According to Forbes magazine, Jamaica’s sprint champion Usain Bolt, who is competing at the 2016 Rio Olympics and hopes to cement his reputation as the greatest sprinter in the history of track and field by again winning gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter competitions, has already broken another important barrier. Bolt is the highest-paid athlete in track-and-field history, earning $32.5 million over the pat year. The money comes from a combination of personal appearances, prize money and sponsors. This amount represents about ten times what any other track-and-field star receives, proving that Bolt is one of a kind both on and off the track.
Bolt made himself known to the world in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, setting records in both the 100-meter and 200-meter, and leading his Jamaican 4×100 men’s relay team to a gold medal as well. His only sponsors at the time were Puma and Digicel, a Jamaican mobile phone firm. Following his Beijing achievements, his sponsors quickly grew in number to include Gatorade, Virgin Media, Hublot, and Visa. His current endorsements comprise ten global partners with a value ranging between $1 million and $4 million per year. He even has his own character in the gaming franchise Temple Run; the game has been downloaded over one billion times so far. Bolt has made deals with Japan’s All Nippon Airways and Optus, an Australian telecommunications company. He also made a deal to represents Enertor, a sports insole brand and receives an equity stake in that business. Bolt has also launched a shaving company called “Champion Shave” just one week ahead of the 2016 Olympic opening ceremonies. The gap in earnings between Bolt and his fellow track-and-field athletes has never been seen before. Even stars like golf’s Tiger Woods, who generated large television ratings and high attendance at tournaments in the 2000s, saw his yearly earnings peak about $125 million, or less than three times what other golfers received at the time.
Photo Source: Usain Bolt Facebook Page