UNIQLO have moved to explain their decision to hand Roger Federer a ten-year contract.
Federer, 37, shocked the world when he walked onto court to begin his Wimbledon title defence last month in Uniqlo attire.
The Swiss star had always donned Nike clothing since breaking through on tour and was expected to see out the remainder of his career with the American sports company.
But he was instead offered a reported $30million-a-year (£23.3m) to switch to Uniqlo for the next decade.
Questions were raised over the length of the deal as Federer is not expected to continue playing until he is 47 years old.
But the Japanese manufacturer have explained that the 20-time Grand Slam winner’s presence off the court is just as influential for their brand as it is on it.
“The collaboration is much bigger than sports,” said John Jay, Uniqlo’s global creative director.
“We develop high-performance clothes for everyone off the court, and we’d like to think the technology is good enough for an athlete.”
Jay refused to go into details regarding the terms of the deal, although it is thought to make Federer one of the highest paid sports stars in the world.
“There’s a certain level of being discreet and private that we cherish,” he added.
“Of course, we’re running a business, but we very much respect that part of his life.”
Meanwhile, Federer admitted he ditched Nike for Uniqlo to ensure a financial foundation post-tennis.
“What really resonated with me when we were speaking to Uniqlo was that they respected me not just as an athlete but also as a person with interests and passions beyond the sport,” Federer said.
“I have to eventually think about life after tennis and Uniqlo was a great match for that.”
US Open 2018 men’s seeds
1. Rafael Nadal, Spain
2. Roger Federer, Switzerland
3. Juan Martin del Potro, Argentina
4. Alexander Zverev, Germany
5. Kevin Anderson, South Africa
6. Novak Djokovic, Serbia
7. Marin Cilic, Croatia
8. Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria
9. Dominic Thiem, Austria
10. David Goffin, Belgium
11. John Isner, United States
12. Pablo Carreno Busta, Spai
13. Diego Schwartzman, Argentina
14. Fabio Fognini, Italy
15. Stefanos Tsitsipas, Greece
16. Kyle Edmund, Great Britain