SBD/Issue 234/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Usain Bolt's Performances In Berlin Have Boosted Sales For Puma

Bolt's Limited Edition "Puma Street Yaam"
Shoes Sold Out After Last Week's Wins
Jamaica sprinter Usain Bolt's record-setting performances at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin last week "have boosted sales at Puma," according to Daniel Schafer of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz said that all of the products created for the World Championships, including the limited-edition version of the bright orange "Puma Street Yaam" shoes Bolt wore, "were sold out" after Bolt broke the world records in the 100M and 200M finals. Zeitz: "That he broke two records is gigantic. Bolt is worth gold for us." Zeitz noted an independent organization estimated Bolt's media value at US$358M (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/22). In Manchester, Julia Kollewe writes Bolt is "turning out to be one of the best investments that Puma ... has ever made." Zeitz said that Puma's "whole Jamaican-themed product range has flown off the shelves, supported by a 'Who faster' viral campaign featuring Bolt." Zeitz added that Bolt's "casual style fits very well with the 'fun' image the company strives for." Zeitz: "His personal style, representing Jamaica as a country, perfectly personifies the Puma brand. His appeal goes beyond his sport. His personality, his lifestyle -- it's not just based on sport." Puma reportedly pays Bolt $1.5M a year in endorsement fees (Manchester GUARDIAN, 8/24).

CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF OF YOU: REUTERS' Mitch Phillips writes when Bolt "blazed to glory at the Beijing Olympics, he was feted as the hero his tainted sport has been crying out for." Phillips: "Now, having repeated them in Berlin, he can consider himself the savior of the world championships." The event "lost much of its luster" when it went from being held yearly to biennially, and it became a "slightly more glamorous extension of the grand prix circuit" to some fans. However, the '09 World Championships "will be different," as "nobody will ever forget the place where a man first ran '9.5-something'" in the 100M (REUTERS, 8/24). Washington Post reporter Liz Clarke said, "In the States, we typically get excited about track and field every four years, and we just had an Olympic year." Clarke: "It's nice that it’s back in the news after one year. ... This just seems like a genuine, happy story of phenomenal performance and success, so it's wonderful for the sport” (“Washington Post Live," CSN Mid-Atlantic, 8/21). Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom: “Usain Bolt is doing the truly impossible: He’s making people watch track in between the Olympics” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 8/23). SI.com's Brian Cazeneuve writes, "With his engaging personality and flair for fun, Bolt has made people appreciate how dynamic running can be" (SI.com, 8/24).

THE WRITING'S ON THE WALL: Bolt yesterday was "honoured by the city of Berlin by receiving an original segment of the Berlin Wall." The 12-foot high section weighing nearly three tons is "decorated with a life-size painting of Bolt running on the blue track of the Olympic stadium and the words 'NEW WR.'" The wall slab will be "delivered to Bolt's training camp in Jamaica" (AP, 8/24).

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