In the latest shift in a sports management business that appears to be trending toward the boutique, Roger Federer (+8 @ 69 TrendSignal pts.) has joined with his longtime agent Tony Godsick and two American investors to form an agency called Team8.

The agency, based in the Cleveland area and headed by Godsick, will represent the interests of Federer, the 32-year-old Swiss tennis star, who is one of the world’s highest-earning and most popular athletes. But Team8 also has signed one of Federer’s main rivals, the fifth-ranked Juan Martín del Potro of Argentina, with input from Federer, who spent considerable time with del Potro on an exhibition tour of South America last year.

Federer, Nadal and Tiger Woods Media Growth
within the Crowded Male Athlete Category

Godsick said he had felt the desire to build something new, not just to manage Federer’s existing business, however lucrative. Forbes reported that Federer was the second-highest-paid athlete last year, at $71.5 million, behind Tiger Woods (NC @ 67 TrendSignal pts.). Godsick and Federer’s move comes as agency IMG is on the verge of being sold. It also comes as Federer’s longtime rival Rafael Nadal (+12 @ 68 pts.) has left IMG with his agent, Carlos Costa, and as Costa has reportedly expressed interest in signing a promising 17-year-old Chilean player, Christian Garin, to a management contract.