Usain Bolt signs “largest ever” athletics deal with Puma

Puma says Usain Bolt will play a “pivotal role” in its London 2012 marketing campaigns after signing the biggest ever sponsorship deal in athletics history with the runner.

Usain Bolt
Usain Bolt

The sportswear company did not disclose the value of the deal, except to say it was “by far the largest ever given to a track and field athlete”. Reports have said it is worth £20m.

The deal will run until to the end of 2013.

The sportswear brand says that Bolt will feature heavily in its global marketing campaigns and “serve as the central figure” in its London 2012 Olympic program from next year.

Puma will be hoping that Bolt can lift sales of its leisure wear in the way that Michael Jordan helped Nike.

The athletes’ “Bolt Collection”, a range of apparel, footwear and accessories will be expanded next year. The range features a silhouette of the runner’s “Lightning Bolt To Di World” victory pose not unlike the Jordan jumping pose used by Nike.

Bolt signed with Puma in 2003 at the age of 16. He won three gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and broke two world records in the 100m and 200m at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009.

Jochen Zeitz, chairman and chief executive of PUMA, says: “Usain has been a tremendous force for the PUMA brand. He embodies the joy, playfulness and irreverence that are the cornerstone of our brand”.

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