As the sponsor of the Jamaican track & field team at the World Athletics Championships 2009 in Berlin, Sportlifestyle company PUMA achieved a tremendous track record by endorsing sprint hero Usain Bolt who wrote sports history in Germany’s capital when he smashed the 100m and 200m world records.
Three-time Olympic gold medallist Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt broke the 100m world record with an amazing time of 9.58 seconds, when he seemingly effortlessly blew away his own world record of 9.69 seconds by 0.11 seconds that he set in last year’s Olympic Games in Beijing exactly a year ago to the day. The PUMA athlete manifested his reputation of a sprint superstar when he smashed his 200 meter world record of last year to become the World Champion in 19.19 seconds. With the Jamaican team coming in first in the 4×100 relay in 42.06 seconds on Saturday night, he finished an amazing race week by adding another gold medal and World Championship title to his track record.
“Usain Bolt wrote again sports history at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin when he shattered his own two world records in amazing times and went home with three world championship titles,” said Jochen Zeitz, CEO and Chairman of PUMA. “We are thrilled to have been Usain’s partner since he was 16 and congratulate him on his incredible success. He pushed the limits of speed and power and stepped into Jesse Owens footsteps who became a legend at the Olympic Games in the same stadium in 1936. Through the enormous brand visibility, that has an estimated media value of several hundreds of millions of US Dollars, PUMA clearly strengthened and further expanded its position as one of the leading running brands.”
“Berlin has been so welcoming to me and to the entire Jamaican team,” said Usain Bolt on the closing day of the 12th IAAF World Championship. “What an experience to come here, the place where barriers were broken by Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics and be able to set new world records. Winning the 4 x 100 on Saturday night as a team was the perfect way to end this race week. Thanks to all of Berlin, the fans worldwide and my sponsor PUMA who have supported us.”
The currently fastest man on earth has joined the group of successful PUMA athletes and teams, whose outstanding performances strongly influenced international sports through innovative PUMA products and creative marketing initiatives during the last 60 years.
The Theseus Pro sprint spike, dubbed the PUMA YAAM, that propelled Usain Bolt to victory was developed by a team of PUMA designers and technicians who studied and measured Bolt’s stride and foot form. With this information and ongoing track-testing, they created a custom-made sprint spike that best suits Usain’s unique body kinetics. The vibrant orange color was chosen to contrast the Olympic Stadium’s signature blue track. The shoe is designed to provide power, speed and stability. The “engine” of the show is a carbon plate, which adds speed and power but no weight. PUMA has also designed an athletic, low-profile version of Usain’s signature track spike, called the PUMA STREET YAAM, which will be available at select retail locations later in the year.
PUMA’s activities around the World Championships were accompanied by the global PUMA marketing campaign “Who faster?” which included several marketing initiatives focussing on in store and viral marketing.
On August 23rd, at the conclusion of the World Championships, the city of Berlin said “Thanks” to Usain when the capital’s mayor Klaus Wowereit, handed over an original piece of the Berlin Wall 20 years after its fall to the fastest man on earth. The unique souvenir has a height of about 3.60 meters and a width of 1.20 meters and weighs 2.7 tons. It was designed exclusively for Usain Bolt and the front displays him on his way to break the 100 m world record on the legendary blue of the Berlin tracks.
Other teams that PUMA sponsored at the World Athletics Championships were Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Uganda, Botswana and the Czech Republic.