How Brands Celebrated Caitlin Clark’s New NCAA Record

Caitlin Clark wore an Iowa jersey while breaking the NCAA women’s basketball scoring record, but State Farm, Nike, Peacock and other brands and networks were also on her team leading up to her big moment.

On Thursday night, No. 22 shattered Kelsey Plum’s all-time record of 3,527 career points set in 2017, scoring 49 points against Michigan—breaking her own career-high of 46 and setting the Iowa single game record.

She only needed eight points to break the record, a feat she achieved in just two minutes and 12 seconds, with a signature three-pointer from the logo.

Brands and networks alike have been watching Clark chase the record all season, and everywhere the star goes, record crowds turn out and new TV viewership records are set. Now they’re watching viewer counts climb and the company logos along for Clark’s biggest moments.

The Caitlin Clark Effect

You’ve heard of the Taylor Swift Effect, but now it’s time you know about the Caitlin Clark Effect.

The Iowa team has sold out or broken attendance records at 30 of 32 away games this season. Before the 2023-24 season officially started, Iowa broke the women’s basketball all-time attendance record for a single game with 55,646 people in Kinnick Stadium, home of Iowa’s football team, for an exhibition game against DePaul.

And the Jan. 21 game against Ohio State on NBC drew nearly 2 million viewers—the most watched regular-season women’s basketball game since 2010.

Thursday night’s game could only be streamed on Peacock, serving as part of NBCUniversal’s larger Big 10 programming strategy, which includes more than 30 men’s basketball games and 20 to 25 women’s games on the streaming service. Those numbers will get bigger next year when Oregon, Washington, UCLA and USC join the conference.

Did NBCUniversal ever consider shifting the game from Peacock onto the broadcast network?

“Never. Never even entered into the discussion,” Jon Miller, NBC Sports president of acquisitions and partnerships, told ADWEEK. “This was always intended to be a Peacock game.”

Fox, the other Big 10 rights holder, is seeing women’s college basketball up 37% from last year (920,000 viewers vs. 671,000 a year ago). Last Sunday’s Iowa game against Nebraska pulled in 1.772 million viewers—the most-watched women’s college basketball game in Fox Sports history.

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