Aug 24, 2009 at 07:01 PM
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Bolt Feat/Feet Propel(s) Puma YAAMs

Last week Usain Bolt set both the 100m and 200m world sprint records at the World Championships in Berlin. The promotional blitz by Puma began with the bolt arms, the celebratory foam arms released by Puma prior to the games, kicked into full gear with Bolt hoisting the golden shoe like the Stanley Cup and is wrapping up with PUMA's very own cause-effect analysis.

The result? The special Jamaica apparel collection and Bolt's 'Puma Street Yaam' shoes are all sold out and a big lift in an Olympic off year. What's more impressive? In the face of a global decline in sportswear, Puma's North American sales have risen nearly 10 percent year over year.

One estimate pegged Usain Bolt's impact on the Puma brand at about $350 million in publicity last year alone.

A big payoff for an annual endorsement fee estimated to be $1.5 million. Puma signed Bolt in 2002 at the age of only 16, after winning the World Junior Championships.

"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, " PUMA CEO and Chairman Jochen Zeitz said.

Post-race, PUMA is emphasizing the technology behind the shoe. Direct from PUMA PR:

"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."

And there's a lot more.

So let's recap. Pre-event publicity around a fun and irreverent viral campaign. In-store and viral media in support of the brand's "Who's faster?" campaign. Step three is without a doubt the most powerful element - the product showcase at the event and immediately thereafter. Round things out with some scientific evidence that explains Bolt's feet and takes some (perhaps too much) attribution for the brand.

A four-staged attack. And some good RFP material for Droga5 and Zenith Optimedia.