Roger Federer has got many sponsorship deals, with the Rolex sponsorship amongst the most exclusive ones. If there’s anything more regularly seen at a tennis match than the sight of Andy Murray wiping the tears from his eyes, it’s the sight of a big chunky Rolex on the wrist of the champion. Roger Federer has carved himself a place in sporting history as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, and although he never wears a watch during his matches, he always seems to find time to slip one on before he raises that shiny trophy above his head. And for good reason.
Federer is not just breaking records on centre court, he is also breaking records in the economist’s books too. With a total sponsorship package of an estimated £19 million a year, Federer is the second richest athlete in the world, trailing only just behind Tiger Woods. His fortune has come from a number of sources, including a hefty £45 million in prize money as well as his lucrative sponsorship deals from companies such as Nike, Wilson and of course Rolex.
The sworn support of a celebrity such as Roger Federer is never going to come cheap, but Rolex really went to town when the decided to secure the tennis star as their latest celebrity endorsement of their product. In 2006 Federer signed a deal for £10 million with the watch maker, thought to be the most lucrative watch deal ever signed by an athlete. And Federer knows it.
Indeed at the 2012 Wimbledon men’s final, Murray had barely wiped the sweat from his brow when Federer was already wrapping his Rolex Oyster Perpetual Platinum around his wrist. Undoubtedly this was a move to ensure he could please his well-paying sponsors by being photographed holding the trophy with the Oyster on his wrist. Just under a minute and a half passed between Federer securing his 17th Grand Slam trophy and the click of his Rolex on his wrist, proving that even when you’re breaking world records, you don’t forget your multi million pound sponsor!
Every Rolex tells a story
It appears that despite all the money, Federer is truly a fan of high quality watches and in particular Rolex. Rumour has it, he has quite a collection of timepieces in his possession, from vintage Rolex watches to limited editions. In a shameless piece of propaganda, Rolex recently released the ‘Rolex Rendezvous’ with Federer, where he was interviewed on video talking about some of his most treasured watches, giving us a chance to peek inside Roger Federer’s watch collection.
First the athlete produced his Rolex Day-Date, a sleek steel watch with a simple façade and big dial. He commented that he particularly liked to wear this one out in the evenings and that it was one he took almost everywhere with him.
Next he brought out a stunning vintage Rolex watch – the Daytona 6263. Crafted back in 1981, this watch was given to him as a 30th birthday present by his wife, who apparently had quite a time of it trying to track down the particular model. With help from Rolex themselves, she eventually got her hands on it, and today it is one of the tennis stars most treasured possessions.
Finally he introduced us to his Rolex Datejust. He commented that this was the watch he wore when he won his 15th grand slam and broke the world record for most grand slams in a career, playing against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon. He says he sometimes practices wearing the Datejust and that he generally prefers the lighter, steel watches for playing.
At the conclusion of the interview, Federer alluded to the extensive collection of watches that he didn’t bring with him, commenting that Rolex had often given him one of a kind or engraved pieces in celebration of particularly momentous victories.