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London 2012

Usain Bolt worth more than just Olympic gold

Christopher Werth Aug 10, 2012
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London 2012

Usain Bolt worth more than just Olympic gold

Christopher Werth Aug 10, 2012
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Jeremy Hobson: The Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt won yet another Olympic gold medal last night in the 200 meter sprint. The 25-year-old has declared himself a “living legend.” So I guess all this success has been good for his ego.
 
Christopher Werth reports on what it means for his bank account.


Christopher Werth: According to Forbes, Usain Bolt is currently worth just over $20 million. That’s nothing compared to big athletic stars like Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant.

But Simon Chadwick, of Coventry University says all those gold medals can boost an Olympic athlete’s value to sponsors.

Simon Chadwick: He’s the best. Arguably the greatest sprinter ever. Clearly he’s got a particular kind of personality. And so that lends himself to certain kinds of brands.

Bolt already has lucrative deals with the likes of VISA and Virgin Media.

But Joel Seymour-Hyde of the sports marketing agency Octagon says if Bolt really want to go for “real” gold, he’ll have to become a superstar in the U.S.

Joel Seymour-Hyde: The U.S. market remains the single biggest sports sponsorship market in the world. So if you want to be a huge earner, then you have to crack that market to do so.

He says Bolt could double his earnings just like he’s double his gold medals. But given that the Olympics only come once every four years, he may have to wait until he gets to Rio.

In London, I’m Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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