Moët & Chandon celebrated its global brand ambassador, Roger Federer, in a historic tennis match against arch-rival (and close friend off-court) Rafael Nadal at the Cape Town Stadium, to benefit the Roger Federer Foundation. It was preceded by a celebrity doubles match featuring Bill Gates and Trevor Noah
Global tennis icon Roger Federer once said: “I’m a very positive thinker. That’s what helps me the most in difficult moments.” That positive thinking has manifested in an extraordinary tennis legacy (1 200 victories) which Moët & Chandon celebrated at the charity match in Cape Town, which kicked off with an intimate champagne brunch hosted in the gardens of Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town. All the profits from this first-ever Federer-Nadal exhibition match will go to the Roger Federer Foundation, which supports early education among under-resourced rural communities in Africa. As the official Champagne of the event, Moët & Chandon lends its support to the charitable mission of its global ambassador.
Sporting champions Siya Kolisi, Ryk Neethling, rugby stars Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger and celebrities Boity Thulo, Maps Maponyane and Ayanda Thabete were among those who raised a glass of Moët & Chandon to toast Federer’s excellence, elegance, and altruistic engagement.
Federer, who’s been a global ambassador for Moët & Chandon since 2012, marks his ambassadorship as an important milestone in his career. In an exclusive interview with DESTINY, he said: “I’m honoured to be the global brand ambassador of Moët & Chandon. It’s an iconic Champagne house which has been around for over 275 years!
“Moët & Chandon, to me, is the symbol of celebration. I always enjoy it when I’m with my friends, my team and my family. It doesn’t matter whether I win or lose – it’s just nice to celebrate with everyone when we’re together. For me, Champagne is about celebrating moments and as an athlete. There are many highs and lows, but celebrating moments of success with your team is why I continue to play.”
The mutual appreciation of the house was expressed by Stéphane Baschiera, President and CEO of Moët & Chandon, who said: “Moët & Chandon is honoured to support Roger Federer in this historic edition of ‘The Match in Africa,’ as a symbol of our shared belief that success is more precious when accompanied by unwavering generosity.”
Federer became the brand’s global ambassador in 2012. “When we began our relationship, I visited Moët & Chandon’s estate in Epernay, France. It was a unique experience, as I learnt that Moët & Chandon and I had many common values. We both believe in excellence, in tradition and in respect, so this will always be a clear partnership. Moët & Chandon is also a house with a long tradition of philanthropy, social responsibility and sustainable development – all values I believe in strongly. This year it’s taken generosity even further, supporting the Match in Africa 6 for the benefit of my foundation. That support, to me, is the mark of a true champion.”
The spectacular 50 000-seat Cape Town Stadium, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean and Table Mountain, was a fitting venue for the much-anticipated match, which sold out within just 14 minutes of its announcement some months ago and was eventually over-subscribed four times, as South Africans scrambled to see two tennis greats, Federer and Spaniard Rafael Nadal – who’ve played each other many times at Grand Slam finals over the years – facing off again. Yet, however intense the two men’s rivalry during matches, the obvious friendship and warmth they share off court have always warmed spectators’ hearts.
Federer was born and raised in Switzerland, but holds dual citizenship of SA because of his mother Lynette (née Durand), an Afrikaner from Kempton Park, Johannesburg. Being partly South African makes this trip extra-special for him. “I planned to play in my mother’s home country for several years. A few years ago, after speaking to my team, I realised that if I was going to play in SA for the first time, it needed to be against my greatest rival, Rafa. It wouldn’t feel right any other way. As I haven’t been able to play here before, I also wanted it to be as accessible as possible to everyone. It was my chance to play in front of the South African people while I’m still on tour. It wasn’t easy finding a way to work our schedules together at the venue, but it was always my dream to break the world record for attendance at a match here in Cape Town.” He and Nadal may well play each other again at Roland Garros in Paris during the French Open in May.
Before the Match in Africa 6, Federer’s mother expressed her pride in being a board member of the Roger Federer Foundation, which has enabled 1,5 million children from SA, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi and Zimbabwe to benefit from its programmes.
This was followed by an entertaining celebrity doubles match between Federer, Nadal, American business tycoon and philanthropist Bill Gates and SA’s own iconic comedian-turned-American late-night talk show host, Trevor Noah.
This fun doubles match, which in itself extended the Moët & Chandon notion of celebration, was also a celebration of tennis. It set the tone for the much-anticipated game between Federer and Nadal, which saw Federer claim victory – yet another moment worth celebrating!
ABOUT MOËT & CHANDON
Founded in 1743, Moët & Chandon is the Maison that contributed to introducing Champagne to the world by offering a range of superb offerings for every occasion. From the iconic Moët Impérial to the Grand Vintage Collection, the extroverted Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial and the innovative Moët & Chandon Ice Impérial, each Champagne dazzles and delights with bright fruitiness, an enticing palate and an elegant maturity.
Since its founding, Moët & Chandon has been the Champagne of choice to celebrate events of historical or personal significance. For each of life’s memorable moments, Moët & Chandon has a style of Champagne that marks the occasion in a unique way.
ABOUT THE ROGER FEDERER FOUNDATION
For more than 16 years, the Roger Federer Foundation has run charitable programmes in Africa and Switzerland, giving young children a good start in education. Over one million children have benefited from the interventions. The foundation only works with carefully selected local organisations in long-term partnerships and seeks to bring about systemic change and have a sustainable impact. It aims to empower local populations to assume responsibility for finding solutions to problems, while also determining the content, organisation and finances of those solutions. The foundation runs school-readiness initiatives in 2 000 primary and pre-schools in Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, SA, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Switzerland and has invested more than US$52 million in educational programmes since its establishment. For more information on the Roger Federer Foundation, visit: rogerfedererfoundation.org/en/home