Continuing from one of our previous articles, we throw light on some of the most iconic partnerships that show the interaction of sports with luxe watch brands. Indeed sports stars have been trendsetters and luxe watch brands have never shied away from building a one-of-its kind lasting relationship with the leading sports stars, from onboarding the leading sports stars as their brand ambassadors to launching limited edition collections with them, there is a lot they collectively explore. This article focuses on the leading partnerships Rolex and Tag Heuer have formed over the years with some iconic sports personalities.
In the brands own words – “Achievements aside, we (Rolex) associate Roger Federer with elegance, perseverance and humility”
This partnership is one that shows true support and friendship lasting even after Roger’s retirement. Their association has lasted over 15 years is one of the most famous athlete-brand partnerships globally. The genius Swiss player has been seeing sporting a Rolex watch before playing a match and always wearing it on as soon as the match finishes – a regular sight for the global audiences.
Roger has made sure he is always seen wearing one of the iconic watches. Be it his social media post announcing his retirement where we were sported wearing an 18k gold Rolex Daytona as per GQ magazine or wearing a 2022 Rolex Air King after his final career match to wearing the Rolex GMT-Master II during his final practise sessions. Rolex has always been on his wrist and what better way to promote for a luxe brand than with one of the most loved athletes worldwide.
Jack is nicknamed the Golden Bear and is a retired American professional golfer who is known to be one of the greatest golfer of all time winning around 117 professional tournaments in his career.
Rolex’s partnerships with Jack been as iconic as has been Jack’s career. In 1967, Jack Nicklaus was seen sporting a gold wristwatch known to be his most prized possessions from his career – which is also known to be one of the most expensive watches that went up for an auction a couple of year ago and sold a whopping $1 million for charity.
Rolex and Nick’s partnership helped to raise this amount for charity via their original 18-karat gold Rolex 1803 Day-Date owned by Nicklaus. A website called Hodinkee called his watch to the among the top three most important watches in sports. Jack also was interviewed by Hodinkee where he discussed how Rolex and he came together for this partnership and origins of this watch in 1966.
Mr. Woods sure need no introduction; he is one of the greatest Golf players and the partnership with Rolex has been no stranger either to the global fans. Sea-Dweller Deepsea and the D-Blue are Rolex watches Tiger Woods has been seen sporting most times.
Since winning the 1997 Master Tournament, Woods has captivated the golfing world since. The partnerships was signed as a 5-year contract which was valued at US $7 million to be paid in form of endorsement fees and royalties and was focused more towards the younger consumers that has continued and evolved with the game of golf.
Nico is a former Formula One world champion whose iconic partnerships with Rolex is well known. The famous German-Finnish racing driver joined the list of sports athlete partnerships of the Swiss watchmakers in 2018.
Nico in a statement to the press mentioned how he has “always admired Rolex’s prestigious history and involvement in sports along with a quote that this life has revolved around timing and his racing has always come down to those final split seconds” – all of which makes his partnership with Rolex even more special on a global stage. He’s been seen wearing the Rolex Daytona many a times and his social media sure has offered us many images of him wearing a classic Rolex to announce to his followers its time for F1.
The football master player and superstar Cristiano joined hands with Tag Heuer to become a key influencer and ambassador of the brand. He mentioned that TAG Heuer is by far the best at what it does in an interview, and he was honoured to be part of such a powerful and pioneering legacy.
Ronaldo joined Tag Heuer as a brand ambassador in 2014 as a long term partner. He has posted many pictures over his social media that show him wearing high-end luxe watches such as the Carrera Mikotourbillon S which costs £175,000.
One can see Ronaldo sporting the brand’s exclusive watches in official and personal events and occasions like the infamous Ballon D’or Gala in Zurich. He wore the 45mm Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Tourbillon in 2016 when he won the Ballon D’or. This timepiece has a titanium case with a baguette-cut diamond-set stainless steel bezel and a skeletonized dial and is worth $75,250.
In 2018 Tag Heuer welcome Petra as their new friend from the world of sports. She is a sensational tennis player who is also an Olympic medallist and 2 time grand slam winner. Both the brand and Petra seem to share certain skills of being a combative spirit and the willingness to surpass hurdles.
She has posted a number of images of her being present at leading events and occasions introducing to the world her personal collection of Tag Huer watches like the TAG Heuer Connected Calibre E4. The Czech players determination has shown exactly how her career fits perfectly well with TAG’s tagline – ‘Don’t crack under pressure.’ She has been seen wearing several TAG watch models while lifting her trophies since 2018.
Sports and luxe watch brands have had a long-standing affair and one that will continue to last. They both represent determination, elegance, and possess a sense of timelessness in their performance.
Also interesting to read: Adidas and Nike’s collaboration with luxury brands
Luxe watch brands in this context have hit home run with branding and marketing move to partner with classic sport athletes to reach both level of audience, affluent and aspiring. A true case study to learn from on how to align a brand with a category that helps to stay in tune and connected with your audiences.