Usain Bolt has filed a trademark application for his dancehall-inspired “To Di World” pose.
Usain Bolt, A-Team producer, has applied to the US Patent and Trademark Office to protect and capitalize on his own “To Di World” iconic posture. However, most people, even several Jamaicans, are unaware that the moniker and pose are Dancehall monsters.
According to Bloomberg, on August 17, the sprint icon filed an application for the ‘To Di World’ logo to be used in connection with products such as jewelry, clothing, bags and purses, sunglasses, shoes, and sporting goods, as well as restaurants and sports bars that offer services such as VIP areas, catering, and loyalty plans.
His application to the US Patent and Trademark Office seeks to protect “the silhouette of a man in a peculiar stance, with one arm bent and pointing to the head, and the other arm elevated and pointing upward.”
According to Bloomberg, Bolt sought for trademarks for the posture 12 years ago, but they were abandoned after they went unused early in his career.
Usain struck what is now his signature pose after Jamaica’s world-record-breaking triumph in the 100-metre sprint team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, when he also broke the 100 and 200-meter world records and established himself as the fastest man in history.
Since then, the William Knibb Memorial High School alumnus has struck the stance in races, press conferences, and other events. For well than a decade, many renowned people around the world, including President Barack Obama, Prince Harry, Brazilian footballer Neymar, and even Ambassadors to Jamaica, have imitated the To Di World posture to appear ‘cool.’
In a video interview with Yahoo News in 2016, Bolt explained that the position was inspired by a Jamaican dance called To the World.
However, the dance that accompanied the tape of Bolt’s interview was the Thunder Clap, of which his position appears to be a version.
To The World (originally titled Up and Live) was a peppy beat made by Arif Cooper on his Fresh Air label in August 2008, which contained songs such as Sean Paul’s Midas Touch, Elephant Man’s Pum Pum Pum, Vybz Kartel’s Body Wine, TOK’s Sexy and Ready, and Voice Mail’s Up and Live.
Usain had previously stated in an interview in Jamaica a few years back that he had always wanted to have a signature posture. He stated that at initially, he planned to represent an archer with a bow and arrow, standing in the shooting stance and looking at a target, similar to the famous William Tell.
However, the Sherwood Content native stated that he opted to change the position somewhat and gesture to the sky instead, in order to make it distinctly his and appear non-violent.
Two Olympics later, in 2016, USA Today wrote, “unfortunately, no one can precisely recall where the To Di World maneuver first originated, although, understandably given Bolt’s popularity, many people have sought to lay claim to it subsequently.”
During the Tokyo Olympics last August, the A-Team producer highlighted worries about corporate entities exploiting the image rights of Olympic athletes.
The Clockwork producer provoked outrage when he stated on his social media accounts that Jamaican Olympians should not allow their pictures and brands to be misused by ‘bandwagonist’ corporate entities who did not support their Tokyo Olympic bid.
“Many athletes sought assistance from business Jamaica in their preparation for and travel to the Olympic Games and received NO HELP.” Athletes are so aware of your worth/power that they all want to jump on your Brand/Image for free,” Bolt added.
In 2021, Bolt cautioned Jamaican elite athletes not to allow business entities to abuse their pictures and brands without sufficient pay.