The internet nearly broke from laughter after Caitlin Clark’s WNBA contract was revealed

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

Sports media is doing everything they possibly can to convince fans that the WNBA is on the rise and somehow on-par with the NBA.

But the facts keep showing otherwise.

And now the internet nearly broke from laughter after Caitlin Clark’s WNBA contract was revealed.

The push for the WNBA

Woke extremists within sports, particularly the sports media, are doing their best to shove the WNBA down fans’ throats.

Despite the fact that the NBA playoffs are now underway, nearly every segment on ESPN, Fox Sports, and other networks features the WNBA, as if it were on-par with the NBA or the NFL. 

Those same networks have gone out of their way over the past couple of years to constantly push their own internal viewership “data” to claim that the number of fans watching women’s basketball is somehow catching up, if not surpassing, viewership for men’s basketball.

Based on all the attention and adulation the WNBA has received, one would assume that the league would be seeing all sorts of new revenue pour in their door.

But nothing could be further from the truth. 

In fact, the WNBA continues to be subsidized by the NBA, which continues to own 50% of the league, through a yearly “endowment” that allows the league’s 12 teams to cover basic operating expenses, like facilities, travel, and marketing.

And despite all the talk about the supposed increased fan interest in the league, the WNBA is still unable to negotiate its own media rights deal with a network like ESPN without the NBA, which simply makes the WNBA a small part of its media deal in order to get the league on TV.

The NBA’s current media rights deal was valued at over $24 billion over ten years, and the WNBA received just $60 million annually from that deal due to the small viewership associated with their broadcasts.

Many in the sports media are convinced that former University of Iowa guard Caitlin Clark, who was recently selected by the Indiana Fever with the first overall pick in the WNBA Draft, will be the missing piece that puts the league over the top, though.

Clark is undeniably one of the greatest female college basketball players of all-time – she set the NCAA record for career points, albeit by playing significantly more games than those she passed on the list – and her star power certainly made the NCAA women’s basketball tournament more exciting and news-worthy than it’s ever been before.

But while she is the WNBA’s number one overall pick, and obviously the league’s biggest star in years, Clark will make less from her first WNBA contract over a four-year span than even some undrafted NBA rookies will make in their first year in the league.

According to reports, Clark’s 4-year, $338,056 contract will see her paid just over $75,000 for her rookie season, and just $97,582 in the final year of her deal.

It’s not a stretch to say that Clark will be taking a literal pay cut to go from playing college basketball at Iowa to being the biggest star in the WNBA, thanks to the name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals college athletes are now allowed to sign.

According to On3 NIL, she was estimated to have earned roughly $3.5 million from NIL deals last year alone.

Fortunately for Clark, she should be able to continue making millions of dollars from endorsement deals, as she’s already signed deals with Nike, Gatorade, State Farm, Bose, Buick, H&R Block, Goldman Sachs, Topps, and others.

But the fact that her WNBA salary remains equivalent to what she could have expected to earn in an entry level marketing position in her new home city of Indianapolis – she was a marketing major at Iowa – simply shows that much of the attention surrounding the league is smoke and mirrors put on by the sports media.

The WNBA is promoted for political reasons, not because fans and marketing dollars flock to the league. 

Is the WNBA a serious professional sports league?