Roger Federer has signed a formal partnership with Swiss running brand On, announcing an entrepreneurial relationship between the brand and the 20-time Grand Slam singles champion.
The unusual partnership will see Federer oversee product development, marketing and fan experiences for the brand, while the first new products developed in conjunction with the player are due to be finished and released in 2020.
On’s ‘Cloud’ technology has seen it become one of the fastest-growing athletic footwear brands since its foundation nine years ago, and Federer will take a hands-on approach to shaping its future.
Federer said: “I’ve been a fan of On and its products for a while, but after talking to the founders I realized we have a lot more in common than just our Swiss roots.
“I’m excited to be part of the On team and to work on the future of a next-generation global sports brand.”
On Co-Founder Olivier Bernhard, a former duathlon world champion, added: “We noticed Roger wearing On shoes and reached out to him. That’s when we found out he is a longtime fan of On and, of course, we are longtime fans of his. Switzerland is a small place and we started having dinner together.”
Commenting on the unconventional relationship, Bernhard said: “It became clear that there was a unique opportunity to forge a joint entrepreneurial path that is very different from an athletic sponsorship that a big company would do.”
“Everyone knows Roger’s a leader in his sport, but as a friendship developed it became clear he is a natural leader and entrepreneur off the court as well. We value the same things and share a passion for innovation and design. He’s going to be a tremendous addition to team On.”
Although the brand is based in Zurich, it has 20 stores in London and is stocked in Harrods. A deal with John Lewis is set to start soon. It has also had a UK-based team since 2014, which is now comprised of 10 people.