Federer-Backed On Holding Soars 46% in First Day of Trading

Roger Federer has played only a half-dozen tournaments since the start of 2020, due to a trio of knee surgeries, but the Swiss tennis ace continues to win big off the court. On Holding, the Swiss sneaker brand Federer bet on in 2019, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday and jumped 46% in its first day of trading.

The company raised $746 million in the IPO that was priced at $24, well above its original $18-20 target. The $35 closing price valued On at $11.2 billion. The company marked the occasion with 100 people running along the Hudson River this morning, ahead of founders Olivier Bernhard, David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti ringing the NYSE opening bell.

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On launched in 2010, and Federer invested in 2019 as part of an endorsement agreement following his split with Nike after two decades. His stake, which is less than 5% based on SEC filings, is estimated to be in the 3% range and valued at more than $300 million after Wednesday’s warm reception in the market. At that level, it means Federer traded his Nike endorsement for a pair of $300 million deals, as he signed a 10-year, $300 million apparel deal with Uniqlo ahead of his On partnership. On introduced its first tennis shoe, the Roger Pro, in 2021.

The 20-time major champion ranked seventh in Sportico’s 2021 look at the world’s highest-paid athletes at $84 million, including only $46,000 in prize money.

“The future is very bright for this brand,” NPD analyst Matt Powell said in a phone interview. “During the pandemic, there have been two brands that acted as if there was no pandemic. One of them was Hoka One One, and the other was On.”

On is the dominant performance running shoe in Switzerland, while its share in the U.S. has more than doubled over the last 12 months, from 1.4% to 3.3%, according to NPD data. On’s global revenue rose 85% in the first six months of 2021 and reached $344 million, per its SEC filing. North America is On’s biggest market, representing 49% of revenue.

The U.S. performance running category in the U.S. is splintered with 10 brands holding at least 1.9% of the market. Nike (27.8%), Brooks (16.6%) and Asics (10.7%) are the leaders, per NPD. Powell said On has recently gained significant acceptance outside the running community as a streetwear brand paired with casual apparel. “Nike has ceded share, and that opens up some opportunity for other brands like On to grasp share,” he added.

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