Celebrity Net Worth: Roger Federer retires with $1bn in career earnings

In our fortnightly celebrity investment and wealth round-up, billionaire Kanye West may be the next to sell his music catalogue and Kevin Hart invests in a wellness technology start-up

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When he smashed his last backhand during the Laver Cup at the weekend, Roger Federer walked off the tennis court with a retirement net worth of $550 million, according to wealth-tracking website Celebrity Net Worth.

In total, he has earned more than $1.1 billion in endorsements and prize money during his career.

Federer has won 103 ATP singles titles, including 20 Grand Slam titles over 24 years.

With a longer tennis career than most players, he has collected $130.5m in prize money. The total puts him third in the tour’s history, behind long-time rivals Novak Djokovic at $159m and Rafael Nadal at $132m.

But Federer leads the all-time financial scoreboards, with more than $1bn in endorsements before taxes and agents’ fees, according to Forbes estimates.

By contrast, Nadal has banked $500m in endorsements and Djokovic $470m.

“I have played more than 1,500 matches over 24 years. Tennis has treated me more generously than I ever would have dreamt, and now I must recognise when it is time to end my competitive career,” Federer said on social media when announcing his retirement this month.

Despite not playing competitively since Wimbledon 2021, Federer’s annual off-court income totalled more than $90m in the subsequent 12 months, exceeding players in every other sport. That put him $10m ahead of basketball player LeBron James, Forbes said.

The Swiss former tennis world champion is one of just seven athletes to have crossed the $1bn mark while still active. Sport’s other billionaire earners include LeBron James, Lionel Messi, Floyd Mayweather, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

Federer has long-term relationships with brands such as Rolex, Lindt, Mercedes and Credit Suisse. In 2018, he signed a 10-year deal with Uniqlo that was reportedly worth up to $300m.

Federer, who owns property in Dubai, has two major private equity investments that are of public knowledge. Since 2019, he has held an undisclosed stake in Zurich-based On Holding. One of the fastest-growing shoe companies in the world with a presence in 60 countries, it has a market capitalisation of nearly $6bn.

Last year, Federer joined Chilean FoodTech company NotCo’s $235m funding round alongside Lewis Hamilton and musician and DJ Questlove, joining existing investors Future Positive, L Catterton and Bezos Expeditions, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ investment arm.

NotCo, valued at $1bn, makes plant-based alternatives using artificial intelligence.


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Could Kanye West, now called Ye, be the next big star to sell his music catalogue?

The latest Off The Grid story about the rapper and fashion designer broke when Billboard reported Ye’s team had been quietly shopping his catalogue to potential buyers for a valuation of up to $175m, or 35 times its annual revenue of $5m.

Such a high valuation could reportedly include the opportunity to sign a go-forward publishing deal with the multi-platinum artist.

However, the 24-time Grammy Award winner has denied a potential deal. “Just like Taylor Swift… my publishing is being put up for my sale without my knowledge. Not for sale,” he posted on his Instagram page.

Even at $175m, a deal would pale in comparison with Ye’s total net worth, which Forbes estimates at $2bn. Bloomberg put his wealth at $6.6bn last year.

The 45-year-old’s main income sources are his music and fashion partnerships.

Ye has sold more than 35 million albums besides more than 100 million digital downloads.

He has lucrative multiyear design deals with high-street retailers. He designs Yeezy trainers for Adidas and Yeezy clothing with Gap.

The Yeezy-Gap partnership was expected to bring in $1bn in annual sales through to 2025. Its success led to a higher-end line called Yeezy Gap Engineered By Balenciaga.

Last week, the Donda hit maker notified Gap that he was terminating an agreement to design Yeezy clothing for the high-street retailer on grounds of breach of contract, The New York Times reported. He now plans to open his own stores.

Gap’s Yeezy Balenciaga line will not be affected.

Separately, Ye said he wanted to end his Adidas contract when it expires in 2026, Bloomberg reported.

In a series of now-deleted recent Instagram posts, he called out brand executives for allegedly copying Yeezy designs and halting business plans. An additional post appeared to refer to future legal action against Adidas.


Watch: Kanye West changes name to Ye

Forbes magazine estimates that Ye’s deal with Adidas is worth $1.5bn, based on a multiple of annual earnings.

“It’s time for me to go it alone. I made the companies money. The companies made me money. We created ideas that will change apparel forever. Like the round jacket, the foam runner, the slides that have changed the shoe industry. Now it’s time for Ye to make the new industry. No more companies standing in between me and the audience,” the self-made billionaire told Bloomberg.

Leaving Adidas would see Ye’s net worth drop below $1bn, Forbes estimates.

Meanwhile, his latest venture is Donda Academy, a Christian preparatory school that aims to “prepare students to become the next generation of leaders”, according to its website.

Kevin Hart has cashed in on his celebrity appeal by partnering with brands such as Macy’s and Yas Island. Getty Images

Kevin Hart

Comedian Kevin Hart invested in wellness technology company Therabody through his Hartbeat Ventures, the start-up announced last week.

Hartbeat Ventures seeks to invest in companies with a focus on media, technology and lifestyle. The fund’s mission is to create financial inclusion for those who don’t have the access to funds. HV has invested in vegan food brand BeyondMeat, activewear brand Fabletics, Therabody and more.

The makers of the Theragun massage gun closed a growth equity round with a financial backing of $165m last week. Private equity company North Castle Partners led the round, which also drew participation from American football quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ Rx3 Ventures.

The company will use the new capital to invest in developing new products and services.

Hart has parlayed a career that began in stand-up comedy to an estimated net worth of $450m, according to Celebrity Net Worth, up from $400m in May.

As one of the world’s most well-paid comedians, the 43-year-old earned $39m in 2019, according to Forbes magazine. Average revenue from a tour can reach $70m.


Watch: Kevin Hart practises Arabic to promote Yas Island

Beyond stand-up comedy, Hart has built a successful entertainment career, starring in films such as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Upside, and putting out music under the name Chocolate Droppa.

He is a successful investor and businessman.

Hart’s other investments include comic books company Black Sands Entertainment through the TV show Shark Tank, catering app Hungry, beverage company Ellis Island Tea, and an underwear line with intimate garments brand Tommy John.

In August, he launched Hart House, a plant-based quick service food concept, in partnership with Michael Rubin, the founder of online sports merchandising retailer Fanatics. The first restaurant opened near Los Angeles International Airport.

In May, the actor raised $100m from private equity company Abry Partners to create a full-service entertainment company, also called Hartbeat.

Formed from a merger of Hart’s two entertainment businesses, Hartbeat focuses on entertainment content, gaming and creative and cultural consulting.

Abry’s stake was estimated at 15 per cent of Hartbeat, valuing the company at more than $650m. The deal put the comedian’s remaining 85 per cent stake at $552m.

Hart is also a co-founder of the beverage company Gran Coramino.

He has also cashed in on his celebrity appeal by partnering with brands such as Macy’s and Yas Island.

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Updated: September 26, 2022, 6:35 AM