The tennis star recently parlayed his love of shoes and sport into a partnership with Swiss sneaker brand On

By Morgan M. Evans
November 27, 2019 10:15 AM

Tennis isn’t the only thing Roger Federer is passionate about.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner and fashion lover, who recently announced his partnership with Swiss shoe brand On, revealed that his love of shoes has led him to own “too many” —  in fact, he has more than 250 pairs.

“I gotta clean out my closet,” Federer said during a panel event with the Swiss shoemaker, adding that with his new collaboration, his massive footwear collection is sure to grow.  

“It’s not going to stop now,” he laughed. “But thankfully I have enough space — I feel like you can always use space for shoes, but I think have a few hundred for sure.”

Lucky for him, Federer, 38, has been able to transform his love of shoes and sport into a new business partnership.

The tennis star, who has partnered with big-name brands such as Nike and UNIQLO, has teamed up with On as an investor and product developer for the shoe brand.

“I don’t think working on On has felt like work or a business,” he said, explaining that he sees the new opportunity has a “fun process” where he will also help with brand marketing and fan experience.

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A Swiss native, the world-class athlete, whose non-stop schedule has him constantly traveling, managed to find himself right at home with the Zurick-based brand.

“Even though they were traveling a lot and I was traveling a lot, and we were always trying to connect back together … I just felt that this could really work,” Federer said. “Being close to each other in Switerzland in the future I think is going to be really beneficial as well.”

The father of two sets of twins also found that On’s ideals of re-invention and staying grounded lined up with his beliefs.

“The re-inventing and motivating employees and staying humble … I’ve always believed in that in a big way,” the tennis star explained. “I think it’s been a blessing for me to grow up in Switzerland, staying very grounded but then reaching for the stars. I will never forget my roots and I think we share those common values and I think it’s going to be a wonderful partnership.”

Last month, Ferderer showed just how much he valued his humble beginnings while reflecting on the early days when he worked as a ball boy in Basel, Switzerland.

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“It’s a great memory for me,” he told Tennis TV at the time. “I loved being a ball boy here. I was able to see the best players in the world first-hand, and see how they would prepare, and how they would sweat, and how did they deal with the pressure.”

“It’s good moments for me,” the champion athlete recalled.

The fact that Federer values his ball boy-beginnings is no surprise. After winning Wimbledon for the eighth time this year, the champion said that staying humble is one of the most important traits an athlete can have.

“When I was a young boy I was asked in an interview once if I have a motto I live after,” he said in August at the launch of his new gamewear collection with UNIQLO in New York City.  “And I said ‘It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice,’ because a lot of people sometimes take themselves too serious, or they think ‘I’m on top of the world,’ but actually you’ve achieved nothing yet.”