“Brought Tiger Woods Into Roger’s Box”: Agent Details How Roger Federer Beat Rafael Nadal for Gillette

Published 01/14/2021, 3:26 AM EST
Roger Federer smiles during an exhibition game between Alexander Zverev and Roger Federer at Arena Parque Roca on in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (Photo by Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images)


The Swiss maestro Roger Federer has not only been the face of tennis but of many great brands as well. As a result, he even became the highest-paid athlete of 2020 despite not playing more than one tournament. But is the 39-year-old alone responsible for all of his success?

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Rafael Nadal’s agent, Carlos Costa, has helped shed some light on this. Recently, in an interview, he narrated an interesting story that took place during Federer’s rise.

In 2006, Roger had reached the finals of the US Open. During that time, the American razor brand Gillette was looking for a face to go alongside Tiger Woods for their new campaign. They had narrowed their list down to the two great tennis players, Federer and Nadal. According to Carlos, a certain move by Federer’s agent during the finals put the Swiss player ahead in the race for the contract.

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LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 12: Roger Federer of Switzerland shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after defeating him in the Men’s Singles Semi-Final at The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club at Wimbledon on July 12, 2019, in London, England. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)
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How Tony Godsick and Roger Federer won Gillette

The time between 2005 and 2010 can be considered as the prime time for the 20 majors champion from Switzerland. He reached 18 Grand Slams finals out of 19 in that period, winning the US Open and Wimbledon for five consecutive years.

But even in 2006, when Federer still showed great promise, Gillette was not fully convinced. At that time, Tony Godsick, pulled off what sealed the deal for the two of them.

“They brought Tiger Woods into Roger’s box,” confirmed Nadal’s agent Carlos. Seeing the main man for Gillette cheering the Swiss player on set the campaign in motion.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 29: Rafael Nadal of Spain congratulates Roger Federer of Switzerland on winning their Men’s Final as Roger Federer holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup match on day 14 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2017, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

While Federer has always been the face, Tony has been the mind from the beginning. Together, they have signed revolutionary contracts over the years which have made the Basel-born a global icon.

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“There are two types of agents in our industry: those who think small and those who think big,” Carlos explained. “Tony is one of those who thinks big and will never accept a ‘no’ for an answer.”

Today, Federer and Tony own the Team8 Sports and Entertainment agency where they represent many athletes. They also have signed contracts that will run long after the Swiss maestro has retired.

Besides all of this, tennis fans are eagerly waiting for Roger’s comeback. Where do you see him mark his return?

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Purav Joshi

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Purav Joshi is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having a degree in Films, Television and Media Production, he guided his passion for writing and journalism into the sport of aces and rallies. With over 2 years of experience as a copywriter, Purav has authored over 500 tennis articles.

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