Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Mega-rich by any yardstick

Published:Saturday | August 5, 2017 | 8:00 AM
Usain Bolt's new Puma spikes

Sprint legend Dr Usain St Leo Bolt is mega-rich by any yardstick. On any given day, the big man earns an average J$12 million - the breakdown of the latest estimates of his annual earnings.

For Bolt and money, think these numbers: US$62 million, his estimated net worth before the Rio Olympics in 2016; US$34.2 million, the amount of money he earned in one year up to June 12, 2017, according to Forbes; #23, his ranking among the top 100 richest sportspersons; and #88, his ranking on the top 100 celebrities list.

There are two streams to Bolt's income. First, there is US$2.2 million per annum, as total salary up to June 2017. That came from appearance fees and winnings.

The other stream is product endorsements, totalling US$32 million. The list is dazzling: PUMA, Gatorade, Hublot watches, Richard Mille watches, Sprint telecoms, Nissan, Virgin Media, All Nippon Airways, Visa, and locally, Digicel and Tracks & Records. Recently, he added Mumm, XM, Kinder and Advil.

The PUMA deal started in 2001. Bolt re-signed in 2010 for up to 2025. Forbes estimates this contract at US$10 million per year.

He inked a deal with Enertor to be the face of the upstart sports insole brand, receiving an equity stake in the business. And Bolt also launched his new shaving company, Champion Shave, a week before Rio 2016.

 

JUSTIFIED FEE

 

The typical athlete gets US$10,000 for winning a Diamond League race. Bolt gets US$300,000 to US$400,000 just to turn up.

Kurt Badenhausen, writing in Forbes, quotes meet director Laurent Boquillet, justifying the US$300,000 fee for Bolt at the 2013 Diamond League event in Paris.

"With Bolt, we know that we will easily fill the Stade de France," Boquillet said.

London-based Ricky Simms is Bolt's agent through PACE Sports Management. Gina Ford is also listed as an agent. Lifetime best friend Nugent 'NJ' Walker is Bolt's executive manager, while long-time mentor Norman Peart acts as Jamaican manager and head of the Usain Bolt Foundation.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com