Glasgow 2014 organisers and sponsors have been given a huge boost after sprint star Usain Bolt confirmed that he is fit to compete in next month's Commonwealth Games.
The 27-year-old Jamaican, dubbed 'the fastest man on Earth', is the biggest draw in athletics, but until yesterday his appearance at the Glasgow games had been in doubt because of a foot injury.
His declaration of participation is seen as a boon for the event's sponsors and promoters.
Dr Leah Donlan, a lecturer in sports marketing at Manchester Business School, told The Drum: “The buzz that will be created around the Commonwealth Games from the presence of Usain Bolt will get the public talking about the event and sponsors can latch onto this positive word of mouth through emphasising their connection with the Games, for example through their social media channels and other sponsorship-linked communications.
“Usain Bolt's 200m victory at the London 2012 Olympic Games set a new Twitter record, proving that people love to share their thoughts about the world's fastest man. His presence in Glasgow gives the sponsors the chance to be a part of that conversation and reach those fans (and their wider networks) in a relevant and interesting way."
Glasgow 2014 sponsors include the likes of Emirates, BP and Virgin Media, for whom Bolt has appeared in a number of ad campaigns.
Donlan said: “In a market where sponsors are fighting for attention and engagement, his presence will add that sparkle to the event with which they are associated.
"Like it or not, celebrity sells, and for Glasgow 2014, celebrities come no bigger than Usain Bolt. Most consumer brands would love to tap into some of that Bolt-magic and his presence in Glasgow will allow the Commonwealth Games sponsors the chance to do just that."
Games organisers could scarcely contain their delight at Bolt's involvement yesterday.
David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014 said: "Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth, a great global ambassador for sport and it's thrilling news that his next focus is competing at the XX Commonwealth Games for Team Jamaica in three weeks' time.
"Scotland has the biggest Hampden roar waiting for him and sports fans across the world will also relish the prospect of seeing him go for a first Commonwealth Gold in Glasgow."