Roger Federer Leaves Nike for Uniqlo – The rumors began June 3, reported by Swiss media that Roger Federer was reportedly switching clothing sponsors from Nike to Uniqlo. As the 20-time grand slam champion walked onto Centre Court, Wimbledon, for his first round match, those rumors became truth. Seeking his record extending ninth Wimbledon title, Federer walked onto Centre Court sporting a new outfit from the Japanese company, wearing a white jacket, henley-styled shirt, matching white shorts, white socks, and white bandana with two red squares, the Uniqlo logo (slightly off to the side compared to Nike logo which used to be front and center). The 36-year-old Swiss is still wearing Nike Zoom Vapor X shoes, although he said in his press conference following his first round win that he currently does not have a shoe deal, and that Nike has shown interest there, but it’s still open ended to see who else may show interest.
Federer – “with the shoe situation, I don’t have a shoe deal, so I’m looking forward to see what shoes I will wearing in the near future. For now, I will be wearing Nike, they have shown interest to have a shoe deal with me as well, so ties are not broken there, you know. I have deep roots with Nike, I’ve had a great relationship over the last twenty years, so, but everything’s open and yeah, it’s very exciting, also again to see whats out there and who wants to do something with me.” “We do not comment on athlete contracts,” a spokeswoman for Nike said. “However, we are thankful and proud to have been a part of Roger’s incredible journey and wish him the best in the future.”
Federer’s previous 10-year contract with Nike, was reported to be in the ballpark of $10 million a year, from March 1, 2008 – March 1, 2018. He had previously been with Nike since 1994. The rumored offer from Nike was $7.5 million per year for three years ($22.5 million). Financial terms are not officially announced, as is typically the case. His new deal with Uniqlo, reported by Swiss media, and this morning backed by ESPN business reporter, Darren Rovell, is more than $300 million over 10 years. Nike owns the RF logo for now, but in his first round press conference, wearing a black hooded Uniqlo jacket, Federer stated the logo will come to him at some point, sooner than later – ‘the RF logo is with Nike at the moment but it will come to me at some point. Rather sooner than later – Nike can be nice and helpful in the process in bringing it over to me. It will come with me at one point: they are my initials. It’s not theirs forever.’
“It’s a global opportunity with a lot of exciting plans,” said Tony Gosdick, Federer’s agent. “Mr. Yanai, CEO of Uniqlo, is really excited to grow Roger’s brand in Asia and around the world. Everybody knows Roger has a tremendous appetite for fashion.
“It was a great relationship with Nike and this is going to be, too — one that carries well beyond Roger’s playing days. Long term, we can create wonderful things together.”
Sources say the deal could be even more lucrative for Federer, as the deal includes the right for Federer’s team to sell some patches on his shirt. Nike did not allow him to do so. Federer had continued to wear Nike without a deal after it expired March 1, 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 Nike. Nike, sources said, offered to expand Federer’s line through his “RF” logo, which Nike has owned the trademark of since 2010. Uniqlo is no small player in the apparel market. The Japanese brand is projected to pull in $29 billion in revenue by 2020. Nike is expected to be closer to $40 billion in revenue by that time.
UNIQLO Announces Unique Partnership with Roger Federer as Global Brand Ambassador
July 2, 2018, Tokyo, Japan, and London, UK – UNIQLO, the Japanese global apparel retailer, announces today a partnership with Roger Federer, the greatest tennis player of all-time and one of the world’s most influential and universally admired people, as its newest Global Brand Ambassador. The new partnership means that Mr. Federer will represent UNIQLO at all tennis tournaments throughout the year, starting with The Championships, Wimbledon 2018.
Commenting on the announcement, Tadashi Yanai, UNIQLO Founder and Chairman, President & CEO of Fast Retailing, said, “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.”
