THE WORLD'S fastest man, Usain Bolt, has signed a new contract with German sporting goods manufacturers Puma which will see the sprinter's long-standing association with the brand lead up to and beyond the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
While official figures have not been released by the Herzogenaurach-based company, the amount is understood to be in the region of US$10m (J$102,320,000.00). This is the exact value of the sprinter's previous contract extension, then a four-year deal signed in 2010.
Bolt, a triple champion at the 2012 London Olympic Games, has been associated with the brand since 2003 when he signed on as a talented 16-year-old.
The sprinter, now 27, has revealed that Puma's decision to take a risk at that early stage in his career has been a major reason for the prolonged association.
"They recognised 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," said Bolt in a statement.
"Their work and commitment to Jamaica is also very important to me. I have always been very happy to be a part of the PUMA family, I am proud to represent them and delighted to continue with them for the years ahead," he added.
The German brand is noted for being involved with the sport of track and field locally - at all levels - recently signing on as sponsors of North Street high-school athletics powerhouse, Kingston College, and also providing equipment for several other institutions.
The contract keeps Bolt, the world record holder over the 100m and 200m and one of the globe's most recognisable figures, not only at the top of the track and field world in terms of endorsement earnings, but also keeps him among the sporting world's top earners.
As a result, Bolt will continue to be a key cog in the brand's global marketing campaigns, in addition to wearing the company's performance, training and lifestyle gear.
Bjsrn Gulden, Puma's chief executive officer, was quoted as saying the sprinter is expected to "play a crucial role in our future product concepts as well as brand communications leading towards the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 and beyond".
Bolt, who was recently ranked 40th on the Forbes World's Highest Paid Athletes list, with a yearly endorsement worth of US$24m, also has current endorsement deals with Samsung, Digicel, Hublot, Virgin Media and Gatorade.