The Japanese brand managed to sponsor the Swiss tennis player; it did not come cheap, but for both parties can be a profitable society
In his 15 years of dominance in the world of tennis, since winning his first Grand Slam in 2003, the Swiss Roger Federer was always accompanied by the Nike brand and the iconic logo with his initials that this facilitated. At the time, Federer's contract with Nike was the largest sports sponsorship in history, covering 10 years and 10 million dollars annually.
However, on his first outing to Wimbledon turf this year, Federer revealed that he switched to Nike for Uniqlo. This is a Japanese brand of casual clothing known in the world of tennis for having sponsored the Serbian Novak Djokovic, another legend of modern tennis, now with Lacoste.
Naturally there was some commotion, because the Swiss tennis player was already an icon of the Nike brand. However, when revealing the total value of his new contract with Uniqlo everything made sense, because Federer will receive up to three times what he received with Nike.
The contract, according to the BBC, will ensure that Uniqlo will pay Federer a total of 300 million dollars over 10 years. This means that the winner of 20 Grand Slam tournaments will continue to be ambassador of this brand of casual clothes, even after his retirement from the courts.
Thus, Federer goes from being one of hundreds of athletes sponsored by the Nike brand, to being the most important of three sponsored by Uniqlo. The other two are the Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori and the Australian golfer Adam Scott.
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Federer, the ideal ambassador of brands
According to Forbes, Roger Federer is the seventh richest athlete in the world and the richest in the world of tennis. The Spanish Rafael Nadal, who follows him, is ranked number 20 worldwide. The American business magazine estimates that Federer earns $ 12.2 million annually in salary and awards as a result of practicing his sport. A figure that, while it seems huge, is by far the lowest among the 10 richest athletes, according to Forbes.
However, where Federer makes the difference is in its sponsorships, which in 2017 gave him the figure of 65 million dollars. This figure arises from ties with brands such as Mercedes Benz, Lindt, Rolex, Gillette, Moet & Chandon, Barilla and the private jets company NetJets, among many others.
Federer has proven to be a highly profitable athlete and character when it comes to representing brands. First, his consistency in the field, which with few injuries and good performance have kept him relevant for 15 years, makes him highly attractive as an ambassador. In addition, as a tennis player he has a calendar that covers almost the entire year and appeals to a target audience with greater purchasing power than, perhaps, a sport such as soccer, making it particularly related to luxury brands such as Mercedes Benz and Rolex.
On the other hand, it helps that Federer is not likely to be involved in scandals and that his experiences with the press have always been very positive. For this reason, Federer has good perception among the public, and was voted the favorite player of the ATP Tour fans for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2013.
Now, with the sponsorship of Uniqlo that will extend beyond sport, as it will continue after his retirement, Federer continues to open his field as one of the most successful athletes of all time, both on and off the field.
LatinAmerican Post | Pedro Bernal
Translated from "Roger Federer: ¿Qué gana el tenista de su alianza con la marca japonesa Uniqlo?"