Usain Bolt is one of the most well known athletes and sports personalities in the world. From 2007 to 2017, we had the fortune to watch Usain put his spin on the world of athletics. What was his secret?
Usain Bolt, August 2017, photo by PhotoRun.net
Usain Bolt, in my mind, made running fun again. His amazing wins in Beijing and London captured fans and the sport. His celebrations captured the fun of sport, and his patience with the fans, especially the young ones, captured many hearts.
Usain Bolt understood, sooner than many of us, that he had something there. He realized the strength of his fans and support.In the photo below, we show Usain Bolt with PUMA running’s Jose Van Der Ween, at the launch party for PUMA NetFit product, back in May 2018. PUMA has been Usain Bolt’s sponsor for his entire career.
I remember publishing a poster for PUMA in 2009. We published 250,000 posters, and sent them to high schools across the U.S. We had such a response, that we reprinted the poster, and in the end printed and distribute 500,000 posters. We could have distributed 1 million on problem. I am not sure that anyone knew how popular Usain Bolt would become.
Who are the next stars of the sport? We have a next generation of athletic stars, with the promise, personality and enthusiasm to excite the sport. They can not be manufactered, and that will be interesting to see who the next superstar becomes in our sport.