The ON Story

THE ON STORY

A QUEST FOR THE PERFECT RUNNING SENSATION

With its revolutionary idea, the Swiss running shoe On has taken the global running scene with speed.

With its revolutionary idea, the Swiss running shoe On has taken the global running scene with speed.

It’s not just a love of running that former top athlete Olivier Bernhard and his friends David Allemann and Caspar Coppetti share. They’re all also dedicated to developing a perfect product. And this is what has turned a revolutionary idea into a new running shoe that began by amazing the sporting scene and has since helped numerous top athletes to new personal bests at World Championship events.

After retiring from professional competition, threetime World Duathlon Champion and multiple Ironman winner Olivier Bernhard devoted himself to finding a running shoe that would give him the perfect running sensation. In doing so, he crossed paths with a likeminded Swiss engineer who had an idea for a new kind of running shoe. And it was this ideal symbiosis of running experience and engineering expertise that allowed this original idea to be steadily refined over the following years.

Dozens of prototypes were developed, but the basic concept — cushioned landing, firm take-off — remained paramount throughout. It was this unique running sensation that convinced Caspar Coppetti and David Allemann to come aboard too. Together with Bernhard, they formally established the On company in Zurich in January 2010 to develop a product range fully engineered in Switzerland using the latest technology. After that, things started to move swiftly. In February 2010, the prototypes won the ISPO BrandNew Award, one of the most important prizes for innovation in sports. Test runners were enthusiastic and spoke of running on clouds. In July 2010, the first running stores had the On shoes on their shelves.

Today, 10 years later, On products are available at 4,000 speciality running stores in more than 50 countries and have won numerous international innovation and design awards. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, On has local offices in the USA, Japan, Germany, Australia, South Africa, China, and Brazil.

ROGER FEDERER

JOINS SWISS RUNNING BRAND ON AS AN ENTREPRENEUR

Roger Federer and On are announcing today a unique entrepreneurial relationship that will join one of the world’s most influential athletes with one of the fastest-growing brands in the history of athletic footwear. Federer will invest in On and joins the founders of the young sports brand to shape its future. As a true partner, he helps to oversee product development, marketing and fan experiences as well as the athlete spirit of On’s high-performing culture.

Based in Zurich, nine-year-old On has taken the athletic footwear market by storm. Elite athletes are winning Olympic and World Championship medals in the innovation from Switzerland. Driven by peer-recommendation, runners are discovering the superior performance and feel of On running shoes and its unique patented “Cloud” technology. As a result, On is attracting the fastest-growing global fan commu-nity and has joined the ranks of the leading brands in the US, Europe and Japan.

“I’ve been a fan of On and its products for a while, but after talking to the founders I realized we have a lot more in common than just our Swiss roots,” says Federer. “I’m excited to be part of the On team and to work on the future of a next-generation global sports brand.” Federer revealed that the first new products he is working on will be finished and released in 2020.

On Co-Founder Olivier Bernhard, a former World Champion, said the relationship developed very naturally: “We noticed Roger wearing On shoes and reached out to him. That’s when we found out he is a longtime fan of On and, of course, we are longtime fans of his. Switzerland is a small place and we started having dinner together.”

Commenting on the unconventional relationship, Bernhard says: “It became clear that there was a unique opportunity to forge a joint entrepreneurial path that is very different from an athletic sponsorship that a big company would do.”

Bernhard added: “Everyone knows Roger’s a leader in his sport, but as a friendship developed it became clear he is a natural leader and entrepreneur off the court as well. We value the same things and share a passion for innovation and design. He’s going to be a tremendous addition to team On.”

×