Nike (NYSE:NKE), On Holding (NYSE:ONON) – Roger Federer Retiring: How a Tennis Star Bet Against Nike and Won Big

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tennis legend Roger Federer announced his retirement on Thursday (September 15). Federer leaves the sport ranking third for men in Grand Slam titles and as one of the greatest athletes of all time.

What happened: At the age of 41 and after appearing in more than 1,500 professional matches, Federer announced that he was giving up playing professional tennis.

“Of all the gifts tennis has given me over the years, the greatest, without a doubt, has been the people I have met along the way: my friends, my competitors and above all the fans who give life to this sport,” Federer said.

The tennis star said the next Cup of the tank where he will compete for the European team alongside Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic will be his last professional tournament.

“As many of you know, the past three years have presented me with challenges in the form of injuries and surgeries. I worked hard to get back to full competitive form. But I also know the capabilities and limitations of my body, and its message to me lately has been clear.

Federer said he considers himself lucky to be able to compete for so long and at such a high level.

Related Link: 5 Things You Might Not Know About Tennis Star Rafael Nadal

Federer’s Earnings: In his professional tennis career, Federer has a record of 1251-275. Federer earned $130.59 million in income from his career as a professional tennis player.

With a limited number of games completed in the past two years, Federer’s earnings from the field were $0 in 2022 and $647,655 in 2021.

Federer saw his highest earnings in tennis come in 2017 with $13.05 million, his only season over $10 million.

While his tennis earnings of over $130 million are impressive, Federer has done much more off the court.

A big decision pays off: Federer was endorsed by a clothing and footwear company Nike Inc. NKE from 1994 to 2018. After earning an estimated $10 million a year over the last 10 years of the Nike deal, Federer parted ways with the leading brand.

Federer later sign with a Japanese clothing company Uniqlo in a deal reported at $300 million for 10 years. The new annual revenue of $30 million was significantly higher than the Nike deal and also came with two important factors.

The Uniqlo deal did not include a retirement clause, which means that the annual payments of $30 million last until 2028, whether Federer competes or not. The deal also didn’t include shoe rights, meaning Federer could wear whatever shoes he wanted.

Federer wore Nike shoes after the Nike deal expired before eventually switching to shoes from the Swiss company About Holding AG ONON. Federer became an On Holding brand ambassador and also acquired a roughly 3% stake.

On Holding went public in 2021 at $24 per share, valuing the company at more than $6.5 billion. Shares of the company rose significantly on the first day of trading and surged before finally falling. The company now trades with a stock price of $19.44 and a market capitalization of approximately $6 billion.

Federer’s 3% stake in On Holding is valued at around $180 million.

The Uniqlo deal and investment in On Holding helped Federer become one of the highest paid athletes. The deals also came after he left Nike, a well-established brand, and signed with two companies that didn’t have a big presence in professional sports or tennis.

Federer was named the highest-paid athlete of 2020 by Forbes with earnings of $106.3 million on and off the tennis court. In 2021, Federer ranked seventh on the list and was the highest earning tennis player with $90 million.

Federer has been the best tennis player for 17 consecutive years according to Forbes data.

Other endorsement deals for Federer include Rolex, Barilla, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton LVMUY-belonging Moët & Chandon, Wilson, Lindt, Credit Suisse Group AG CS and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRKABRKB-belonging NetJets.

Photo: Kate Tann via Flickr Creative Commons


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