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Plugged In: Colin Baden, Oakley
Published May 26, 2014, Page 3
While Oakley is rooted in a heritage of sports and innovative technology, we’ve never leveraged our own culture. So now we’re talking a lot about industrial design and what we can do for you with our technology. That’s our new journey.”
Growth sectors: Broadly, overseas. Japan is a real opportunity, and we’re growing there. We’re doing great in Brazil but still growing like crazy and opening stores there. Oakley is still an undiscovered brand in Europe, so I don’t think we’re quite ready to open stores there. There’s lots of opportunity for us on the prescription side of the eyewear business and on the women’s side of the business. We keep trying to push the edges with new technology.
Marketing to millennials: Things change quickly there. When I joined the brand [in 1996], all I heard about was action sports. Now, that seems kind of over. So many of those brands … are struggling. We’re just recently marketing directly to consumers, so our social strategy and our email marketing — we’re all learning in that space, like most brands. … The one thing that was made clear to us lately was that when we did email campaigns featuring product, they work. When we send out emails about one of our athletes winning and “Here’s the video,” it does not work.
On brand extensions into categories like apparel and luggage: Obviously we’re relevant in eyewear and that’s still probably 80 percent of our sales. Increasingly, we’re in different kinds of apparel, but we’re not going off the reservation and doing something like underwear. We turn down stuff every day; I didn’t see much point in doing a Playboy license for Oakley eyewear. However, the Ferrari license we’ve done made sense, and we each brought strengths to that relationship..