Roger Federer is forfeited for the round of 16 at Roland Garros in order to save himself for Wimbledon.
If time seems to have no hold on his tennis and his desires, the Swiss is already thinking about the rest, when he will have hung up.
His latest masterstroke?
A partnership with “Suisse Tourisme” and a legendary video with De Niro.
He did not want to torture his Parisian fans for too long, deciding to announce his package for the round of 16 on Sunday afternoon.
Did Roger Federer play the last game of his career at Roland in an empty stadium at one in the morning?
Writing it already makes it possible to anticipate the mourning of a life of tennis without the Swiss legend, which the man has fortunately been considering for longer than his fans.
This is in part the meaning of this partnership recently established with the Swiss tourist office and of this already legendary publicity with Robert de Niro.
A video with 50 million views
An ad with De Niro and Federer. For those who missed it, the man with the 20 Grand Slams is trying to attract the American star to Switzerland for a shoot by revamping the beauties of his country. The actor, playing the card of his past roles in gangster films, constantly retorts that Switzerland "is too perfect" for a character like him, who needs "drama" to exist. Fifty million views in a month. Nicolas Bideau, director of Presence Switzerland, the federal body responsible for promoting the country of the White Cross abroad, is as amazed as we are: “Many Swiss publicity stunts are part of the game around our famous clichés. In France, for example, the purple Milka cow and the Ovomaltine dynamite stick have been great successes,but we must admit that the Federer-De Niro match is, at present, the biggest Swiss media coup and buzz of the 21st century! "
Fishing for the making-of quickly turned out to be fruitful: the film was shot last fall in a private chalet in Zermatt, Switzerland, and at the Greenwich hotel in New York, owned by Robert de Niro.
The actor and the tennis player don't know each other more than that, and the remote shoot is booked weeks in advance.
“We had three hours on a given day to get there,” explains Livio Dainese, the founder of the agency that edited the script.
We were incredibly lucky: the weather had been bad the day before, and bad the next day.
Federer arrived very simply, without a limousine or bodyguard, very cool, as you would imagine.
He had learned his text without problem.
I must admit that we did not expect such success, even though we knew the film was good.
"Federer is a dream for a country brand"
"Bob" and "RodGER" have an appointment for a second shoot soon, but we will not know more, as we will not know the amount of this multi-year partnership between Switzerland Tourism and Federer. "The two parties signed a non-disclosure agreement, but the money is anyway donated to his foundation for children," we whisper to Bern. The champion does the after-sales service in the
New York Times
: “I think I fulfilled my part as Swiss ambassador during my career, but I think I needed to be a little older to make it an official mission. I have traveled to over 60 countries in my career, but I have always lived in Switzerland and will continue to live there. I know how difficult it is in the tourism industry right now, it was a good time to do this. "
While Federer is not done with the dream of a last trophy at Wimbledon before hanging up, most of his last big decisions are about how he will spend his time afterwards.
And if we remove the contract with Uniqlo, which can be compared to what H&M does with Beckham, the Swiss thinks patriot above all.
A long-time partner of Lindt chocolates, he is also a wise investor and promoter of the shoes of On Running, a start-up from Zurich which runs the Swiss Olympic team in Rio.
Nicolas Bideau analyzes:
It perfectly embodies the "Swiss made".
Rodger is precise like a Swiss watch, sure like a Swiss army knife, beautiful like our landscapes and what's more, he's cool… like no other.
And to continue: “Federer, it is only positive emotions, a dream for a country brand, even if over time, it has transformed into a global brand.
The success of its derivative products attests to it;
I see it a bit like one of those Italian or French fashion brands that have established themselves in the long term.
What investment in tennis?
A brand deeply identified with its country, therefore, but completely detached from tennis? In the film with De Niro, not a single shot with a racket or a club, to recall the origin of the genius. Laurent Favre, our colleague from Le Temps, wonders with us about the sporting role of a retired Federer in his country. “Rodger is a bit like Gulliver, he's too big for us. He follows the results of young Swiss players, he invites them from time to time to train with him in Dubai, but it is hard to imagine him becoming a coach of the Davis Cup team, for example, as it can be done in France ". No interest, in fact, while the succession remains quite enigmatic, despite the presence of two compatriots in the final of the last Roland junior.
Taking over the Basel tournament, which has just been canceled for the second time in a row?
Roger Brennwald, its historic founder, doesn't want to hear about it.
There remains the Laver Cup, the edition of which also had to be canceled in 2020 because of the Covid.
The next version should take place in Boston at the end of September, with a gauge of "100% of the public", indicates the website dedicated to it.
A necessity when the financial model of the event was already causing a lot of talk before the pandemic, as its sporting interest.
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