When Roger Federer stepped on the Center Court at Wimbledon for his first round match last year, many spectators had to look twice before realizing it was indeed the Swiss maestro stepping onto the court. It wasn’t a new haircut or a beard that threw them off, but Federer’s unfamiliar outfit: for the first time in his professional career, the Swiss maestro wasn’t dressed in Nike. Instead, Roger Federer wore gear made by the Japanese brand Uniqlo, thanks to a deal that reportedly nets him $300 million over the span of 10 years.
A deal of that volume is probably unprecedented for an athlete at Roger Federer’s age and stage in his career. However, thanks to his sustained success and his demeanor off and (mostly) on the tennis court, Federer is almost universally beloved, which is probably why Uniqlo (and many other companies) decided to sign him regardless of his age. As the following chart illustrates, no other athlete made more money with endorsement deals over the past year than Federer did. According to Forbes, his partnerships with companies such as Mercedes-Benz, Rolex, Barilla, Wilson, Uniqlo, and others netted him $86 million in the 12 months ending June 1, 2019, dwarfing his prize money earnings of $7.4 million over the same period.
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