are nothing short of phenomenal. With 3,951 points she became the highest scoring college player ever, across both genders.

Clark averaged 28.4 points too. To put that into context, that’s a stat bettered by only four players in the entire men’s NBA this regular season.

Clark is a star, and of course it was only a formality that she would be drafted as first pick in this year’s WNBA event.

We could just be looking at the women’s version of Michael Jordan.


The Caitlin Clark Effect

Clark is yet to shoot a ball in anger in the WNBA at this point, but the ‘Caitlin Clark Effect’ is already at work.

Her new team, the Indiana Fever, will have 36 matches in their regular season shown on national TV this year.

In the season just completed, that number stood at one. And according to some reports, her draft jersey is the biggest selling ever.

But these numbers won’t quite lead to the financial rewards of her male counterparts just yet.

Clark is set to earn $338,000 over four years with the Fever. To compare, the number one pick in the men’s draft – another superstar in the making – Victor Wembanyama, secured a deal worth $55m over the same period.

Yet Clark’s marketability will surely see her claim some semblance of parity with her colleagues in the men’s game. Clark’s career will surely get yet another boost (along with her marketability) as she is set to star for her country at this year’s Olympics in Paris.

With a TV audience of potentially hundreds of millions, that could see her star rise even further.

She is one of the breakout stars of global sport, and the fact it is a woman is telling of how far sport is finally catching up to gender equality.

And that’s a point not lost on Clark herself. "When you're given the opportunity, women's sport thrives and that's been the coolest part for me on this journey,” the star said.

This is an impact that will be felt far from just the basketball court.

 

 

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