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Usain Bolt Renews Puma Deal Until After 2016 Rio Olympics

Six-time Olympic Sprint Gold Medalist Usain Bolt
Six-time Olympic sprint gold medalist Usain Bolt said, “Puma has been with me since the very beginning.” Photographer: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Six-time Olympic sprint gold medalist Usain Bolt renewed his endorsement contract with sportswear maker Puma SE until after the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The 27-year-old reigning Olympic champion and world record holder over 100 and 200 meters has been training and competing in Puma gear for a decade, Europe’s second-largest sporting-goods maker said in a statement today.

Neither Herzogenaurach, Germany-based Puma nor Bolt’s management team would disclose financial details of the partnership. Last year, Forbes magazine said Bolt’s previous Puma deal, signed in 2010, was worth $9 million annually, a sum it described as “astronomical” for a track athlete.

Jamaica’s Bolt, victorious over 100 and 200 meters at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow last month, said Sept. 4 he’ll retire from athletics after the 2016 Olympics, although last week said he was “reconsidering” the decision.

“Puma has been with me since the very beginning,” Bolt said in the statement. “They recognized my talent at an early age and have supported me throughout, especially in the early years when I had some difficult times due to injuries.”

Puma also sponsors soccer players including Yaya Toure, Cesc Fabregas and Marco Reus and soccer federations such as Italy, the Czech Republic and Cameroon. The company also has a partnership with Borussia Dortmund, Germany’s second-biggest soccer club after Bayern Munich, as well as Newcastle United and Bordeaux.

Other Puma partnerships have included a deal with the Mercedes GP Petronas Formula One team and with the Oracle Racing team at the 34th America’s Cup.

The company is closing stores, eliminating jobs and cutting product ranges to combat declining footwear sales, while seeking to boost its performance-wear credentials. It reported steeper declines in profit and sales than analysts had estimated in the second quarter.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Priechenfried in London at bprie@bloomberg.net; Julie Cruz in Frankfurt at jcruz6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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