Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Sprüngli and tennis ace Roger Federer have agreed to extend their partnership for a reported $20 million multi-year deal.
The premium chocolate brand had first signed up Federer as a global brand ambassador in 2009 to appear in the company’s ‘Maitres Chocolatiers’ TV campaign. Federer then was the first celebrity to represent Lindt in its 160-year history.
Lindt is a premium brand within the chocolate category. The company’s roots trace back 170 years and revenues hit $4 billion last year. Besides Lindt, the company markets its products under several other brands like Ghirardelli, Russell Stover and Whitman’s.
Forging an alliance with Link eight years ago, Federer had said “I am Swiss by birth, and since my childhood, I have always been a great fan of Lindt chocolate. I am very excited to partner with the global leader in premium chocolate and I enjoy their products and am very impressed with their plans for future growth.”
Kurt Badenhausen of FORBES has reported the $20 million, multi-year extension deal quoting industry sources. Federer’s endorsement relationships also stretch a decade or more in the cases of Nike, Rolex, Credit Suisse, Jura and Wilson with highest endorsement earnings in the world at more than $50 million a year.
The 19-time Grand Slam winner ranked fourth in FORBES’ annual look at the world’s highest-paid athletes with $64 million, including prize money and appearance fees.
Federer earlier this year has also inked another multi-year deal reportedly worth $40 million with world’s largest pasta company Barilla Group, which according to Forbes has estimated annual sales of $3.7 billion.
Federer is wildly popular with his partners because of his 15-year run at the top of his sport with his good lucks and charisma as added bonuses. His sustained excellence gives brands added exposure knowing Federer will almost always be playing deep into every tournament.
The global nature of tennis and the demographics of tennis fans also raise Federer’s appeal with marketers. Nike can successfully use him in every corner of the globe, which is not the case for the top NFL and MLB players. Tennis fans have high disposable incomes to buy cars, watches, sports equipment and more. There is a reason luxury brands like Rolex, Mercedes and Moet & Chandon partner with Federer.