Assistant boss Eric Black is hopeful Bent's arrival will help persuade other players to join a club that has had some trouble attracting top names to move to the Stadium of Light.
"Getting someone like him up here can only be good for us, and if it can encourage one or two others to take the leap we believe we're going in the right direction," said Black.
Lorik Cana, Fraizer Campbell and Paulo da Silva have already arrived at the Stadium of Light this summer, with Bruce flexing his financial muscle following American billionaire Ellis Short's takeover of the club.
Bruce's pursuit of Bent had proved a frustrating one, with Spurs understood to be holding out for close to the £16.5m they paid Charlton for the striker's services in 2007.
But with the striker keen to move on from White Hart Lane, a compromise was reached.
The fee represents a club record outlay by Sunderland, beating the £9m paid to Hearts for goalkeeper Craig Gordon in 2007.
"He's something different. He's got pace, power, he's young, he's English and he gets goals," added Bruce.
Bent had been annoyed at the lack of movement and apologised on Friday for comments he made relating to the deal on social networking site Twitter.
The striker publicly criticised Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and made it clear he wanted to move to Wearside, despite interest from Stoke and Hull, but later issued a statement reading: "I appreciate that transfers are seldom straightforward.
"I regret my actions and did not intend to offend Daniel Levy or anyone with the nature or the content of my posting."
Bent fell down the pecking order at White Hart Lane despite topping the scoring charts last season following the arrival of Peter Crouch from Portsmouth for £9m earlier this summer.
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