London - Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt will earn an estimated $10 million
a year in a sponsorship deal with German sportswear company Puma that
will take him to the end of his career.
The Jamaican, the highest
earner in his sport, will remain with Puma until after the 2016 Olympics
when he will seek to add to his six gold medals.
Bolt, 27, signed
up with Puma as a teenager a decade ago and the renewal of the contract
is a fillip for a brand struggling to keep pace with larger rivals
Adidas and Nike.
Bolt will be paid $10 million for each of the
next three seasons and the same amount if he competes again in 2017 when
London hosts the world championships, an industry source said.
Once he retires from competition, he will be paid $4 million per year to act as a Puma ambassador, the source added.
Forbes estimated that Bolt was paid $9 million annually under his current deal that expires at the end of the year.
have always been very happy to be a part of the Puma family, I am proud
to represent them and delighted to continue with them for the years
ahead," Bolt said in a statement.
Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden, who took the job in July, had made the renewal
one of his initial priorities after the company said it was ending its
sponsorship of the Oracle Americas Cup sailing team and European rugby
Gulden called Bolt a perfect ambassador for Puma.
will play a crucial role in our future product concepts as well as
brand communications leading towards the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 and
beyond," Gulden said.
Bolt is world record holder over both the
100 and 200 metres and his performances and charisma make him the
stand-out performer in a sport that struggles to maintain a high media
profile beyond the Olympics.
Puma, controlled by French luxury
goods group Kering, has suffered falling sales and profits after
focusing on fashion products rather than running shoes and soccer gear.
Kering has criticised Puma in the past for not making enough of its
sponsorship of Bolt.
The German sportswear company is reportedly
set to replace Nike as kit supplier to English Premier League club
Arsenal from next season. It already has a similar deal with German
Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund.
Bolt ranked 40th on
the Forbes list of the world's best paid sports stars, the richest track
and field athlete. He had estimated annual earnings of $24.2 million
over the past year, the bulk of which came from endorsements, Forbes