His foray into the entertainment business is being backed by Kingston Live Entertainment (KLE), the company behind the successful Fiction lounge at Market Place on Constant Spring Road.
At the launch on Tuesday night at Fiction, Bolt said, “This is something big, something new, something different. This is a reason to keep working hard and I look forward to working with KLE in the future.”
Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records is a US$1-million investment. It will be located next to Fiction at Market Place and is scheduled to be opened in the last quarter of this year. The design will reflect that of a stadium and will boast a mezzanine, multiple bars and lounges, interactive booth seating and a retail shop carrying Bolt products.
“The emphasis will be on the creation of a space that will be modern, sophisticated, high energy, explosive and fun,” said Zuar Jarrett, architect of Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records and a director of KLE. The other directors are David and Stephen Shirley, Kevin Bourke, Gary and Tina Matalon and Craig Powell.
Bolt’s manager Norman Peart said there are plans to make Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records a global franchise, one of the more immediate branches being in London for the 2012 Olympics. Peart said Bolt’s transition in to the world of business was to ensure that the millions he’s earning now keep coming in when he’s retired.
“My mandate has always been to ensure that when he’s finished with the sport, he’s looking real good,” said Peart.
The engine behind this partnership is, of course, Bolt’s global appeal and marketability. Since delivering a double dose of athletics surreality in 2008 and 2009 at the Olympics and World Championships, respectively, Bolt’s fame and wealth have grown exponentially. He is among the top five most popular athletes in the world and is the new face of the Jamaica Tourist Board ad campaign.
With the opening of a high-end sports lounge which has global aspirations, the directors of KLE see Bolt pioneering a product which represents all the good things he is known for.
“Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records will boast the best of brand Jamaica in sports, music, art, culture, beverage and food,” said Tina Matalon. “Using, arguably, the most recognisable figure in sports today as a vehicle to create a global brand, Tracks and Records will bring to the world a product that is contemporary, sophisticated and exciting.”