Iowa’s Clark selected as first collegiate athletic partner with Hy-Vee

Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 10:40 PM CDT
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CORALVILLE, Iowa (KCRG) - University of Iowa women’s basketball standout Caitlin Clark got a new deal. Under the NCAA’s name, image and likeness policy where student-athletes can get paid, Clark became the first collegiate athlete to partner with Hy-Vee.

Clark said that when it came to exploring this new world of NIL that she wanted to be selective, but felt like the grocery chain was the proper fit.

Being a homegrown Iowan is one of the reasons Clark chose to play basketball at the University of Iowa. So it should come as no surprise, that her first athletic partnership was with a company founded in Iowa.

“My family and I have been shopping at Hy-Vee for as long as I can remember. Their corporate office is right up the street from our family home. To be honest with you, I’ve spent a lot of time in Hy-Vee’s,” Clark said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The three-year deal marks Clark’s first NIL partnership.

As a freshman, she turned heads leading the country in scoring and total assists which led to her being named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

“With the accolades that she had on the court as a freshman, it drew a lot of attention to her,” said Vice President of Sports Marketing at Hy-Vee Inc Matt Nickell. “She being a Des Moines native with our corporate office there, immediately made that connection. As we had conversations with her and we talked with other people, we saw what a great personality she has. It just made sense for Hy-Vee to be involved,” he added.

Not only has Clark become a headliner among the Hawkeyes, but also internationally after winning the U19 Women’s World Cup.

“You’re picking someone who has such great values and is known not only in Iowa, but the Midwest and the United States,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder. “After her performance this summer with USA Basketball, really across the world,” she added.

She won’t be stocking shelves or marking grapefruit. Clark will appear in several health and wellness campaigns.

“Caitlin will be involved in several of our social campaigns,” said Nickell. “You’ll see her involved in our Hy-Vee Kids Fit, which is a about proper nutrition and exercise. “We hear that she’s a big Hy-Chi [Hy-Vee Chinese] fan, so you may see her in some fresh food campaigns,” he added.

Clark said she admired Hy-Vee’s local presence and campaigns for health and fitness in young people. She feels this still helps her focus on the two most important things, which are school and basketball.

“They really understand that and that’s one of my goals through this whole NIL process is to work with somebody that can respect that, but they’re also going to work with you and make things happen. I think it’s a prefect match,” said Clark.

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