A man with charisma supports the ISPO Brandnew Overall Winner 2010: Swiss tennis star Roger Federer joins the Swiss company On Running as an investor. So far, the brand has had no links to tennis. "What Roger and we do is not traditional athlete sponsorship," Olivier Bernhard told the "Neue Zürcher Zeitung".
Instead, Federer becomes entrepreneurial. In a familiar environment: He is interested in fashion - and likes to wear sneakers. Federer owns about 250 pairs of sneakers. But he also continues to be in demand as a player and advertising figure: On 24 November 2019, 42,517 spectators watched the show match between Federer and the German Alexander Zverev in Mexico City - a world record.
Therefore, he should also contribute to growth with his ideas. He is already influencing product development. For the first time the brand is represented by a different face than that of the three founders Olivier Bernhard, David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti. "The chunk was big enough that I had to think about it well, even if the gut feeling was right. In the end, I wanted to set an example for On," says Federer.
Coppetti said about joining ISPO.com: "Roger Federer is undoubtedly an exceptional athlete and will shape the future of On with his wealth of experience." The first Federer products are to be launched on the market as early as 2020. The Swiss wore On shoes off the court in the past few years.
Since the beginning of 2019, when his contract with Nike ended, he no longer has an official shoe partner. Because the Japanese sports brand Uniqlo equipped him with a contract worth millions (allegedly 300 million dollars), but does not manufacture any shoes.
That's why On Running doesn't want to produce tennis shoes. They remain in the sports shoe market, but could also grow in the huge lifestyle market through Federer's representative. "I'm excited to be able to work with a young Swiss company that's on the move", says Federer.
And in which sectors can he help the company? "Roger will be actively involved in product development, sports marketing and the fan experience", says Coppetti. "And he will help us to embed the 'Athlete Spirit' even further in our corporate culture - after all, who could do that better than a world-class professional athlete?
At the beginning of 2010 On began as start-up. Thanks to its innovations, the company found its way around the market alongside the Nike, Adidas, Asics and New Balance groups. No running shoe brand in the world is growing as fast as On. The company now has 500 employees.
The On buyers, however, are on average older than those of Adidas or Nike, and the aim is to reach younger audiences as well.
This is why the Swiss triathlete Nicola Spirig and her Spanish colleague Javier Gomez, for example, will be competing in On shoes at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. "As a performance running shoe brand, athletes play an important role for us; they act as role models and usually practice their sport with passion," says Coppetti.