Aside from being the man with the big records, Roger Federer is also the man with the big money. The 20-time Grand Slam champion has made a prominent mark in the advertising world, having signed several lucrative endorsement deals over the course of his career.
Roger Federer's genius on the court is well-known to practically every tennis fan, but his skill at fashioning himself as the 'peRFect' brand off the court often goes understated.
Topping the Forbe's list of the richest athletes of 2020, Roger Federer's illustrious career has gone hand in hand with some top-notch brand tie-ups. In fact, a major chunk of Federer's earnings come from his brand associations rather than prize money; in the year 2019, Federer's pre-tax earnings were $106.3m, out of which $100m came from endorsements.
When it comes to endorsements, even Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are no match to Roger Federer. Backed by a marvelous team led by his long-time agent Tony Godsick, Federer is one of the most sought-after athletes in the world for marketing campaigns.
From Nike, Rolex and Barilla to Mercedes, Wilson and Lindt, the Swiss has a string of popular brands in his kitty - which have often produced memorable TV ads featuring him.
In a career spanning over two decades, Roger Federer has frequently showcased his acumen for business and more importantly, advertising. Only recently, the 38-year-old signed a whopping $300-million dollar deal with Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo. Soon after that, Federer collaborated with Swiss shoe company 'On' to create a shoe called 'The Roger'.
The restless energy of Roger Federer is quite suited to television advertising, and that shows in the commercials he does. On that note, here is a list of the five most entertaining Roger Federer ads over the years:
#5 Lindt Lindor ad (2014)
In this cheeky commercial from Swiss chocolate specialists Lindt, Roger Federer is seen in conversation with two very "direct" airport staff members, inquiring about his lost duffel bag. Thoroughly entertaining and intelligently paired with the product's image of being irresistible, this ad combines all things fun and flirtatious.
Roger Federer, who has been the brand ambassador for Lindt since 2009, gelled perfectly with the brand's fundamental values of Swissness, Premiumness, Quality and Passion in the commercial.
#4 Sunrise: Roger Federer's full day off (2015)
20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer joined hands with Switzerland's largest telecommunications company Sunrise in the year 2014. And since then, they have regularly collaborated to create a slew of interesting campaigns.
Harping on Swiss values of excellence and precision, the alliance between Roger Federer and Sunrise has translated into quite a few quirky commercials over the years.
In this advertisement from 2015, Roger Federer is seen indulging in a variety of activities and enjoying a day off amid his tight schedule. The commercial sees the man with 103 titles taking a break by lazing around his house, playing a bit of table tennis, making protein shakes, mowing the lawn, going on a hike in the mountains to enjoy the breathtaking view of the Swiss Alps and most entertainingly, talking to a pet macaw and trying to make it say his name (but in vain).
#3 Barilla | The Party with Roger Federer (2019)
Yet another feather in Roger Federer's hat of premium brands is Italian pasta-maker Barilla. The Swiss paired up with Barilla in 2017 and so far, the journey has been great to watch.
A self-confessed lover of pasta, Roger Federer's 'match-winning' meal is usually the classic spaghetti pomodoro - which he ordered before every match during the 2020 Australian Open.
Barilla's commercials with Roger Federer have seen the Swiss donning the chef's hat and whipping up elegant dishes. In this ad from 2019, Roger Federer senses the mood of the party and decides to jazz it up by putting on the apron and stirring up a classic pasta dish.
Aside from Roger Federer's Masterchef-like skills, the upbeat Greek music in the video also makes this commercial stand out.
#2 Mercedes-Benz SL (2016)
Roger Federer's partnership with German car giant Mercedes-Benz dates back to 2008, and is one of the 20-time Grand Slam champion's most lucrative tie-ups. The alliance has produced several thoroughly entertaining advertisements but nothing quite tops this one from 2016, when Mercedes-Benz decided to go with a 'Timeless' campaign.
Brilliantly conceptualised, and released ahead of the 2016 US Open, the commercial saw Roger Federer playing the role of various tennis legends - namely Rod Laver, John McEnroe, Andre Agassi and Björn Borg. And to portray the timelessness of the Mercedes-Benz SL, Federer is shown driving a vintage version of the car.
The commercial is funny from the get-go as Roger Federer is seen with fake chest hair, golden hair extensions, smashing his racquet and having meltdowns on the court. Thoroughly entertaining and probably one of the best-designed campaigns in recent times, this ad is bound to leave you in peals of laughter.
#1 Match For Africa | Roger Federer and Bill Gates (2018)
Roger Federer's promotion for his 'Match For Africa' tour was absolutely on point. And from the series of promotional teasers, this is easily the best as it showcases Roger Federer and Bill Gates in a fun avatar.
This video from 2018 sees Federer going to hilarious lengths to coach Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. The Swiss plays the role of a strict instructor who commits to upping Gates' game for the exhibition match, and Gates indulges him by saying, "Hey, whatever it takes, Roger."
The funniest bit of the ad arrives when Bill Gates comes out wearing a 'You just got served' T-Shirt, at which the Swiss legend raises his eyebrows at him and says, 'Seriously?'.
With two of the most famous in the world showing off their goofy sides, this video is thoroughly entertaining - and arguably the best that Federer has ever featured in.