Roger Federer remains highest-paid tennis player in 2023 despite retirement


May 5 2023
Roger Federer Tennis

The tennis legend was ranked ninth on the list of highest-paid athletes in 2023.

Despite his retirement, tennis ace Roger Federer is still among one of the World’s 10 highest-paid athletes in 2023. He has not played at all in the previous 12 months, yet Roger Federer is once again the only tennis player on Forbes’ list of the world’s 10 highest-paid athletes in 2023.

Federer is the only retired athlete and tennis player on the list, which is headed by Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. Federer’s income is solely derived from hefty endorsement deals. In 2018, he inked a $300 million, 10-year contract with Japanese retailer Uniqlo, terminating his nearly two-decade collaboration with sports giant Nike. Federer’s earnings in the last year fell just shy of his personal high of $106 million in 2020.

A 20-time Grand Slam winner, Federer ranks ninth with $95.1 million, an increase from $90.7 million the previous year.

Roger Federer earned $90 million in endorsements in 2022, and 99% of his earnings this year came from endorsements as well, as he only played one match in the previous year – a doubles loss during Team Europe’s Laver Cup defeat in September, where the runners-up each received a cheque for $125,000.

He played a full tennis schedule between 2019 and early 2020, so his ranking was not surprising, but after that, it was all about endorsements.

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Where does Federer’s earnings come from?

With so many endorsements and with some wise investments as well. To name a few, the 41-year-old has long-standing relationships with Uniqlo, Rolex, Credit Suisse, Mercedes-Benz, and Switzerland Tourism. And he’s still the man for marketing new products, as he wore the latest Rolex Perpetual 1908 to the Met Gala in New York this week – the company’s first new model since the Sky-Dweller in 2012. Not bad for someone who is no longer a professional tennis player.

Nike played a big part in helping Federer create a strong brand. Earlier this year, Nakajima explained what made Roger Federer so marketable. “He has great marketability. I saw him speak four languages in a single interview and switch languages just like that. People tend to gravitate towards somebody willing to share himself and be unbashful. He’s able to appeal to any audience. And people believe that he’s saying the truth, whatever Roger pitches. He’s that believable.”

He is also a shareholder in athletic gear firm On, and the Swiss-based athletic shoe manufacturer has made significant progress in the last year, signing up athletes such as Iga Swiatek and Ben Shelton.

On Running debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021 with a market capitalization of $7.3 million, but that figure has more than likely climbed in the last year or so. That On earnings propelled him to a comfortable ninth place on this year’s Forbes list.

This year’s competition will see the Swiss legend return to the All-England Club. He will be recognised for his accomplishments at the grass-court Major. Federer is also said to be in talks with the BBC to be a commentator at the Championships.

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