Federer Ends Deal with Italian Brand After Gauff’s Commercial

Photo of Federer saying goodbye to Barila Pastea while Coco Gauff's journey start.

Is Roger Federer Cutting Ties with Barilla? The tennis legend has unexpectedly decided to terminate his longstanding partnership with the 147-year-old multinational company. The timing is particularly interesting as it follows closely after Coco Gauff’s impressive debut for the same brand, just two days later. It appears that the decision, made months ago, was kept confidential.

Starting her collaboration with the Italian brand in 2019, the 2023 US Open champion became the fourth tennis player, joining Steffi Graf, Stefan Edberg, and Roger Federer, to sign a deal with the renowned food company.

A recent social media post revealed Barilla’s first advertisement featuring Coco Gauff to promote their brand. Following this, CH Media revealed that Federer had terminated his partnership with the company a few months prior.

In 2017, the company welcomed Roger’s involvement as a dream come true, with Luca Barilla, then-VC, expressing, “Now this dream has come true.” Referring to the company as the best in the market, the collaboration was expected to continue long after his retirement.

Federer himself stated in a press release in 2017, “Barilla pasta and sauces provide the energy that I need to succeed on the tennis court and enjoy my family’s favorite activities. Pasta has been part of my daily diet for so many years that this partnership is a natural fit.”

Here’s an interesting story: Remember the young fan named Zizou who challenged Federer to a match during the 2017 US Open press conference? He asked if Federer would continue playing until he grew up, and the video quickly went viral.

Although Federer made a promise, it wasn’t until five years later that Barilla fulfilled the youngster’s dream. They organized a trip to Zurich, disguising it as a training-related tour, to ensure Zizou had the chance of a lifetime to compete against his idol on a tennis court.

Federer’s split from Barilla prompts many questions. Why did it happen? This is something everyone involved is avoiding discussing. According to CH Media, a Barilla representative expressed gratitude to Federer for his “professional and human contribution,” offering no further explanation. Even Tony Godsick, manager of the 20-time Grand Slam champion, evaded questions.

It’s interesting to note that after Federer’s departure from the company, which initially expected to earn $40 million in his first year (as reported by Forbes), Barilla has started removing his YouTube advertisements.

On the other hand, Coco Gauff’s recent advertisement with the brand is gaining popularity online. While Federer may have taken a step back, it’s noteworthy that Gauff is also part of Federer’s Team8 management firm.

Here’s an interesting fact: Before Gauff participated in the U.S. Open Tennis Championships on August 23, 2023, the “Serving Love” campaign was launched. Barilla, the pasta manufacturer, distributed complimentary meals to individuals, which included red lentils and chickpea noodles made with only one ingredient and no additives, along with $100 gift cards.

A year later, Gauff has become one of the prominent brand ambassadors for the company. During last year’s campaign, the 2023 US Open champion revealed her preferred pasta during a post-match interview. Can you guess what Coco Gauff’s pre-match meal is? It’s not your usual “long pasta”.

After securing the biggest title of her career in 2023, Coco Gauff shared her preferred pre-match meal choice. When discussing her collaboration with Barilla with Tennis.com, she mentioned, “Before matches, I typically opt for penne pasta because I don’t prefer long pasta before matches; I’m not the neatest eater, and it tends to get on my kit!”

Coco Gauff has long been a fan of Barilla pasta and admitted her preference for the classic shape of the pasta, whether it’s rigate (ridged) or lisce (smooth). Expanding on her love for pasta, she further explained, “As an athlete, pasta is a staple in my diet as it provides the balanced nutrition and functional fuel I need both on and off the court.”

With Roger Federer saying goodbye to his enduring collaboration, a new era begins as Gauff aligns herself with and endorses Barilla, a brand she’s been associated with since 2019. With Woods leaving Nike and Federer departing from Barilla, is there a discernible trend toward brands embracing younger talent?


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