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As debuting WNBA player Caitlin Clark onboards with the Indiana Fever, conversation about the league’s dismal player salaries is shedding light on the importance of NIL (name, image, and likeness) deals. Interestingly, Buick highlighted the discrepancies between men’s and women’s professional sports in its “See Her Greatness” campaign. In March 2023, the automaker released a social short featuring Caitlin Clark.

Clark is now known as one of the greatest collegiate basketball players in history. She left Iowa for the WNBA a year early since COVID granted her a fifth year. Shockingly, Caitlin is slated to earn just $76,535 in her first season. In contrast, entry-level NBA players are handed a minimum of $1.1 million per year.

Caitlin Clark shown in dark outline in the tunnel walk to basketball court head turned to her right holding basketball on left hip
Caitlin Clark in Buick’s 2023 “See Her Greatness” campaign | Buick

Caitlin Clark highlighted Buick on her Instagram last year before breaking both men’s and women’s collegiate scoring records

In spring 2023, Buick released a series of “documentary” commercials featuring five female NCAA athletes. In each, the players talk about their personal stories. Clark was one of them, and she shared the clip on her Instagram. Clark would go on to finish out her collegiate career, earning all-time records for points and assists and first overall pick of the 2024 WNBA draft.

Molly Peck, the chief marketing director at Global Buick, explained that the brand has the highest percentage of female buyers in the industry. “At Buick we feel an inherent responsibility to advocate for inclusivity and the equity of women, it’s in our DNA,” she said.

S&P Global Mobility reported that in 2022, 55% of new Buick registrations were women. The industry average is 41.2%. In 2024, Buick offers four SUVs: the Enclave, Encore GX, the new Envista, and Envision.

Until the abysmal salary gap is corrected, Clark must continue to lean heavily on brand ambassadorship. With her record-setting collegiate performance and the Indiana Fever’s astonishing increase in ticket demand, she’ll likely have no trouble getting them. Estimates of Caitlin Clark’s current brand deals clock in at more than $3 million.