Uniqlo rallies Roger Federer from Nike deal in time for Wimbledon

Federer signs with Uniqlo

Japanese retailer Uniqlo has secured Roger Federer as its global brand ambassador just in time for the start of Wimbledon.

Currently rated as the 2nd top in the Men's ATP rankings, the athlete previously held a lucrative deal with Nike until its expiration 1 March. Now he will represent the brand at all the tennis tournament he attends this year.

ESPN cites sources as saying the new deal is worth $300m a year, adding that he collects even if he doesn’t play – and he is also invited to sell patches on his shirt, a nuance Nike did not allow for. At 36 years old, Federer should be in the twilight of his career, nonetheless, Uniqlo has saw an opportunity to enter the market not as a sports firm but as a “thoughtful, everyday apparel” company.

Tadashi Yanai, founder and chairman of Uniqlo, 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.”

Federer added: “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.”

Having been with Nike since 1994, the athlete continued to wear even after the partnership expired. Notably the brand previously had a working partnership with Novak Djokovic before calling a close to that deal in 2017.

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