World championship 100-meter bronze medalist Andre De Grasse has signed a professional sponsorship contract with Puma and will forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility, the apparel company announced.
“Signing this partnership with PUMA is a major thing for me, in such an important phase in my career,” De Grasse said in a press release. “I have massive dreams for what I want to accomplish and PUMA clearly shares my belief, they will give me great support along my journey.”
The multi-year deal is reportedly worth $11.25 million with bonuses that could be as high as $30 million, according to Lori Ewing of The Canadian Press.
De Grasse, 21, tied for a bronze medal at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing with former Baylor sprinter Trayvon Bromell, who also turned professional and signed a contract with New Balance this fall.
De Grasse won national title in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash at the 2015 NCAA Track and Field Championships in June. Before competing in China, De Grasse won gold medals in the same events at the Pan American Games in Toronto. He finished the season with personal bests of 9.92 for 100-meters and 19.88 for 200-meters, a Canadian national record and the sixth fastest in the world for 2015.
USC coach Caryl Smith-Gilbert will continue to serve as De Grasse’s coach ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. De Grasse will continue to take classes to finish his degree.
Puma also sponsors Jamaican sprint stars Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell. American sprinter Jenna Prandini also forfeited her senior year eligibility at Oregon to compete professionally for Puma.
- Christopher Chavez