Ice Cube Won’t Let Brands Set Table for Caitlin Clark With Paper Plates

Heading into Monday’s WNBA Draft, Ice Cube’s offer to Caitlin Clark to play in his Big3 league still stands at $5 million for eight games.

For Ice Cube and Big3 partner Jeff Kwatinetz—founder and CEO of production company/record label/management agency The Firm—the lucrative offer to join the Big3 next season isn’t a marketing move. Much like drawing Procter & Gamble, Merck and Capital One as sponsors for the upcoming Big3 season, the offer to Clark is a business decision based on rare opportunity.

“It’s really about being a fan: Being a fan of the game, being a fan of my heroes, like Dr. J, Iceman, Rick Barry and Gary Payton,” Ice Cube told ADWEEK. “And making sure if you’re gonna invite them to dinner, you better not have no fucking paper plates. Pull out the good stuff.”

And Clark requires the good stuff.

Jake from State Farm and Caitlin Clark on billboards in Times Square
State Farm gave Caitlin Clark her own pre-draft billboards in Times Square—with cameos from Jake from State Farm.State Farm

Clark sets the bar

The numbers around Clark speak for themselves.

ESPN’s record-breaking viewership during Clark’s March Madness run with Iowa averaged 18.9 million during the NCAA championship game and peaked at nearly 25 million—an average audience larger than any non-NFL sports broadcast beyond the Ohio State-Michigan football matchup.

Showcasing Clark’s star power, the WNBA recently released its schedule of games across broadcast and streaming partners ESPN, CBS Television Network/Paramount+, CBS Sports Network, ION, NBA TV and Prime Video—which just signed a multi-year rights extension with the league. Those broadcasts include 36 of the 40 scheduled games of Clark’s presumptive team, the Indiana Fever.

In fact, the E.W. Scripps Company’s upfront pitch deck already touts the fact that the company’s ION channel will air more Caitlin Clark Fever matchups (8) than any other outlet.

“With the energy and excitement already generated by what we anticipate will be a star-studded rookie class, and on the heels of a 2023 season that featured one of the greatest MVP races in WNBA history and our most-watched regular season in over two decades, the WNBA’s broadcast and streaming partners are offering a huge national platform,” said WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert.

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