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Chinese firm to ink landscape-changing deal with sprint star Bolt
By Tym Glaser (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2009-09-24 17:25

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A Chinese company has offered world sprint star Usain Bolt a staggering deal which could see the Jamaican reap, conservatively, US$115 million over the next five years.

Chief executive officer of Anza Marketing Group (AMG), Ajani Williams, today confirmed, in an exclusive interview with China Daily that his group, which has the sole rights to marketing Bolt in China, had received the huge offer after 'Lighting' struck twice at last month's Berlin World Championships, winning both the 100 meters (9.58) and 200 (19.19) in world-record times.

While not wishing to reveal the 23-year-old's potential trade benefactor, Williams said the offer was one which could not only change the face of track and field but sport in general.

Chinese firm to ink landscape-changing deal with sprint star Bolt

Usain Bolt of Jamaica poses after winning the men's 200 metres final during the IAAF World Athletics Final at Kaftazoglio stadium in Thessaloniki September 13, 2009.[Agencies]

It is believed the deal offers Bolt a base salary "in the teens (between 13 to 19 million)" plus, more importantly, a lucrative licensing deal which could see him hold the rights within China and distribution rights throughout the rest of the world and reap about $60-70 million over the five years.

Also, Bolt would be given the opportunity to set up his own branch of the firm which would put him in the stellar range of stars like basketball's Michael Jordan and golfer Tiger Woods.

"This is unprecedented in terms of (track and field) base salary and the licensing deal and could change the whole landscape … it's a trailblazer," said Williams, who is a former a NBA player and current president of the Jamaica Basketball Association.

Before signing on the dotted line and leaping into the China company's hands, Bolt will have to work out and/or break current lucrative sponsorship deals he has with the likes of Puma, Gatorade, Texaco and Digicel.

"Although I don't want to reveal the name or nature of the company, there may be possible conflicts and legal ramifications," Williams said. "However, this very well-established company in China has stated it is willing to buy out current sponsors," he said.