How Roger Federer Made $600 Million From Dropping A $10 Million Deal

by : Emily Brown on : 30 Sep 2021 15:17
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A writer who details the ‘money behind sports’ has revealed how Swiss tennis player Roger Federer managed to make $600 million dollars by dropping a $10 million sponsorship deal. 

Newsletter writer Joe Pompliano regularly reveals insights into the successes of sports players in his free daily newsletter Huddle Up, which attracts readers in the form of industry executives, professional athletes and investors.


Pompliano gave social media users a taste of the kind of content they might expect from his newsletter in a thread shared online today, in which he honed in on Federer and revealed some of his money-making moves.

The author of the newsletter explains Federer’s journey to becoming ‘one of only six athletes to cross $1 billion in career earnings while still active’ began in 2018, at which point the tennis player had been involved in a sponsorship deal with Nike for more than 20 years.

When it came time for Federer to renew the $10 million annual deal, Nike had to let the tennis player walk away in order to protect their margins, with Pompliano noting ‘there is an unwritten rule in the world of sponsorships — you don’t spend over 10% of overall revenue on athlete sponsorship deals.’


After leaving Nike, Federer ‘shocked the world’ by signing a 10-year, $300 million deal with Uniqlo, which included two stipulations; there was no retirement clause, meaning Federer would earn $30 million at age 46 even if he retired five years prior; and the deal only covered apparel, not shoes.

Roger Federer (Alamy)Alamy

With no shoe deal in place, Federer continued to wear Nike’s trainers, without being paid for it, before he discovered footwear brand On Running while training, after which he signed an equity deal and became a global ambassador for the Swiss brand.

Federer reportedly owns about 3% of On Running, according to Pompliano, and two years after the athlete got on board the business went public and is now valued at $10 billion, meaning Federer’s stake is worth about $300 million.


Thanks to the smart moves he has made over the last three years, Federer reportedly brought home $90 million last year, despite only having earned $300,000 from tennis events. His earnings made him the 7th highest-paid athlete globally, though Pompliano ended his thread by noting Federer is generous with his wealth, having already spent about $15 million to open more than 80 schools in Africa.

As the writer notes, it’s ‘not bad for a 40-year-old tennis player…’

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University and went on to contribute to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming Senior Journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news, trending stories and longer form features.

Topics: Sport, Nike, Sports, Tennis


Joe Pompliano/Twitter
  1. Joe Pompliano/Twitter