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Caitlin Clark effect?: Iowa basketball’s revenue surge, more
Credit: © Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Caitlin Clark effect?: Iowa basketball’s revenue surge, more

IOWA CITY, Iowa (BVM) – Caitlin Clark has made a significant financial impact on the Iowa Hawkeyes women’s basketball program. 

Although pinpointing the exact revenue that Clark has generated for the Hawkeyes remains challenging – some implications can be made through Iowa’s annual financial reports. BVM Sports obtained Iowa’s NCAA reports from fiscal year 2020, FY2021, FY2022 and FY2023 through an open records request. 

Clark’s first game as a Hawkeye was on Nov. 25, 2020 – which was near the start of FY2021. The FY2023 report, which was required to be submitted last month, is an 85-page document that covers the reporting year from July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023. Many can recall that Clark and the Hawkeyes made their first trip to the national championship game during this period. 

Here are takeaways concerning the Iowa Hawkeyes women’s basketball program’s revenue, expenses and profits over the years.  

Revenue 

Iowa athletics as a whole set a new revenue record in FY2023 by generating $167.4 million, which is a $15.9 million increase from FY2022. 

Below are the revenue figures pertaining to Iowa women’s basketball. Revenue from women’s basketball has more than doubled from FY2022 to FY2023.  

FY2020= $1.03 million
FY2021= $572,634 *impacted by COVID
FY2022= $1.69 million
FY2023= $3.8 million

In FY2023, women’s basketball was the third-most revenue-generating sports program on campus (behind football [$87.5 million] and men’s basketball [$15 million]). Prior, women’s basketball was ranked either fourth or fifth (behind men’s wrestling and women’s soccer). 

One of the biggest drivers behind WBB’s revenue surge was ticket sales. Below is how much women’s basketball made in ticket sales over the years. 

FY2020= $366,860
FY2021= $6,798 *impacted by COVID
FY2022= $767,069
FY2023= $1.44 million

Based on ticket sales, women’s basketball was the third most-in-demand Iowa sports program to watch in FY2023. Football generated the most in ticket sales ($23.3 million), followed by men’s basketball ($3.5 million). 

Media rights revenue increased by 200% – jumping from $37,500 in FY2022 to $112,500 in FY2023. Revenue from royalties, licensing, advertisement and sponsorships skyrocketed from $143,959 in FY2022 to $434,505 in FY2023. 

Expenses

Iowa athletics across all sports spent $160,302,475 in total operating expenses in FY2023, which is a $9.2 million increase from FY2022. 

Below is how much the women’s basketball program expensed over the years. 

FY2020= $5.48 million
FY2021= $4.34 million *impacted by COVID
FY2022= $5.97 million
FY2023= $8.21 million

In FY2023, women’s basketball was the third most expensive sports program on Iowa’s campus (behind football [$45.6 million] and men’s basketball [$10.7 million]). 

One notable expense is the recruiting budget. Below is how much money women’s basketball has spent on recruiting over the years.  

FY2020= $130,552
FY2021= $1,466 *impacted by COVID
FY2022= $157,786
FY2023= $179,974

In FY2023, women’s basketball spent the third most on recruiting – behind football ($665,134) and men’s basketball ($613,639).

Another noteworthy expense for women’s basketball is team travel (lodging, meals, air and ground travel) – which increased from $763,216 in FY2022 to $2.2 million in FY2023. 

Profits

Iowa athletics profited $7,115,331 during FY2023 – a substantial increase from the $338,231 netted during FY2022. 

Unfortunately, Iowa women’s basketball has not been profitable over the years, as shown below. 

FY2020= -$4.45 million
FY2021= -$3.77 million *impacted by COVID
FY2022= -$4.27 million
FY2023= -$4.41 million

The only profitable programs on Iowa’s campus in FY2023 were football ($42 million) and men’s basketball ($4.3 million).  

Overall, the Hawkeyes are seeing a positive financial impact one way or another. The next fiscal year report (for FY2024) will be available by January 2025.