- Don-Alvin Adegeest |
Japanese high street retailer Uniqlo is to sponsor tennis champion Roger Federer in a deal valued at 300 million dollars over the course of 10 years.
Fast Retailing, Uniqlo's parent company, sees the Wimbledon champion end his tenure with Nike, a brand more associated with tennis and sports, to become a brand ambassador for the casual Japanese fashion chain. Federer has been associated with Nike for nearly 24 years, starting in 1994 when he was sponsored to wear Nike trainers.
Commenting on the announcement, Tadashi Yanai, Uniqlo Founder and CEO of Fast Retailing, said in a press release, "Mr. Federer is one of the greatest champions in history; my respect for him goes beyond sport. Our partnership will be about innovation on and off court. We share a goal of making positive change in the world, and I hope together we can bring the highest quality of life to the greatest number of people. Uniqlo will help Mr. Federer continue taking tennis to new places, while exploring innovations in a number of areas including technology and design with him."
Mr. Federer said, "I am deeply committed to tennis and to winning championships. But like Uniqlo, I also have great love for life, culture and humanity. We share a strong passion to have a positive impact on the world around us and look forward to combining our creative endeavors."
Bloomberg Intelligence Consumer Analyst Thomas Jastrzab stated: "While the reported deal may appear excessive for an athlete approaching the twilight of his career, the meaningful boost he should provide Uniqlo’s overseas expansion could make such a partnership worthwhile for both parties."
Christophe Lemaire designs Wimbledon outfit
Roger Federer's on court outfit for Wimbledon 2018 was designed at the Uniqlo Paris R&D headquarters which is led by Artistic Director Christophe Lemaire. Lemaire reworked the classic polo shirt with a short stand-up collar to emphasize a more sophisticated look. The design of the shirt and shorts is accented by a burgundy color line - incorporated at the edge of the sleeves and the front panel of the shirt, and down the sides of the shorts - to highlight the company's corporate colour.
As Uniqlo does not produce sporting shoes it is expected Federer will continue to wear Nike trainers, although news of a new sponsorship deal were not disclosed.Photo credit: Roger Federer for Uniqlo by Ella Ling, source Uniqlo