Saturday, October 4, 2008

Bolt Is Larger Than Life

Usain Bolt established the then 100-meter world record of 9.74 seconds on May 31, at New York's Icahn Stadium. He has never been faster in New York City. Now he's rolling on buses.

As a way of acknowledging the three-time world record holder, Puma has plastered huge pictures of Bolt's race on the side of city buses in New York City and Los Angeles--the nation's largest media markets.

On the dashing advertising, Bolt is flying towards history, dipping at the finish line of his world record 200-meter performance. Above the sprawling reproduction of the photograph taken during his Olympic performance are the words: "AND THEN. HE DJ'D THE AFTERPARTY."

How can you deny the urge to like this campaign? These six words embody the Jamaican culture of dance, celebration, and fun times.

The other ad reads: "Bolt: 100 Meters 9.69, Bus: Not So Much So."

PUMA's intent is to honor his performance and showcase the man who gave Puma an unexpected burst onto the international stage. Bolt is an easy sell because he comes off like the life of the party.

According to Prerace Jitters sources, up until now it has been conventional wisdom that traditionally Caribbean athletes do not sell in the U.S.

That may all be changing.

His shoes sales have been strong ever since Bolt was groovin' in lane 5, covering the 200-meters in 19.30. And British-based Virgin Media has approached him about pitching "Boltband," a super fast broadband internet service product.

Bolt and many on the Caribbean island of 2 million are hoping to have more to dance about in upcoming seasons.

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

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