Press "Enter" to skip to content

Is Puma’s One Page for Usain Bolt Representative of the Decline in Athlete Sponsorship Value?

Share In-Depth News from AHN

Usain Bolt and PUMA® team up to deliver the fastest products

Source: Puma US

Usain Bolt is the greatest track and field athlete ever. His accomplishments easily overshadow his last races at the World Championships. Seeing the greatest crumpled in pain from an injury was not the way the story was supposed to end. His exit should have been like a 60 point Kobe final game, or Michael Jordan’s push off of Russell to capture his sixth ring. Usain was not human for so long that we all probably forgot that age is always the greatest competition and age is undefeated.

As an endorser for Puma Bolt brought attention to the brand at it’s lowest points and actually revived interest in their running footwear. I tried the Puma FAAS primarily because of Bolt and during the Olympics the brand always saw a slight bump although it never really sustained.

My goal is not to turn Bolt’s legacy into a study on marketing, but it reminded me of this article:

Athletes or Celebrities: Who Can Sell More Shoes?

I wrote the post above to analyze the importance of celebrity in marketing footwear. This discussion is actually more important now because Bolt’s exit from track and field leaves the sport without a superstar in the men’s field. If the sports world and marketing still adhered to the way athletic footwear grew in the 80s and 90s, Bolt should have made Puma an immensely popular brand. That didn’t happen. Now Bolt is gone; and Puma hasn’t dedicated the site to his career. They haven’t created a celebration of Bolt with a sportswear pack of some type. There is one, lone, click through page with barely a scroll for the greatest track and field athlete ever.

Maybe this is the reality of sports and footwear now. Athletes are not as important as they once wore in this age of immediate gratification; or maybe I’m just reacting too early and Puma is planning something big, which won’t move the masses because it’s not Fenty.

The times are changing.