Iowa’s Caitlin Clark talks trading card deal with Topps, navigating NIL deals

Published: Jul. 31, 2022 at 9:01 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - University of Iowa standout Caitlin Clark’s newest name, image and likeness venture is with Topps trading card company. They plan to release a line of college physical and digital trading cards featuring Clark.

Her autographs are set to be some of the first officially licensed University of Iowa cards ever made by the company.

“I was one of those kids growing up, that me and my brother would always collect trading cards. It’s super, super cool,” said Clark. “It’s been cool to see really what a lot of different Iowa athletes have been able to do. I think a lot of us have really given back to our community, which is really the best thing about it. When it’s used in the right way, I think it’s really good not only for the student-athlete, but the people around them as well.”

Clark is coming off a season where she led the nation in both points and assists per game. She was also named the Big Ten Player of the Year and helped the Hawkeyes win the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles.

Entering her junior year, she’s become one of the most marketable college athletes, but navigating NIL is something she and the coaches are still figuring out.

“It’s just different, right?” said Iowa women’s basketball head coach Lisa Bluder. “As coaches, we have to adapt. If you’re going to push back on it, you’re going to get left in the dust. You’ve got to embrace it,” she added.

“I think I have the right people around me that don’t allow me to get caught up in it. I don’t get too caught up in it myself, but I’m here to win basketball games. That’s the reason I came here. When I first committed here, NIL wasn’t a thing. It wasn’t on my radar. I wanted to stay in state, I wanted to play for the Hawks, I want to take this team to the Final Four and that’s my main focus. At the end of the day, if I made zero dollars I would be just as happy. We’d still win a lot of basketball games and that’s what’s most important,” said Clark.

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