SBD/May 7, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Oakley Seeks New Ad Agency, With CEO Willing To Increase Sports Marketing Budget

Oakley is "looking for a new agency to come up with its own version" of Nike's "Just Do It" campaign, according to Michael McCarthy of AD AGE. Oakley CEO Colin Baden said that the company has “narrowed down to two finalists in an agency search that initially included at least 15 shops.” Baden noted that most of Oakley's marketing budget is “devoted to sports marketing.” McCarthy cites data from Kantar Media showing that Oakley spent $11.3M on ads in ’13, but notes Baden “seems ready to spend more on a broad-based marketing strategy.” Over its nearly 40-year history, Oakley “used many athletic endorsers,” including golfer Bubba Watson, snowboarder Shaun White, skier Lindsey Vonn and Basketball HOFer Michael Jordan. But sponsoring athletes “is a double-edged sword,” as Oakley was “one of the last sponsors to stick by” Lance Armstrong and still “has a deal” with Oscar Pistorius. Oakley “handles marketing in-house” and among the agencies that “have recently worked with Oakley on projects” are Denver-based Factory Design Labs and N.Y.-based Thinkmodo. Baden said he considers Oakley a “lucky” brand. Baden: “Bubba wins the Masters. Great. We just got millions of dollars in advertising for free. … We're on your face. That's what they photograph. They don't photograph your feet. We had (hundreds) of Olympians wearing one frame color (during, the Sochi Olympic Winter Games).” Baden added, “We'll do something ... again in Rio de Janiero” (ADAGE.com, 5/6).
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