May 27, 2010: Mercedes-Benz said it has signed what it describes as a "multi-platform global marketing partnership" with Roger Federer, the world's top-ranked tennis player and 16-time Grand Slam champion. The partnership greatly expands an alliance under which Federer since 2008 has served as an ambassador for Mercedes-Benz China.
According to Mercedes-Benz, the global alliance includes the use of Federer's image, personal appearances and product placement. Financial terms of the multi-year deal were not disclosed. Federer earns about $40 million annually from his global endorsements, according to industry analysts.
The new agreement coincides with the start of Mercedes-Benz multi-year sponsorship deal with the US Tennis Open, which beginning in August designates Mercedes-Benz as the official vehicle of the US Open and presenting sponsor of the US Open men's singles championship.
Mercedes-Benz said it plans to use the new alliance with Federer "to extend the brand's visibility throughout the sport."
Federer is currently defending his men's singles title at the French Open. Among other initiatives in China, Federer has been an ambassador for the "Swing for the Stars" program initiated by the Chinese Tennis Assn. and Mercedes-Benz for players under 13.
"I am delighted that we are adding Roger Federer to the Mercedes-Benz family of sports and celebrity ambassadors on a global level," Stephen Cannon, vp-marketing for Mercedes-Benz USA, said in a statement. "We are looking forward to working with Roger on a number of initiatives. Much like our own brand, Roger has an impressive and unrivalled history. But the best is still yet to come."
Federer's other marketing partners include Gillette, Nike and Rolex.