Michael Jordan has one. Roger Federer, too, owns one. Why should Usain Bolt be left behind? We are talking of logos of iconic sportspersons and Bolt, a living legend in the world of athletics, has moved to trademark a logo showing his signature victory celebration pose.
The application for the logo, which depicts Bolt pointing skywards in silhouette, was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office last week. The former Olympic and world 100m champion is known globally for his signature celebration. The world has seen him innumerable times leaning back and gesturing to the sky. Bolt’s every gold medal or world record was almost incomplete without his favourite pose afterwards.
On Tuesday, Bolt himself tweeted a picture of him in that pose, the caption reading — “To The World” TM. That’s what the logo will be called, “To The World”.
The first time the world witnessed Bolt striking that pose was at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he won the 100m, 200m and relay gold medals and also set a 100m world record. To talk of records, Bolt is still the fastest man in history as he holds the world records for the 100m and 200m sprints. He won eight Olympic gold medals in three Games between 2008 and 2016. He retired in 2017.
According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Bolt filed his application for the trademark on August 17. As per the application, “The mark consists of the silhouette of a man in a distinctive pose, with one arm bent and pointing to the head, and the other arm raised and pointing upward”.
Bolt intends to use the image on his brand of items, including sunglasses, clothing, jewellery, bags and sporting goods. It will also be used at restaurants and sports bars, the application states. “Given that Bolt is now retired from racing, it makes sense that he would look to expand his business empire,” Josh Gerben, a Washington DC-based trademark lawyer, was quoted as saying by the BBC.
“The silhouette of his victory pose is recognised around the world. This trademark registration would enable him to offer the items listed in the application himself, or license the right to use the trademark to third parties,” Gerben said. It is not the first time that Bolt has applied to register a trademark. He had done so 12 years ago as well, but that has since lapsed under US law.
Bolt’s glittering career did not end in golden hues. He could only manage a bronze in his penultimate race — the men’s 100m — before pulling up injured just as he began to hit top speed at his final event, the 4x100m relay, at the World Athletics Championships in London in 2017. The world of sports has many such logos in use.
The most famous one perhaps is the “Jumpman” logo, which is owned by Nike to promote the Air Jordan brand of former basketball superstar Michael Jordan. Jordan’s logo first came in 1988 and has since evolved phenomenally to be a lifestyle brand across the world.
Golf czar Tiger Woods has had more than one logo. Woods has a logo for his foundation as well and occasionally uses his ‘Frank the Tiger’ logo on his apparel. Federer’s logo features his initials and it’s quite famous, just like its owner. It was originally designed — with help from his wife — for a bottle of cologne. Will Bolt’s trademark be a trendsetter in the world of business like he was on the track? If it does, it won’t be a Bolt from the blue.