Roger Federer has been called one of the best tennis players of all time with 20 Grand Slam championships to his credit, and now he’s one of the best businessmen as well. The 38-year-old tennis great signed a deal with Swiss footwear brand On to become an investor, a contributing designer, and a global ambassador. The new deal comes after Federer bid farewell to Nike in order to sing a $300 million apparel deal with Japanese brand Uniqlo.
“They were impossible to ignore because everyone had them, people on the street, my friends, my wife,” Federer said in an interview with the New York Times. “At first I thought that they were a little strange to look at, then I realized I actually really liked the design.” Federer had been wearing the trainers for his sprint training sessions before he had officially signed a contract with On, and had even come into the On offices to provide feedback on design. Federer will continue offering feedback, with his line of On trainers coming to market sometime next year.
There’s no word on how Federer has invested in On, but the shoe manufacturer’s co-founder David Allemann described the investment as “very meaningful.” For Federer’s part, it’s obvious that he has high hopes for the company. “We like it when little Swiss guys make a move on the big international stage,” Federer said. Federer is a self-proclaimed sneakerhead who confesses to owning at least 250 pairs of sneakers.
Investing in On looks to be a wise move for the shoe fan. The company was founded in 2010 and has been profitable since 2014. On is best known for their Cloud shoes that feature a cushioned rubber sole designed with CloudTec—a patented technology that is geared toward a runner’s performance. “In joining On as an entrepreneur, Roger becomes a close partner to our founders and the On team,” reads a statement from On. “He will use his unique experience to help take our product development, marketing and fan experiences to new levels. Roger will also play a role in developing the athlete spirit that’s at the core of our high-performing culture.”