It looks like the world’s fastest man is also exceptionally fast at making money. Usain Bolt, who grabbed his third successive gold medal for the men’s 100m sprint in the Olympic Games, is set to see a massive bump in his earnings.
Last Monday, the whole world watched in awe as Usain Bolt finished the men’s 100-meter final in 9.81 seconds to win the Olympic Gold in that category for the third time. With this victory, he has become the first athlete in the history of the Olympic Games to win gold in the category three times in a row and has clearly established himself as the greatest athlete to grace the racing tracks. But it was not just glory that he achieved with this historic feat. It turns out the world’s fastest man is set to make a lot of money following his accomplishment.
Affectionately nicknamed “Lightening Bolt” by his fans, he is arguably the most recognizable faces in the world of track and field — perhaps even sports in general. And one of the perks of being a celebrated sports figure is, of course, the money that comes pouring in. Bolt, it turns out, is set to earn a lot of money following his achievement.
Marketing analysts believe that his latest victory has doubled his earning potential for the next year. The Sun reports that the world’s fastest man made five million pounds per second on his way to winning his third successive gold medal.
Paul Garbett, of the marketing firm Fast Track, spoke about this in an interview with the Sun.
“Usain Bolt is a marketing man’s dream. Brands will be keen to cash in as he approaches the twilight of his career. A farewell tour could net him a fortune.”
With an estimated net worth of $60 million, the 29-year-old is already one of the highest-earning athletes in the world. In the last 12 months, according to Forbes, Usain Bolt’s fortune increased by a staggering $32.5 million, which he earned from sponsorship, appearances, and prize money. Track and field hands out one of the smallest prize money of all sports — $60,000 per gold medal. Bolt has won 11 gold medals in his career, but that’s still less than a million. In fact, the vast majority of his earnings come from his endorsement deals with different multi-national companies.
Bolt’s portfolio currently includes 10 global partners, including the likes of Puma, Nissan, Gatorade, Hublot, Virgin Media, and Visa, with each paying him at least $1 million to $4 million a year. His current deal with Puma nets him more than $10 million annually. The German footwear company has partnered with Bolt ever since the 2008 Beijing Olympics and will continue the partnership through 2025.
In addition to endorsement deals, Bolt is an attractive prospect for track events around the world. He reportedly charges between $250,000 to $400,000 for track meet appearances.
One of the meet directors, Laurent Boquillet, justified Bolt’s fee, saying, “With Bolt, we know that we will easily fill the Stade de France.”
Such huge income figures are unheard of for a track and field athlete. In contrast, other track and field stars, such as Mo Farah and Ashton Eaton, make 10 times less than what Usain Bolt earns.
Bolt owes his unprecedented earning to his exploits on the track. When he participated in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Puma and Jamaican mobile phone company Digicel were his only two sponsors. After finishing the tournament with three gold medals in the 100m, 200m, and 4×100 men’s relay and setting two world records in the 100m and 200m races, endorsement deals came pouring.
He then went on to set new world records for the 100m and 200m sprints, clocking in at 9.58 seconds and 19.19 seconds, respectively, in the 2009 Berlin World Championships. In the 2012 London Olympics, the Jamaican retained all three medals he had won in Beijing, doing a “double triple” and becoming the first person in history to win the three completions twice. He has said that he is on a mission to make it three times in the Rio Olympics. He will compete for the 200m sprint on August 18.
This will be Usain Bolt’s last Olympic Games as he has already announced that he will retire after the 2017 World Championships in London.
[Photo by Charlie Riedel/AP Images]