‘I’ve seen the Mariners badge all over the world’
USAIN Bolt isn't sponsored by Nike, but he's got Sam Kerr's tick of approval.
The first woman to claim marquee status in Australia believes the Jamaican sprint king is worth similar money after his historic two-goal brace on Friday.
Kerr and Japanese star Keisuke Honda will headline the respective W-League and A-League launches in Sydney on Monday.
But missing will be the league's most famous trialist in Bolt, who has captured the imagination of the world with his audacious code switch with Central Coast.
"If I wasn't a Nike athlete, I definitely would be rocking a Central Coast jersey with (number) 95 on it," Kerr said.
"I'm not going to lie: I turned on the Central Coast game the other day just to watch him. So if it's appealing to people like me, I'm sure it is to other people."
Bolt declared Friday's trial against a select Macarthur South West United team could make or break his professional soccer career.
And the 32-year-old delivered with a two-goal performance, instantly raising hope of turning his trial into a full-time contract.
But while the A-League has recognised its need for more marquee players, it is believed Bolt wouldn't come close to meeting the criteria.
Instead, A-League officials insist they could assist the Mariners by way of a marketing arrangement, as well as enabling third party sponsorships.
Bolt also has a number of personal sponsorships that could count against him.
Kerr conceded Bolt had brought unprecedented attention to the league.
"I've seen the Central Coast badge all over the world over the last few days, and that was never going to happen (without him)," Kerr said.
"He brings star power. He's amazing to watch.
"He's an amazing athlete, so hopefully he can make it. It'd be so good for the rest of the world to be talking about the A-League and Australian football."
Mariners star signing Tommy Oar said the playing group had been left stunned by Bolt's determination to make the switch a reality.
And he predicts the Australian public would make the extra money worth it.
"When it comes to performing on the big stage - that was his first professional game the other day - he bagged a brace," Oar said.
"It shows that he's able to step up on under the pressure. And if he keeps improving at his current rate, I can't see why he can't be an asset for us.
"Obviously commercially, he adds huge benefits. But I think people are forget how much of a phenomenal athlete he is and how quickly he can develop new skills."