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The Midas touch: How Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal turn brands into pure gold

The tennis world’s pillars are a marketer’s dream - the deals they have struck are proof enough.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Feb 13, 2018, 11.11 AM IST
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That’s one silky Hermes scarf of a backhand by Roger. And here comes a precise, strong LV trunk of a forehand from Rafa.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer swept the majors in 2017, proving they remain the epicentre of tennis, from which the sport draws energy and riches. The two turn the sport into a beautiful experience. Federer’s grace contrasts against Nadal’s warrior spirit — resulting in a pure, handmade intoxication. In other words, a type of luxury.

Deservingly, they endorse some of the world’s finest goods. And their portfolios reflect their personalities and the market they appeal to.

The Money-Makers

Roger Federer

 

�� #metgala #inemojis

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Thirty-six-year-old Federer’s major endorsements, excluding sports equipment, are with Rolex, Mercedes, Credit Suisse, Lindt chocolates, Moet & Chandon and NetJets.

This is not an actor’s anything-fora-price portfolio. This is a portfolio with synergy between brand and client. The labels mentioned could do worse than find a princely global icon from a picture postcard country (Switzerland) with a picture postcard family (two golden sets of twins), and who runs with the right crowd (William, Kate and Pippa, Anna Wintour, Bill Gates).

According to Forbes, Federer made nearly $64 million from June 2016 to June 2017. Of that, more than $50 million was from endorsements. His recent deal was with Italian pasta company Barilla. It is safe to bet Federer will never be penne wise, pound foolish.

Rafael Nadal

 

Having a great night out at the #ATP gala!

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If Federer is Bond, Nadal is Ironman. His brawny game and physique appeals to youngsters and women. Nadal pulls in around $30 million a year in endorsements. Some of the products he endorses are mass and affordable, like Kia Motors, a Korean auto manufacturer. He also is the face of Telefonica, a Spanish telecommunications company. This ties in with Nadal’s humility, family values and simple lifestyle. In the past, Nadal was also a social responsibility ambassador for Bacardi. While the campaign had a fun, party aesthetic and was clearly targeted towards the youth, it reminded people to drink responsibly.

Nadal’s more exclusive associations are with the boutique watchmaker Richard Mille and designer Tommy Hilfiger. In the past, Nadal also endorsed Armani underwear, and flashed some butt in commercials clearly aimed to titillate. Nadal fans often ridicule Federer’s elite dandyism, but their hombre hasn’t been immune to the good life, no? A Richard Mille, for example, costs way more than a Rolex. The model Nadal wore on his way to winning the US Open recently costs $725,000. On the other hand, $10,000 can get you some very nice Rolex action.

So, let us stop judging and simply enjoy the greatness of these two champions.

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