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Roger Federer

roger federer Roger Federer has released his first tennis basketball since his partnership with the Swiss brand On at the end of 2019. Source: Getty Images.

Tennis icon Roger Federer has been sidelined since knee surgery in February. While other professional players are hoping for a return in August after containment, his has been pushed back to 2021. In the meantime, he’s launching a running shoe brand.

Roger Federer’s business empire continues to grow, despite his withdrawal from the courts. The Swiss has just launched its first shoe , “The Roger” – in collaboration with the Swiss running brand: On. Basketball is inspired by tennis and follows a partnership at the end of 2019 between the 20-time Grand Slam champion and the start-up.

“The minimalist design and comfort of the shoes I was hooked years ago,” Roger Federer said in a statement announcing the launch. “I wanted to infuse this tennis shoe with the same lightness, comfort and agility for every day.”

Roger Federer invested in On in November as part of their deal. A source described the shareholding as “significant.” According to the private company, it was launched in 2010, and sales have doubled every year since. It has 6,000 retailers in 55 countries around the world. According to research firm NPD, the brand’s largest market remains the United States, where it holds 6.6% of the performance running shoe category.

At the end of May, Roger Federer topped Forbes’ annual ranking in the category: the world’s highest-paid athletes, with $106 million in prizes, sponsorships and participations over 12 months. He was the first tennis champion to top the list since Forbes began tracking athletes’ pay in 1990.

His 13 sponsors spend between $3 million and $30 million to align himself with him. Golfer Tiger Woods is the only other active athlete to have accumulated $100 million in a single year, thanks solely to his sponsors. “His brand is intact,” says David Carter, a professor of sports commerce at USC’s Marshall School of Business, “that’s why those who can afford to align themselves with him are clamoring for it.”

For twenty years, Roger Federer has been an essential part of Nike’s tennis marketing, as part of the sportswear giant’s stable endorsement. But the Swoosh and tennis player split in 2018, and he went on to win a huge 10-year, $300 million contract with Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo. The deal left Roger Federer with an opening to add a new sports shoe deal as Uniqlo was not in the game as it was the sneakers. He capitalized, therefore, with the On agreement.

According to the brand, the Roger is made of vegan leather and has been designed to be lightweight to reduce the consumption of materials and its ecological footprint. It also differs from traditional tennis shoes, which have a thick rubber sole. It also incorporates On’s CloudTec technology – designed to ensure a “soft landing followed by an explosive take-off.”

The first version of the shoe is the Centre Court Series 0, which is limited to 1,000 pairs and will be available by lottery on the On website and exclusively at Dover Street Market retailers worldwide for $249.99. Roger Federer revealed the shoe on Monday morning at a live event, 17 years to the day after winning the first of his eight Wimbledon crowns, a record.

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