Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer has confirmed his switch from Nike to Uniqlo on the first day of Wimbledon, when he arrived for his opening match wearing the new brand’s kit.
The 36-year-old great walked out for his opening-round match at Wimbledon on Monday morning wearing a headband, jacket, shirt and socks from the Japanese brand Uniqlo. Federer, who had been wearing Nike since 1994, was still wearing Nike shoes.
Sources say the deal is worth more than $300 million guaranteed over 10 years and has an unprecedented clause that says that Federer will collect the money even if he doesn’t play.
To put Federer’s $300 million Uniqlo deal in perspective, his career on-court earnings are $116.6 million.
Federer’s endorsements are estimated by Forbes to be worth a whopping US$65 million per year, with his long-running and high-profile partnership with Nike believed to rope in an eye-watering US$10 million annually.
This new contract marks a 300 per cent improvement on his old deal show that despite Federer’s increasing years he remains a marketable commodity.
During his partnership with Nike Federer created the iconic ‘RF’ logo, which is owned by the brand.
Sources say the deal could be even more lucrative for Federer, as it includes the right for his team to sell some patches on his shirt. Nike did not allow him to do so.
Nike was given the right to match the deal and passed. Nike has already discounted most of the Federer-related gear on its website.
Federer’s deal with Nike expired March 1. Federer had continued to wear Nike without a deal, but for his opening news conference at Wimbledon, he wore an unbranded jacket.
Sources say tensions were high between Federer’s agent, Tony Godsick, and Nike, as Federer’s team was looking for more money from the brand. Nike, sources said, offered to expand Federer’s line through his “RF” logo, which Nike has owned the trademark of since 2010.