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On Is Turning to Younger Audiences With Zendaya Partnership

(Bloomberg) — Swiss sneaker maker On Holding AG signed a partnership with actress and singer Zendaya, adding marketing heft to a fast-growing brand that’s already partly owned by tennis great Roger Federer.

The move is part of On’s efforts to broaden its customer base and appeal to younger and fashion-oriented consumers. Zendaya, known from her appearances in Dune and teenage series Euphoria, appeared in a short film for On Thursday and will contribute to the design of future collection. It’s the brand’s second non-athlete ambassador after singer FKA Twigs.

On recently revealed collaborations with fashion brands such as Loewe and niche label Post Archive Faction, following the example of rivals such as Nike which has partnered with Jacquemus and Adidas with Gucci and Wales Bonner.

Founded in 2010, On initially soared to popularity in Europe as a running shoe upstart that gained a big following among the walking masses, especially in Switzerland and Germany, thanks in part to its shoes’ distinctive tubular cushions on the sole. Federer bought a stake in the brand in 2019 and On held an initial public offering in New York in 2021. 

On’s fastest growth in recent years has come from the US, the world’s biggest sports market. The company expanded its lineup and increased availability at retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. The company also built its direct-to-consumer operations, helping it take market share from bigger rivals like Adidas AG, Nike and Puma SE. 

A year after Federer joined, On unveiled a line of tennis shoes, beginning with “The Roger,” an all-white tennis-inspired sneaker made with faux leather featuring On’s patented cushioning technology instead of a heavy rubber sole. 

Last month, On posted stronger-than-expected quarterly sales and nudged its revenue forecast higher for the year. The company hopes to build its brand awareness at the Paris Olympics this summer, thanks in part to its sponsored athletes in track and field, triathlon and tennis.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

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