On signs head-to-toe apparel deal with tennis stars
The GIST: On is hitting the tennis court. On Monday, the sportswear company signed head-to-toe apparel deals with WTA world No. 1 Iga Świątek and ATP No. 39 Ben Shelton, who became the first tennis players to score sponsorship agreements with the emerging brand.
The company: The Switzerland-based sportswear business made a name for itself with its running shoes and counts tennis icon Roger Federer as a shareholder after he acquired a 3% stake for around $300M in 2019. On’s business is booming — it’s on pace for over $1B in sales this year after beating 2022’s Q4 projections by 33%.
The details: Starting at this week’s Miami Open, 21-year-old Świątek and 20-year-old Shelton will sport On’s debut tennis line. Świątek won’t lace up On footwear until her custom edition of The Roger Pro shoe is completed, but Shelton is expected to debut his unique pair during the South Florida tourney.
- The WTA leader signed her previous apparel deal with Asics in 2020 — the year she won her first Grand Slam title — and was on Nike’s books before that.
The context: Sportswear companies are flocking to tennis for a piece of Nike’s once-monopolistic market share. Free People’s athletic brand, FP Movement, recently added Grand Slam champs Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin, while Lululemon landed U.S. Open finalist Leylah Fernandez as its first tennis ambassador last year.
Zooming out: Świątek has been the world No. 1 for around a year but hasn’t yet inked the type of endorsements that usually follow sports’ top dogs. A deal with an ambitious brand like On might mark a change of fortunes for the self-described business rookie as she continues to rise. Game, set, match.