SBD/Issue 238/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Usain Bolt's New Puma Deal Reportedly Worth About $10M Per Year

Puma Plans To Launch A Signature Clothing
Line Based On Bolt's Famous Stance

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt "might be earning close" to $10M per year through his new four-year sponsorship deal with Puma, according to sources cited by Andre Lowe of the JAMAICA GLEANER. Puma did not disclose the value of the contract, which runs through '13, but "stressed that it was by far the largest ever given to a track-and-field athlete." Bolt's reps would neither confirm nor deny the $10M annual figure, but "squarely denied reports" that the contract was worth $400M, "a figure they labelled as an impossible amount" (JAMAICA GLEANER, 8/25). The FINANCIAL TIMES' Roger Blitz notes Bolt is "thought to have earnings" around $1.5M under his current deal. Puma Chair & CEO Jochen Zeitz said, "I know pretty much what's being paid for sports stars. Given his tremendous performance in the last few years, there was a significant increase in the contract" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 8/25). Caribbean telecom provider LIME Chair Chris Dehring said that there is "no reason to believe Bolt was being short-changed." He said, "The reality is if Nike and the others saw more value in him they would pay more, so it's nonsense to think that he is under-paid. ... If he really is worth more, he would be getting more" (JAMAICA OBSERVER, 8/25).

NOT TEMPTED BY OTHER OFFERS: Bolt yesterday said that he "turned down interest from rival sports manufacturing companies in favour of Puma." Bolt: "Yeah, definitely, definitely, (others) were interested. But for me Puma is the No1 in my book. We've been together for years now, they are my family so I don't want to start with a new family." The GUARDIAN's Anna Kessel reports Puma will "launch a new clothing line" based on Bolt's signature "To Di World" stance, comparable to Michael Jordan's "Jumpman" logo. Bolt: "It's all about fashion. I'm trying to do different things, I'm trying to change the sport up pretty much. The plan was to change different shirts everywhere I run. Next season we have the option of getting somebody in the country that I travel to to design a shirt for me and I'll compete in it." Zeitz believes that Bolt "could achieve a similar profile to David Beckham" (GUARDIAN, 8/25).

MY WAY IS NOT THE HIGHWAY: The JAMAICA GLEANER's Lowe reports almost a year since Jamaica officials announced their intent to rename a section of Highway 2000 in the country in honor of Bolt, the sprinter has "asked that the decision be deferred." Bolt's reps this week reportedly sent a letter to Jamaica's Ministry of Youth, Culture & Sports, "outlining the reasons behind the decision and also stating that the party remains open to discussions regarding the matter" (JAMAICA GLEANER, 8/25).

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