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Bolt eyes the big bucks
- Updated: April 14, 2009
The world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt wants to be the first track star to earn US$10-million.
‘My main goal is to be a legend in my sport,’ Bolt, told the New York Times and All-Athletics.com.
But by the 2012 Olympic Games in London, or soon after, he wants to become the first track star to earn US$10 million a year in prize money, appearance fees and endorsements.
‘David Beckham, Tiger Woods, this is his target,’ Ricky Simms, Bolt’s London-based agent, said, speaking more in terms of wide marketability than income.
The world’s top golfer Woods earns an estimated $100 million a year. A handful of top track stars, like Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Marion Jones and Maurice Greene, probably earned between $5-million to $7 million at the peak of their careers.
Because Bolt is only 22, he has a chance to participate in three Olympics. To achieve his goal, he will surely have to continue to win and set records, while avoiding injury, complacency and remaining free of the taint of doping. His shoe contract with Puma is worth about $1.5 million a year, company officials said. He also has endorsements for Gatorade and Digicel, a Caribbean mobile phone company, which could put Bolt’s income this year above $3 million.
But while he is lightning fast on the track; Bolt operates with his own unhurried rhythms. After a recent high school track meeting, he invited 2,000 people to a party at a local club, finally arriving at 2.30am, and dancing in a pair of sunglasses.
On April 26, Bolt will attend a street carnival in Boston, where fans can race on a bike against a life-size cut-out of him, attached to a rail, to try to match his 100-metre speed