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Roger Federer – Tennis Icon – Shane Kelly

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I played Tennis for about five years before getting into college and became pretty heavily involved in the tennis culture in general; having the right shoes, the right racket, even hitting the right ball.  Roger Federer is without a doubt an icon amongst the tennis community and even amongst the non-tennis community.  He, as of right now, is the second best tennis player in the entire world but for a few years recently he was number one.  What makes Federer stand out on the court is the fact that he is extremely calm and shows little to no emotion to his opponent while playing.  He is from Switzerland and is without a doubt an advertisement model.

He does commercials for The Swiss Army Knife company, Rolex, Gillette and Wilson tennis company.  For those of you who don’t know, these are humongous brands in the world that have television commercials, magazine ads, billboard ads, and a lot more.  Now, not only do his fans and others want the racket or shoes that hes wearing, but they want the brand of knife that he uses, the type of razor that he uses to shave, and even the kind of watch that he wears.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6R404c1NB0

I think what gives him his power, first and foremost, is the fact that he is a phenomenal tennis player.  He does a trick shot that is unheard of that he actually coined which put him on the map, more or less, a few years ago.  Second, he is so calm and this appeals to people.  Tennis viewers/players and so used to the loud grunting and screaming from the players on TV that when Federer plays they can’t help but recognize his demeanor.

He appeals to a wide range of people.  The kids who like tennis will definitely look up to him, much like how a pee wee baseball player would look up to Derek Jeter.  He also appeals to older and middle aged tennis players because they may model their attire or shots after Federer.  Anyone who knows Federer and needs a new razor, racket, watch, or knife may also appreciate him because of his commercials that bring out his personality that also appears on the tennis court.  Here, for fun, is a video of Roger Federer’s trick shot that I mentioned before, it’s pretty cool.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37qyvTRVus8

3 comments

  1. Shane, I agree 100 % with your take on Federer. Federer probably has the best Hand eye cordination in all of sports, he is remarkable on the court and a class act of the court. The commercial he shares with Derek Jeter is great, I couldn’t think of any other Athletes you would want to represent a brand or company.

  2. When reading you post, and Mick’s response, I couldn’t help to think about the Gillette ad that was running in Sweden (not sure if it was running in the U.S, but I assume so) a couple of years ago. The ad includes Woods, Federer, and a soccer player called Thierry Henry. Henry, a soccer player that was at the top of his game when the ad was running, was also a great representer of the “good-guy” Gillette image. What is kind of silly, but also interesting in this ad is their message of concurring the world with the use of a shaver. In the end of the commercial, the three athletes are standing on top of the world like it was just a shave away..

  3. This topic really made me reflect on how careful companies need to be when selecting the person who will represent their brand. Successful athletes become celebrities the moment when they have become so successful, that they become an icon to society. Many see them as perfection, they become idols and examples of who “normal” people want to become one day. The problem is that the truth is that they are not perfect and sooner or later they will fail. Celebrities are always on the spotlight under millions of peoples eyes. The day they become celebrities they have the power over people, but the media also has a power over them, because their life stops being private and they become public figures. As any normal person their will be a point were their flaws might be caught by the media’s eye and broadcast to the world. On that moment, all that power that made of them a brand, or that helped companies earn million of dollars might fall and go away. The brand (Roger Federer) will immediately lose power and effectiveness and companies who sponsored them will be having trouble because the person who represented what the company believes and sells, has just failed to represent that; in this case the “good guy” image. A perfect example of this is Tiger Woods.

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