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State Farm signs Iowa basketball star Caitlin Clark to first collegiate endorsement deal

Iowa Hawkeyes basketball guard Caitlin Clark with Jake from State Farm.
State Farm
Iowa Hawkeyes basketball guard Caitlin Clark with Jake from State Farm. This is the first time State Farm has signed a collegiate player to its sports roster.

State Farm’s advertising and marketing strategy has long included some of the biggest names in sports — including LeBron James, Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Mahomes and Chris Paul. It’s now adding its first college student-athlete.

Iowa Hawkeyes basketball guard Caitlin Clark will be State Farm’s first collegiate endorsement partner. That’s made possible by recent changes to Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) rules governing college sports. Student-athletes are now allowed to sign endorsement deals and do commercials. 

Clark is one of the most recognizable figures in college sports, and many would consider her the face of women’s basketball after an epic NCAA Tournament run last spring. Clark was the first player in NCAA Tournament history with back-to-back 40-point games, among other honors

“Sports marketing is a key part of our growth strategy, and our investment over the last several decades has shown great business impact,” Kristyn Cook, State Farm’s chief agency, sales and marketing officer, said in a statement. “Welcoming Caitlin Clark to our team expands and strengthens our ability to positively impact communities and reinforces our commitment to raising the visibility of women’s sports. As a fellow Good Neighbor, we can’t wait to drive progress forward together with Caitlin for years to come.”

Clark may appear in commercials, on social media, and/or at events representing State Farm. The company says Clark “embodies what it means to be a Good Neighbor through her hard work, commitment to excellence and willingness to help others.” 

“State Farm is a team that looks out for others, which is exactly the kind of legacy I want to leave beyond the basketball court,” Clark said in a statement. “I’m honored to be the first college athlete to join the Good Neighbor team — in khakis of course — and look forward to growing the women’s game together.” 

Bloomington-based State Farm said it’s “invested in and championed women’s sports for over 20 years and our desire to continue leading with action has never been stronger.” Indeed, State Farm recently partnered with the sports publication The Athletic to help send more journalists to cover the Women’s World Cup.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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