Usain Bolt Signs Massive Sponsorship Deal

Deal on par with Ronaldo's $32.5M pact

By Greg Wilson
|  Wednesday, Aug 25, 2010  |  Updated 1:45 PM CDT
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Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after breaking the world record with a time of 19.30 to win the gold medal in the Men's 200m Final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. He won two other gold medals in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

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Usain Bolt was already the fastest man in track and field, and now he might be the richest.

The track superstar signed a sponsorship with sneaker maker Puma, the company that has backed him since he was 15. Puma hasn’t released the exact figures, but sources told the Guardian that it’s on par with the $32.5 million soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo signed with Nike.

"For me Puma is the No. 1 in my book,” the 24-year-old Jamaican said.

Puma plans to launch a clothing line around Bolt, all emblazoned with a silhouette of Bolt’s trademark victory stance. Comparisons to  Michael Jordan’s “Jumpman” logo are apparently welcome.

“He has his sign, I have my own sign,” says Bolt. “It’s all about fashion.” Bolt plans to wear a different outfit to every race, hoping people will tune in to see his latest.

Puma boss Jochen Zeitz said Bolt, an Olympic gold medalist and world champion, could achieve a similar profile to David Beckham.

"He's the best paid athlete in history and also one of the best paid athletes overall," said Zeitz. "I would say if you asked about the rareness of Usain Bolt he's up there with some of the best in any sport. He connects to the fans in a unique way, and not just in a stadium – he can connect on the performance side as well as the lifestyle side – and I think that's the difference to many other athletes who do great things but cannot really find that connection to the fans."

Selected Reading: The Guardian,

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