For my strategic sports marketing project, I decided to report on the sports marketing activities of a particular corporation. I specifically wanted to report on the marketing operations of a rather diverse company; one that offers more than one product line for more than one sport. Oakley, Inc. is a company that offers several different products for a wide range of sports. I will now briefly describe the company and its operations, as well as its primary sports marketing goals and objectives.
Oakley, Inc. is a Washington corporation formed in March 1994 to succeed to the assets and liabilities of Oakley, Inc., a California corporation, which commenced operations in 1977 and began to sell sunglasses in 1984 (Scott, 1998). The company is an innovation-driven designer, manufacturer and distributor of consumer products, including high-performance eyewear, footwear, watches and athletic equipment. Oakley's principal strength is its ability to develop products which demonstrate superior performance and comfort through the combination of patented and other proprietary technology and unique styling. The company has focused on eyewear innovations for sports applications, and its products are worn by a variety of athletes, such as skiers, cyclists, runners, surfers, golfers, tennis and baseball players and motocross riders. In addition, the company's products, which are currently sold in over 70 countries worldwide, have become increasingly popular with fashion-oriented consumers in the larger nonsports, or recreational, segment of the sunglass market. Oakley's products currently include sunglasses (e.g., Frogskins, M Frames, Zeros, Wires, Jackets, X Metal, Fives, and Topcoat), goggles, face shields for use with sports helmets, sunglass accessories, gear bags and a limited range of athletic footwear, technical apparel and premium timepieces (Scott, 1998). With focus on consumers for the next generation, the company has established itself as a legitimate world brand with unique expertise in product design, performance and production.
Product Design & Development
State-of-the-art technology allows Oakley to shorten dramatically its product development cycle. Stereolithographic computer modeling is combined with CAD/CAM liquid laser prototyping to create fully detailed, wearable prototypes of eyewear and footwear (Oakley.com, 1999). Rapid iteration of working models allows for extensive testing and perfecting of product design before introduction to the public. After the development stage is complete, the final sculpture can be used directly in preparation of production tooling. Utilizing these processes, the company is capable of introducing a new product line within four months of initial concept. Oakley has obtained hundreds of patents worldwide to protects its proprietary manufacturing methods and product features. Among the company's most important patents are those which guard its achievements in torodial single-lens geometry and the associated manufacturing techniques, dual-spherical lens technology and the associated optical advances, and innovations in frame design and functionality (Oakley.com, 1999). The proprietary technologies employed in lens cutting, etching, and coating, as well as the company's significant investments in specialized equipment, are matched with exclusive formulations of production materials to produce the superior optical quality, safety and performance of Oakley eyewear (Mayes, 1998). Oakley's historical success is attributable to its introduction of products that represent improvements in performance and style over goods available on the market. To that end, the company strives to develop methods of production that provide greater precision and less cost than its competition. Establishing itself as a global brand, Oakley has diversified beyond the eyewear market. The utilization of advanced technologies in fabrics and...