Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer’s affiliation with Nike could be coming to an end after 21 years. Reports have emerged suggesting the 36-year-old is set to turn his back on the Swoosh in favor of a lucrative long-term deal with Uniqlo.
It’s rumored that Federer’s 10-year contract with Nike, signed in 2008 and said to be the biggest in the history of tennis, ended on March 1. Italian journalist Vincenzo Martucci has claimed that Uniqlo has agreed a deal with the 20-time Grand Slam winner until 2028, said to be worth $30 million a year.
Nike owns the RF logo. So if Roger Federer does leave Nike, he doesn't get to take it with him. https://t.co/4kanNrJbU5
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) June 10, 2018
As Tennis World USA mentions, a sticking point in the deal might be the fact that Uniqlo doesn’t produce tennis sneakers. However, several players have circumvented this issue in the past. Andy Murray initially continued to wear adidas footwear after he left the Three Stripes for Under Armour, while Novak Djokovic wore adidas Barricades after signing with the Japanese fast-fashion giant.
Djokovic left Uniqlo for Lacoste last year, but the brand still counts names such as Kei Nishikori among its ambassadors. Golfer Adam Scott is rumored to have swapped Uniqlo for Under Armour as of next year.
Uniqlo would have to rebrand Federer, as Nike currently owns the “RF” logo. Some of Federer’s most notable ’fits from his time with Beaverton include the “Darth Vader” from the 2007 U.S. Open and the infamous military-style jacket worn at Wimbledon in 2009 (along with a number of other jackets and blazers worn at SW19).
If the reports are true, Federer would wear Uniqlo for the first time at Wimbledon in July. The Swiss star has held a number of endorsement deals over his career with brands including Moët & Chandon, Gillette, Rolex, Lindt, and racket-maker Wilson.
How do you feel about Federer potentially transferring to Uniqlo? Air your views in the comments below.
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