Former World No. 2 doubles player Wojciech Fibak believes Roger Federer is the only tennis star who can command million-dollar contracts from top-end sponsors. According to Fibak, someone like his compatriot Iga Swiatek - who recently joined Federer as one of the brand ambassadors of Rolex - cannot expect anything similar to what the Swiss receives.
Wojciech Fibak was a distinguished player back in the day, having won the men’s doubles title at the Australian Open in 1978. The 68-year-old is also one of the wealthiest and most well-connected people in Poland.
During a recent interview with Onet Sport, Fibak highlighted the difference in the brand value of Iga Swiatek and Roger Federer. Even though Swiatek made a huge splash by winning the French Open earlier this year, Fibak believes she shouldn't expect too much from endorsement deals.
“If someone offered Swiatek a contract, we should not expect that she would be paid a million dollars,” Fibak said. “Federer may get that amount, but he's the only one. The rest will get very reasonable sums.”
Fibak acknowledged that the amount Swiatek commands is not paltry, but then pointed out that it's nothing compared to what even the established female stars like Serena Williams or Maria Sharapova get.
“Of course, considering the Polish realities and recently Iga as well, it will be unimaginable money," the 68-year-old added. "But these will not be contracts that will bring her closer to the financial shelf of Osaka, Sharapova or Williams."
Fibak then gave an insight into Rolex’s collaboration strategies with celebrities. The Pole claimed the watch brand offers top-tier contracts only to the biggest global icons such as Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, because in most other cases the company doesn't benefit from the association as much as the stars themselves.
“Rolex is a great example, a luxury company works differently,” Fibak explained. “I know former and current Rolex owners. They believe that it is the star who benefits more from this collaboration and therefore Rolex usually does not offer high salaries. Only outstanding operas - Placido Domingo, tennis - Roger Federer or golf - Tiger Woods can count on high contracts.”
A look at Roger Federer’s income from some of his sponsorship deals
Roger Federer amassed a whopping $106.3 million between June 2019 and May 2020, making him the highest-paid athlete during this period. The Swiss legend was also named the third-highest paid celebrity in the world, after Kylie Jenner and Kanye West.
Uniqlo’s deal with Roger Federer sees Federer pocketing a cool $30 million a year. The 10-year-long contract is designed to serve the 39-year-old well even after he hangs up his boots.
Rolex meanwhile pays Federer somewhere between $10 million to $15 million a year. Along with that, the 20-time Slam champion also receives the rarest bespoke timepieces from the Swiss brand.
Sporting giants Wilson reportedly pay Roger Federer just under $5 million a year. The World No. 5 receives a similar figure from Mercedes-Benz too, while Swiss chocolatiers Lindt pay Federer around $7 million annually.
One of Roger Federer’s most controversial yet lucrative brand tie-ups is with Credit Suisse. The 39-year-old has often been criticized for his links with the financial giants who have repeatedly been accused of neglecting environmental concerns. Federer gets richer by around $20 million each year thanks to Credit Suisse.