Why Roger Federer has signed deal with new sponsor Uniqlo and is no longer wearing Nike
One of the most significant commercial partnerships in sport has ended, with Roger Federer walking onto Centre Court at Wimbledon today wearing Uniqlo rather than Nike.
According to Forbes magazine’s recent list of the world’s highest-paid athletes, Federer currently earns $77.2m (£57.63m) a year, with his Nike sponsorship one of the most lucrative deals in sport.
But a report on the Italian website, sportsenators.it, by the highly respected tennis journalist Vincenzo Martucci first suggested that Uniqlo would be prepared to pay Federer $30m (about €25.8m) over the next 10 years, even after the 36-year-old Swiss has stopped playing.
And on Monday Federer appeared on Centre Court wearing a brand new Uniqlo strip, thus ending his 10-year partnership with Nike which was said to have been worth $10m (about €8.6m) a year.
Federer retained his Nike shoes, as Uniqlo do not currently manufacture tennis footwear. Uniqlo previously had a deal with Novak Djokovic, but the Serb has always worn Asics shoes.
Federer begins his campaign to win a record-equalling ninth title with a first round match against Dušan Lajović.
"It remains a little bit nerve-wracking in all honesty. It's a big deal," Federer said the day before The Championships. "Besides the history and the mythical place that it is, you cannot also practise on it.
"The entire atmosphere changes at Wimbledon, and you realize the eyes are on you. But I love it. It's a massive honour."