Roger Federer’s On Running Investment Is Already Making Him Millions Off The Court

Tennis' GOAT is still serving aces.

Roger Federer’s On Running Investment Is Already Making Him Millions Off The Court

Image: On

In an already saturated market that included Nike, Adidas and ASICS, On Running, a Swiss sportswear company, was able to break away from the pack with premium shoes anchored in superior running performance – and the help of a world-famous investor.

Whether he’s posing with David Beckham at Wimbledon or wearing a classy Rolex, Roger Federer has long been celebrated for his style and sophistication, both on and off the court.

In 2019, the 20-time Grand Slam tennis champion was struck when he started seeing On Running shoes everywhere he went in his hometown of Zürich; from his wife at home to strangers on the street, Federer wanted to know how these comfortable and lightweight shoes had quickly become so popular.

Following the conclusion of his lucrative multi-year deal with Nike, the former world no.1 knew he had to get involved with this fast-growing company emerging out of his native Switzerland. Federer invited the original On co-founders out for dinner and was blown away by their expertise and passion for their products.

Roger Federer was excited by the prospect of working with a Swiss company. Image: WWD

“I’m very intrigued with Swiss guys making it global. In Switzerland at some point you need to go global and that’s why I love supporting and hearing the Swiss story,” Federer revealed to Forbes

Federer invested an undisclosed fee for a 3% share of the company, an investment that’s now worth more than $330 million USD (~$507 million AUD).

“They maybe thought I was too big, but we knew having just a regular ambassador role for me, again, was not the right way to go,” Federer revealed to Forbes.

After Federer’s involvement with the company was first floated to the owners, the On team got to work, spending 20 days together in the lab to develop his very own professional tennis shoe, the first in On’s inventory.

“‘Hey, why don’t you become a co-entrepreneur together with us?'”

David Allemann, On Co-Founder
On’s The Roger Pro is the first tennis shoe the Swiss company sold. Image: On

The Swiss company was forced to navigate the pandemic with a nimbleness reminiscent of its new investor’s graceful on-court demeanour. “They are smart, really nice people with a passion for what they do,” Federer said. “They are amazingly nimble—they adapted so quickly to the pandemic and the requirement to shift to e-commerce.”

During a time in which more and more people were stuck indoors and looking for a physical outlet, On was able to capitalise, selling a reported 10 million units globally and generating more than $425 million USD (~$654 million AUD) in revenue in 2020, up 59% on the previous year.

In 2021, two years after Roger Federer’s minority investment, the Swiss-engineered On went public on the New York Stock Exchange, selling 31.1 million shares in its IPO, valued at $24 a share.

On was valued at $11.35 billion USD (~$17.5 billion AUD), and Roger Federer’s undisclosed share had skyrocketed to more than $330 million USD (~$507 million AUD). Even away from tennis, Federer was still making winning moves.