UNIQLO enters the partnership inspired by the past accomplishments of Mr. Federer and his previous partners. While respectful of new standards they set together, UNIQLO is not a sports company. UNIQLO describes itself as a life company that creates LifeWear, thoughtful everyday apparel with a practical sense of beauty, and constantly improved through craftsmanship and technology. With today’s announcement, LifeWear has a new champion.
Roger Federer’s game wear for Wimbledon 2018 was designed at the UNIQLO Paris R&D Center, led by Artistic Director Christophe Lemaire. Instead of the classic polo shirt or crewneck style collar, UNIQLO reflected Roger Federer’s preference for a short stand-up collar to emphasize a more sophisticated look both on and off court. 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 color, especially at the launch of the partnership.
Highly Functional Dry EX Material Trusted by Top Athletes
Jointly developed by UNIQLO and Toray Industries, Dry EX features a special arched structure that dries faster than ordinary dry function material, preventing the steamy and sticky feeling due to perspiration and keeping a comfortable feel during play. The raised structure is well suited to the strenuous movements of tennis. Highly breathable mesh has been used in areas that accumulate sweat, helping to avoid overheating and allowing the athletes to be at their very best during competition.
The UNIQLO Global Brand Ambassador Program
UNIQLO partners with world-leading people to promote its brand and LifeWear globally. Reflecting core UNIQLO values, Global Brand Ambassadors embrace challenge in pursuit of the highest possible achievement. They are universally admired for their integrity and character, and for the optimism, respect and humility they demonstrate to all.
UNIQLO combines the expert professional insight of its Global Brand Ambassadors with its most advanced proprietary technologies, creating apparel that supports human performance at the highest level, while also bringing greater comfort and functionality to the everyday lives of its customers. In addition, UNIQLO works with its brand ambassadors to promote community engagement and development initiatives around the world.
In addition to Roger Federer, the UNIQLO Global Brand Ambassadors today are Kei Nishikori (Tennis), Shingo Kunieda and Gordon Reid MBE (Wheelchair Tennis) and Adam Scott (Golf).
About UNIQLO LifeWear
Apparel that comes from the Japanese values of simplicity, quality and longevity. Designed to be of the time and for the time, LifeWear is made with such modern elegance that it becomes the building blocks of each individual’s style. A perfect shirt that is always being made more perfect. The simplest design hiding the most thoughtful and modern details. The best in fit and fabric made to be affordable and accessible to all. LifeWear is clothing that is constantly being innovated, bringing more warmth, more lightness, better design, and better comfort to people’s lives.
About UNIQLO and Fast Retailing
UNIQLO is a brand of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., a leading global Japanese retail holding company that designs, manufactures and sells clothing under seven main brands: Comptoir des Cotonniers, GU, Helmut Lang, J Brand, Princesse tam.tam, Theory, and UNIQLO. With global sales of approximately 1.8619 trillion yen for the 2017 fiscal year ending August 31, 2017 (US $16.87 billion, calculated in yen using the end of August 2017 rate of $1 = 110.4 yen), Fast Retailing is one of the world’s largest apparel retail companies, and UNIQLO is Japan’s leading specialty retailer.
UNIQLO continues to open large-scale stores in some of the world’s most important cities and locations, as part of its ongoing efforts to solidify its status as a truly global brand. Today the company has more than 2,000 stores in 19 markets worldwide including Japan, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, U.K. and the U.S. In addition, Grameen UNIQLO, a social business established in Bangladesh in September 2010, currently operates several Grameen UNIQLO stores in Dhaka. UNIQLO manages an integrated business model under which it designs, manufactures, markets and sells high-quality, casual apparel. The company believes that truly great clothes should be supremely comfortable, feature universal designs, are of high quality and offer a superb fit to everyone who wears them.
With a corporate statement committed to changing clothes, changing conventional wisdom and change the world, Fast Retailing is dedicated to creating great clothing with new and unique value to enrich the lives of people everywhere. For more information about UNIQLO and Fast Retailing, please visit www.uniqlo.com and www.fastretailing.com.