One of the greatest athletes in the world is set to mix with one of the most successful teams in New Zealand, with Usain Bolt to team up with the NZ Breakers on October 8.
Bolt, who will be in New Zealand as an ambassador for Gatorade, will officially welcome the two-time defending Australian NBL champions to Gatorade's team after they were today announced as the club's new official sports drink.
The partnership between the Breakers and Gatorade will be formalised at an event on Auckland's North Shore and Bolt will feature in the Breakers' warm-up before they take on the Breakers Academy in a friendly game.
Twenty fans will be selected via the Gatorade Facebook page to attend the event.
Breakers general manager Richard Clarke was rapt with the long-term deal - three years with the right of renewal - which is a major upgrade on an existing relation the champion club had with Frucor.
"It's the No 1 sports drink in the world with many, many years of sports science behind it," said Clarke. "Their whole ethos of win from within fits very well with us.
"It's fantastic they value the sponsorship highly enough to put this sort of commitment into it, and we're excited about adding Gatorade to our fantastic family of sponsors."
Clarke said it was a "huge honour" to have the world's greatest athlete on hand to formalise the arrangement. "This will be a pretty special day for the club and I know all the boys are hugely excited about the chance to meet him."
The Breakers players were only informed of the new deal and the opportunity to meet Bolt this morning as they travelled from Dunedin to Hamilton for the third and final game of their pre-season series against the Wollongong Hawks.
Clarke could not reveal financial details of the new sponsorship but confirmed the iconic sports drink brand was a "significant" addition to the club's stable.
"This is a relationship that goes beyond just a financial commitment," he added. "There's a major commitment around product and assisting in the area of sports science. This is another indication of the strong footing this club now has in the Australian NBL."
Bolt won the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the Beijing Olympics and repeated the feat this year in London.
He currently holds the world record in each of the three events, running 9.58 seconds in the 11 and 19.19 seconds in the 200 in Berlin in 2009. His Jamaican team set a new relay world record at this year's Olympic Games.
Gatorade New Zealand said it was working on another opportunity for New Zealanders to see Bolt in action. Details would be released as soon as they were confirmed.
- © Fairfax NZ News