Uniqlo Deal: Why Tennis Ace Roger Federer Decided to Sign with the Retail Brand

The famous tennis player and fashion brand share a similar vision for the future

Roger Federer running through the tennis court during the match
Roger Federer
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Swiss tennis star, Roger Federer, recently ended his 20-year sponsorship with Nike in favor of a new deal with Japanese retail company, Uniqlo. The 20-time Grand Slam champion put an end to speculation about his future with the US sports brand at Wimbledon. Federer entered the court on the first day of the tournament wearing a Uniqlo outfit instead of his usual Nike-branded gear, confirming his move.

The tennis player revealed the main reason for his decision to change sponsors this week. The 37-year-old, who has admitted himself that he is nearing the end of his tennis career, says the faith placed in him by Uniqlo is what made up his mind to leave Nike, the company with whom he created his RF logo.

There is life after tennis

Uniqlo is committed to working with Federer after his retirement from the sport. In a conversation with Uniqlo chief executive, Tadashi Yanai, and executive creative director, John Jay, Federer said, “John Jay in New York, where I had an event there, said it very nicely: ‘One day I will retire from tennis, but I will not retire from life.’

A goal the tennis player has for after he retires is to develop the charity work he started through his foundation. He wishes the empower children living in poverty through quality education, which is a vision Uniqlo shares. The Roger Federer Foundation has tried to make a difference to improve access to education in the southern region of Africa.

It is believed that the new deal would bring in $30 million a year for Federer

Federer’s role at Uniqlo

The tennis ace has been made a global ambassador for the brand and has been incorporated into the Uniqlo LifeWear range, which shows that they aim to use him to promote clothes as much on the court as off it.

Federer, who has a close friendship with Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, already has a growing interest in fashion. He has attended various fashion shows by designers such as Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen, and he’s also taken an active role in the design of the clothes he wears, on and off the court.

With Uniqlo, he will work closely with the in-house designer, Christophe Lemaire, to design clothing for the brand.

Big gains for tennis stars in Japan

The financial terms of the contract with the Japanese company have not been confirmed. But, it is believed that the new deal would bring in $30 million a year for Federer. That’s three times what he was earning with Nike.

With his new sponsorship and having won his 20th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January, 2018 has certainly been a successful year for the star.

The change comes at a good time for Japanese tennis after Naomi Osaka won the US Open last month, claiming Japan’s first Grand Slam singles title in a final against Serena Williams.

Today’s “otsumami” – a bite size snack:

Having Roger Federer as an ambassador is a smart move by Uniqlo that will allow the company enhance its global standing in fashion retail.

What do you think?

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Written by Catherine McGuinness

Writer and Journalist with a love for all things Japan.

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