Companies Cashing in on Usain Bolt's Victories
Mike is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
The man, the legend, the greatest sprinter ever, Usain Bolt captured the eyes and hearts of millions, if not billions, as he achieved the sprinting triple double at London 2012. There are also others that won gold along with the Lightning Bolt. Yohan Blake and the other Jamaican sprinters? No. It is the companies that hitched their wagon to Bolt. These companies stand to benefit from the huge achievement of the living legend.
First off, the maker of those bright yellow tights, Puma. People saw Usain destroy the competition in each of his events while decked out in Puma gear. What company would not want to be associated with this? What brand of sports gear are kids going to want now?
There is also a much less visible company likely to make a big windfall from Bolt's victories: News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS). Harper Collins, a News Corp company, has been writing an autobiography with Usain since 2010. It is set to release sometime this year and, when asked, Bolt said, "should be exciting, it's my life." This book is likely to sell out given all the Bolt fans around the world. His humility is likely to contribute to book sales as well.
Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) is likely to gain from the superstar's feats. Usain teamed up with RockLive before the Olympics to build the iOS game" Bolt!" It is the most downloaded app in Jamaica, of course, and the second most downloaded free app on iTunes for a while. Yes, it is free so Apple isn't getting paid but being the only platform for Usain Bolt's game can't hurt iPhone and iPad sales.
A UK-based company needs to join the gold era for Bolt too. Virgin Media (NASDAQ: VMED) hired Bolt to star in a crazy commercial to advertise their broadband services. Bolt was in the commercial series playing the Virgin founder Richard Branson...he even had the blonde goatee. Although these advertisement never aired due to being banned by an advertising watchdog, the commercials still received much publicity in the news.
Bolt was also sponsored by Visa (NYSE: V). Visa was an official sponsor of the games and will likely see its brand name even more ingrained in the minds of consumers after these games. The Visa stock price is up over 5% since the first Olympic football match on July 25th while the DJA is up about 4%.
Having a superstar and ultimate showman in your corner can build brand recognition and loyalty. These attributes can translate into a larger moat and greater sales. It pays to be on the team of the fastest man alive.
mthiessen has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. mthiessen runs a partnership that invests in private and public companies. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple and Visa. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.If you have questions about this post or the Fool’s blog network, click here for information.