Puma global head of brand management Adam Petrick has admitted the company could have done a better job of marketing world’s fastest man Usain Bolt.
The Jamaican, who has been with the company since he was a 16-year-old, recently created history at the Rio Games by claiming a ‘triple-triple’, an unprecedented feat that saw the athlete win the 100m, 200m and 4x100m at three consecutive Olympics.
Bolt, who is worth an estimated US$60m, and is ranked at 32nd among the world’s richest athletes already makes US$30m a year from endorsements. Petrick, who signed pop star Rihanna as a creative director, a fruitful partnership for both, believes the athlete could have made even more if the company had focused on pushing him in other areas.
“To be honest with you, he does a lot of the heavy lifting himself. He gets so much attention no matter where he goes. We’ve done an okay job of marketing him. We could have done better,” Petrick said.
“He was a great ambassador and continues to be till this day. He’s just so marketable. We probably lost some opportunities. We focused on sports, for sure, but we were probably a bit too focused on casual wear. We had some success with a program called Puma Social, where we were reaching out to younger people and engaging them in a kind of an after-hours thing. Not that it wasn’t a great campaign, but maybe we lost a little bit of an opportunity to talk about the Puma and Bolt association in those years.”