Roger Federer may have ended his tennis career amid emotional scenes in London last year, but his influence still looms large, as evidenced by his desire to release his first tennis shoe, ON.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion has a huge fan base that follows his every move, with recent Swiss tourism videos he made with US TV star Trevor Noah attracting huge global attention.
Federer retired with more than $130 million on court, but that figure pales in comparison to what the 41-year-old has amassed through business deals.
Contracts with Nike, Uniqlo and Wilson have resulted in huge financial windfalls and now a relationship with Swiss shoemakers On® is reaping huge profits.
On® shoes have proven to be a runaway international success, Federer’s endorsement has helped push their valuation to £11 billion and now the company has launched its first tennis shoe.
While Federer won’t be wearing them on the court, Tennis365 has been given exclusive insight into the evolution of shoes used on various tennis courts.
It is named correctly Roger ProThis collection includes clay court and all court tennis shoes and we asked the On® designers to take us through how the product entered the market.
T365: What does it take to make the perfect tennis shoe?
ON®: Every new product developed by On® is an ongoing collaboration with professional athletes to ensure optimal performance, driven by their goals in close collaboration with Roger Federer and the technical team of On® Labs scientists.
T365: What role did Roger Federer play in developing these tennis shoes?
ON®: Roger’s contribution to the success and popularity of ROGER Pro is unquestionable and he continues to be one of On®’s most admired creative leaders. Roger’s wealth of knowledge and expertise was instrumental in all aspects of performance design and technology tailored to meet the needs of the game.
T365: Is it a long process before you can release the final product?
ON®: Although we pride ourselves on very fast turnaround times for prototypes, continuous testing and feedback from our athletes is critical. The athlete’s input is an important part of the design and technical details of each shoe. The process is complex and therefore we are taking all the time we need to create the best product.
T365: What are the key features of Roger Pro tennis shoes?
ON®: Our first-ever tennis shoe features a high-performance foam stability midsole, a midsole for accurate foot placement during rapid-fire shots, and a rounded sole that supports smooth transitions between strokes. In line with all models in the Swiss line, THE ROGER Pro includes a plate between the middle and top – or Speedboard® – for improved energy return. Made from 100% carbon fiber, this explosive feature absorbs impact from landing before rebounding for added agility.
T365: Iga Sviatek and Ben Shelton Join On®, So Will They Get Their Own Tennis Shoes?
ON®: Only Roger Pro was released in a clay version. The On® design team has also been busy working with our athletes Iga Sviatek and Ben Shelton to match the ROGER Pro versions to their playing styles. As for the ROGER Pro generation itself, well, you’ll just have to wait and see.
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