adidas Extends Contract With Noah Lyles Through 2029, Agency Claims It’s Richest Deal Since Usain Bolt

Lyles' agency claims it is "the richest contract in the sport of track and field since the retirement of Usain Bolt."

On Monday afternoon, Global Athletics & Marketing, the agency that represents Noah Lyles, announced that the American track star has agreed to a contract extension with adidas through the end of the decade, including the 2024 Olympics in Paris and the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles. Lyles, 26, won 100m, 200m, and 4x100m golds at the 2023 World Championships in Budapest. He will turn 31 during the ’28 Summer Olympics, the first to be held in the United States since 1996.

Lyles signed his initial contract with adidas in the summer of 2016, shortly after finishing 4th in the US Olympic Trials 200 meters as a senior at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Va. That deal took Lyles through the 2024 Olympics, and at the time, it was a bold move: Lyles and his younger brother Josephus were the first two US male sprinters to turn professional straight out of high school. But Noah Lyles wasted no time showing he belonged, winning the Diamond League 200m title in his first year as a pro in 2017. He has since gone on to become one of the finest sprinters America has ever produced, claiming three straight world 200m titles in 2019, 2022, 2023, setting an American 200m record of 19.31 in 2022, and winning triple gold at Worlds last summer.

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Monday’s announcement was notable for a couple of reasons. First is that the announcement was made at all. Contract extensions are rarely announced in track & field, in part because almost all shoe contracts are covered by non-disclosure agreements. But Lyles, never afraid to speak his mind, wanted news of the extension to be made public.

“It’s something Noah felt strongly he wanted to do and he thinks it’s good for the sport,” Lyles’ agent Mark Wetmore told “And adidas was fine with him doing it.”

The most interesting part of the announcement was Global Athletics’ assertion that Lyles’ new deal is “the richest contract in the sport of track and field since the retirement of Usain Bolt.” (It was not specified whether “richest” is defined in terms of overall value or in terms of average annual salary). That’s a big claim to make considering contracts are not public.

Wetmore declined to discuss that claim or details of the contract with, citing the NDA. But given Wetmore has been in the sport for more than 30 years and has represented major clients such as Lyles, Tyson Gay, and Rai Benjamin, his agency would be in a better position than most to make the claim.

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So how much is Lyles’ deal worth? In 2013, Reuters reported that Bolt’s final contract with Puma, which covered the years 2014-17, was worth around $10 million a year (with Bolt to receive $4 million annually as a Puma ambassador following his retirement in 2017). That’s the upper limit for the deal.

As for a lower limit, there is very little information available about the value of top professional track contracts. When Canadian sprint star Andre De Grasse turned pro in 2015, The Toronto Star reported his contract to be worth $11.25 million with bonuses potentially pushing the value to $30 million. The length of the contract was notably omitted, however. And De Grasse, who earned three medals at both the 2016 and 2021 Olympics — including 200m gold in 2021 ahead of Lyles — may have earned a chunk of those bonuses.

In Norway, where incomes are made public, Olympic 1500m champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen made just over $1 million in 2022 while TV2 reported that Olympic 400m hurdles champion Karsten Warholm made $1.6 million in 2021. However, those figures may include prize/appearance money as well as contracts with other sponsors outside of their shoe sponsor (Nike for Ingebrigtsen, Puma for Warholm).

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In September 2018, surveyed a number of top agents for their best guess at how much the top athletes in the sport were making. In that poll, the athlete with the higest predicted salary was Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone. Though McLaughlin-Levrone had yet to sign a shoe deal (her contract with New Balance was not announced until the following month), five of the six agents we spoke to predicted McLaughlin-Levrone’s first contract would include a base salary of at least $1.5 million per year (the average guess was $1.725 million).

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That suggests Lyles’ new adidas deal is worth somewhere north of $2 million per year, though exactly how far north will remain a secret.

Lyles, who won the US 60-meter title in Albuquerque on February 17, will compete next at this week’s World Indoor Championships in Glasgow, where he is set for a rematch against world record holder and US runner-up Christian Coleman.

Do you think Noah Lyles deserves to be the highest paid person in track and field or should more accomplished athletes like Sydney McLaughlin-Leverone and Eliud Kipchoge make more? Talk about Lyles new deal on the fan forum / messageboard: MB Noah Lyles gets PAID. Adidas extends contract through 2029 & says it’s the richest contract since Usain Bolt .

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