Roger Federer, self-confessed sneakerhead and owner of more than 250 pairs of kicks, has teamed up with Swiss running brand On. The partnership extends beyond that of the traditional athlete-sportswear brand sponsorship, with Federer investing in On and joining the founders as an entrepreneur.

As part of his role at On, Federer will oversee product development, marketing, and fan experiences, lending his knowledge as an elite athlete who has been at the top of his discipline for almost two decades.

On, traditionally a performance running brand, has recently made moves into the lifestyle space, launching the Cloud Hi Edge at atmosCon in Tokyo earlier this Fall.

Whereas the partnership between Federer and On may seem surprising from an outside perspective, On co-founder Olivier Bernhard explains that the relationship developed very naturally. “We noticed Roger wearing On shoes and reached out to him,” he says. “It became clear that there was a unique opportunity to forge a joint entrepreneurial path that is very different from an athletic sponsorship that a big company would do.”

Federer, who is now sponsored by Uniqlo on the court, previously had a deal with Nike, where his love for sneakers frequently shown through via Jordan Brand crossovers of his signature on-court footwear. A love that he will now try to apply in his new role at On, which is more hands-on than many believe it to be.

“I’ve been a fan of On and its products for a while, but after talking to the founders I realized we have a lot more in common than just our Swiss roots,” says Federer. “I’m excited to be part of the On team and to work on the future of a next-generation global sports brand.”

The first products produced under Federer’s stewardship are expected to be finished and released in 2020.

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