Roger Federer becomes sixth athlete to cross $1 billion in career earnings while still being active

Roger Federer at the 2021 Laver Cup
Roger Federer at the 2021 Laver Cup

Roger Federer recently became only the sixth athlete to cross $1 billion in earnings while still being active in his profession. Federer joins an illustrious list comprising LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Floyd Mayweather, Lionel Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo, all of whom achieved the feat during their playing days.

It is no secret that Federer has earned money in truckloads in recent years despite his time on the court reducing drastically due to injuries. Simply put, Federer's off-court business decisions have paid off handsomely, putting him within touching distance of some of the wealthiest individuals on the planet.

Roger Federer is one of only six athletes to cross $1 billion in career earnings while still active.The part you didn't know?He left behind a $10 million annual sponsorship deal with Nike and turned it into a $600 million-plus payday.Here's the wild story ๐Ÿ‘‡

Joe Pompliano, presumably a financial expert, recently charted the reasons behind the Swiss' meteoric rise in net worth since 2018. Pompliano wrote a detailed thread on Twitter highlighting how Federer's decision to ditch apparel sponsor Nike and shift to Uniqlo and On Running proved to be a masterstroke.

Roger Federer traded Nike's $10 million per annum deal for Uniqlo's bumper $300 million deal

Roger Federer sporting Uniqlo at the 2021 Wimbledon
Roger Federer sporting Uniqlo at the 2021 Wimbledon

Prior to 2018, Roger Federer was paid $10 million a year by Nike to sport their clothing and footwear. In his thread, Pompliano noted how despite being with Nike for more than two decades, Federer made the switch to Uniqlo to protect his interests in the long run.

According to Pompliano, brands do not generally spend upwards of 10% of their annual income on sponsorship deals. Given the fact that Nike already had Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Nick Kyrgios, and Rafael Nadal on their roster, they could afford to part ways with the 40-year-old.

Federer then went on to sign a $300 million deal with Japanese clothing giant Uniqlo. Since it was a 10-year deal, it meant the Swiss would pocket $30 million annually from the contract -- a three-time increase in his earnings from his partnership with Nike.

3) Nike ultimately decided to protect their margins, letting the 36-year-old legend walk.The result: Federer shocked the world, signing a massive 10-year, $300M deal with Uniqlo โ€” or 3x more than the $10M Nike was paying him annually.But that's only part of the story...

Pampliano then highlighted two aspects of Federer's deal with Uniqlo that benefitted him even further. According to the financial expert, the 20-time Major champion made a wise decision to sign an agreement with Uniqlo that did not have any retirement clause.

As such, if he were to retire midway through the 10-year deal, he would still be paid his entire contract.

The second aspect was the fact that Uniqlo only agreed to sponsor Federer's clothing and not his footwear, meaning he was free to sign another sponsorship deal with a different brand.

This is where the Swiss footwear brand, On Running, made an entry, giving Federer another bumper deal which boosted his net worth even further. Joe Pompliano mentioned how the 40-year-old signed an equity deal with On Running and also became their global ambassador.

In addition to Federer's initial investment and marketing fees, it was also reported that the Swiss had then purchased a 3% stake in the brand.

6) Including his initial investment & marketing fees, Roger Federer reportedly owns about 3% of the brand.The craziest part?Just two years later, On Running has gone public & the business is valued at $10 billion.That means Federer's stake is now worth about $300 million.

A couple of years down the line, On Running has listed itself on the stock exchange and gone public, with an estimated worth of roughly $10 billion. That means Federer's 3% stake is worth a massive $300 million.

As such, Federer has guaranteed himself a net worth of $300 million from his stake in On Running and a similar amount from his sponsorship deal with Uniqlo. The 40-year-old has also pocketed about $130 million in the form of his tennis winnings.

Federer made a further three-figure sum from Nike during his stint with them. He also has other sponsorship deals, including Rolex, Credit Suisse and Barilla, to name a few. Taking all these into account, Federer has secured earnings upwards of $1 billion while still being active on tour.

Edited by Arvind Sriram
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