Usain Bolt Signs Three-Year Sponsorship Extension with Puma


Usain Bolt will become the highest-paid athlete in track and field history as he signed a three-year sponsorship extension with sports apparel company, Puma, on Tuesday. The world's fastest human being is adding yet another benchmark to join to his numerous records accumulated on the track.

Bolt was overcome with excitement when he received the offer as it far exceeds any contract signed in the history of track and field. The exact amount was not disclosed, but Bolt said he is "very happy" with the figure.

The news of his extended contract also coincided with the Jamaica native's birthday, as he turned 24 on Aug. 21. Bolt received the call from Puma while visiting his home country, the first time he's been home for his birthday in seven years. The sprinter said he just went out with a few friends to celebrate the news, nothing too fancy.

"I didn't know what to do," Bolt said. "So I just chilled. We went out and had a couple of drinks."

The three-year contract adds to the eight years Bolt has already spent under contract with Puma. The company first sponsored him at 16 years old.

"We've been together since forever," Bolt said of the partnership. "I like the fashion, so they try to make it fashionable for me. … I'm looking good, but I'm also prepared."

Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz believes the young runner is the perfect representative for their company, even though Bolt will not be running this season due to a lower back injury.

"It's unfortunate that he's missing a few races," Zeitz said. "But we all know that 2011 and 2012 are the really important years."

Zeitz told The Associated Press that he is planning on using Bolt as the primary figure in Puma's Olympic campaign for the 2012 summer games in London. 

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