- Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
- Roger Federer made a big switch on Monday, trading in his Nike gear for Uniqlo and a massive payday.
- Federer’s deal is rumored to be ten years and upwards of $300 million going Fed’s way.
- The deal is structured so that Federer will get paid even if he retires before it ends – an unheard of move in the sport.
Roger Federer began his campaign for his ninth win at Wimbledon on Monday, but the biggest news from the World No. 1 player was not his game on the court, but instead his outfit.
Federer has worn Nike for over twenty years, making the “swoosh” logo and his “RF” logo iconic symbols of his dominance on the court. But as he dispatched Dušan Lajović in straight sets to move on to the second round, Federer was rocking his new sponsor, Uniqlo, for the first time.
According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the deal is worth more than $300 million over ten years and includes an unprecedented clause that will allow Federer to keep collecting even if he doesn’t play through the end of the deal.
While it was initially speculated that the deal could be worth $21 million per year, it looks as though Federer found his way into an even better agreement with the Japanese athletic brand. In addition to the money he’ll earn as a brand ambassador for Uniqlo, he’ll also reportedly be able to sell patches on his shirt – something that Nike had forbidden him from doing.
Federer was still Federer on the court, but the sight of the greatest of all time without the swoosh on his chest and his own “RF” – which Nike still holds the rights to – emblazoned somewhere was enough to catch some people off guard.
Roger Federer walks onto Centre Court at #Wimbledon wearing UNIQLO.
The decades-long Federer-Nike era is over.
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) July 2, 2018
Can't Uniqlo buy the RF logo from Nike or something? It's just so disconcerting to see Federer wearing a kit without the RF emblazoned on it.
— ???? (@DropVolleys) July 2, 2018
Weird af not seeing Federer in the RF Nike gear. But I wouldn't turn down 300 million if Uniqlo offered it to me. They do realize they signed a soon to be 37 year old tennis pro to a 10 year deal tho right?
— #TeamMino (@TheMinoSays) July 2, 2018
Federer isn’t the first high profile player to wear Uniqlo on the court – three-time Wimbledon winner Novak Djokovic also worked with the brand before switching to LaCoste last year.
Federer hasn’t removed Nike entirely from his tennis wardrobe, as still wore his Nike shoes throughout the match.