Things We Can Learn From Roger Federer And Protecting Your Brand
Roger Federer is arguably one of the greatest tennis players of all time. He is certainly the highest-paid tennis player of all time to date if you combine career earnings and endorsements. A player of his caliber and presence should definitely have his own logo to build off his audience and fanbase and create a market around himself right? Yes, you are right but what if I told you, Roger Federer didn’t even own his own logo until recently because he switched apparel sponsors.
For context, Roger Federer was a Nike-sponsored athlete with whom he had the famous RF logo under. His wife created the logo earlier for a different concept but Roger worked with Nike to expand on it and build it into a logo that was used for merchandise and apparel. This created a partnership between Nike and Roger Federer that Nike then trademarked the “RF” logo. When Roger Federer signed a record-breaking deal with Uniqlo, he was not able to take his logo with him. After some negotiations and time, due to the fact, certain trademark laws didn’t make it beneficial for Nike to keep the logo they recently transferred it over to Roger Federer. Federer will now own the trademark and license it to his partners at Uniqlo for merchandise and apparel opportunities.
Some athletes aren’t as fortunate to get their logo and trademark back unlike Roger Federer. If Roger Federer had consulted with an IP lawyer and worked it out with Nike to keep the trademark for his logo, it would have been a seamless transition. For athletes, protecting the trademark of your name is easier but with IP such as phrases and logos, the brands you work with have just as much right to the marks as you if not handled properly. Spending the initial money on an IP lawyer can not only create additional revenue but also save money from lawyer fees when you are looking for ways to get your logo back.
This article was written and provided as a courtesy of Amobi Okugo, a pro-soccer player and founder of A Frugal Athlete (AFA), an online media and consulting platform that promotes prudent financial practices and smart career decisions amongst professional and student-athletes. AFA offers services like financial coaching, revenue generation, and ideation strategy. Visit their website for further information.
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