Monday, April 27, 2009

Puma Street Meet

Spent a weekend in Boston with my friends from college, Todd and Beth. Absolutely perfect weather to walk around, get some seafood and take a brewery tour at Harpoon. We also got to see what was called the Puma Street Meet.

In a pretty smart PR event, Puma decided to bring in the fastest human ever, Usain Bolt, as a guest of honor at a half street festival, half track meet event. I guess they were trying to piggyback on two events: the Boston marathon last week and the Volvo Yacht Race which was finishing in the harbor next door.

They had a temporary structure, Puma Town, set up to sell ridiculously overpriced gear. Throughout the day, people would sign up and race each other around the circuitous route in the parking lot. There were a couple of marquee events featuring hot-shot high-schoolers. Or, you could race a flag on a zipline that traveled at 27mph, Bolt's top speed during his World Record 100m.

When Bolt eventually showed up, it was mayhem. The only people who got close were little kids, the media, and his handlers. He was signing things left and right, and he looked extremely annoyed most of the time. But if you're paid $10 million a year to run fast, dealing with fans is probably the worst part of the day. He couldn't even use the port-o-potties without a huge crowd following him. Crazy.

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