The Swiss brand On has become more and more influential in the nine years it’s been in existence. In a market with huge, established players that’s no mean feat. But On have never been a brand to emulate or follow. They are innovators, and they’re demonstrating this with their latest partnership.
Roger Federer and On have just announced a unique entrepreneurial relationship that will join one of the world’s most influential athletes with one of the fastest-growing brands in the history of athletic footwear. Federer will invest in On and joins the founders of the young sports brand to shape its future. As a true partner, he helps to oversee product development, marketing and fan experiences as well as the athlete spirit of On’s high-performing culture.
Based in Zurich, nine-year-old On has taken the athletic footwear market by storm. Elite athletes are winning Olympic and World Championship medals in the innovation from Switzerland. Driven by peer-recommendation, runners are discovering the superior performance and feel of On running shoes and its unique patented “Cloud” technology. As a result, On is attracting the fastest-growing global fan community and has joined the ranks of the leading brands in the US, Europe and Japan.
“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.” Federer revealed that the first new products he is working on will be finished and released in 2020.
On Co-Founder Olivier Bernhard, a former World Champion, said the relationship developed very naturally: “We noticed Roger wearing On shoes and reached out to him. That’s when we found out he is a longtime fan of On and, of course, we are longtime fans of his. Switzerland is a small place and we started having dinner together.”
Commenting on the unconventional relationship, Bernhard 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.”
Bernhard added: “Everyone knows Roger’s a leader in his sport, but as a friendship developed it became clear he is a natural leader and entrepreneur off the court as well. We value the same things and share a passion for innovation and design. He’s going to be a tremendous addition to team On.”