The history of Oakley
Oakley is probably one of the most popular sports gear and eyewear brand in the world right now, and with an assortment of different products, Oakley has reached the forerunning position in the industry of developing sports gear. However, all of this seems more like and more like a dream when we read about hot the company began, and how it became the world’s largest sports gar supplier. At present, Oakley presides over a range of different products, from sport gear to bicycles to helmets to pads. T shirts and other types of clothing are also available from Oakley and it is currently a multinational brand that functions in several different countries. Just like any other large company, Oakley has an illustrious history, as described below.
The owner and founder of Oakley, Jim Jannard, began the company back in 1975. His initial investment was a total of $300, and he began the company from his garage. The name of the company was chosen as Oakley after Jannard’s dog, which was also called Oakley. His first product to go on sale was referred by him as the Oakley Grip, which he began to sell from the back of his car at a number of different motocross events. At that time, his motorcycle grips were completely different and unlike anything that riders had seen before. This was because he made use of a material he had patented himself under the name of ‘Unobtainium’. This was created by Jannard himself.
At present, all ear socks made for the Oakley glasses are made from the Unobtainium, while various nose pieces of also do the same. From then, Oakley began to diversify its product portfolio, slowly introducing a range of other products such as number plates, elbow guards, chin guards as well as goggles designed exclusively for the BMX and motorcycle lovers.
The whole riding community began to accept Oakley’s products in positive light, and the company began to make profits from its annual sales. In 1980, a pair of goggles known as the O Frame was introduced with the Oakley brand name on its side. This led to an increase in the overall reputation and recognition that the company enjoyed, and by 1983, Oakley ad begun to manufacture ski goggles too. This is also when Oakley began to manufacture sunglasses, the first of which were the Factory Pilot Eye shades. These resembled goggles and were more oriented towards sports. The Oakley Frog skin followed soon afterwards, which was a casually designed model.
In 1995, Oakley became a public limited company. Jannard gave himself a token of $21 million and kept 64.8% of Oakley. At that time, the company’s total value was $820 million. With a total value of $627 million, Jannard became only the second richest member of the Orange County. In the September of 2004, Oakley signed an agreement with Fox Racing to manufacture eyewear which would be designed by the company as well as Fox Racing. The Oliver Peoples Group, a high end fashion eyewear company was acquired by Oakley in 2006.
Then, in the subsequent year, Luxottica, an Italian group proposed its plans to merge with Oakley for a total deal of $2.1 billion. The deal went through and was completed in the November of the same year, and hence, Oakley is now mentioned in the portfolio of Luxottica along with various other popular brands such as Vogue, Ray Ban and Persol. Another popular event that occurred was back I n2010, when in Chile, thirty three miners got trapped underground for a total of three weeks. Knowing that when they come up, they would require special protection from the sunlight, a person contacted Oakley to donate some of its glasses. As a result, Oakley provided 35 of its Radar sunglasses, all of which were fitted with special tints in order to protect the eyes of the wearer. Oakley is also one of the few companies that have a US Standard Issue, which means that it provides eyewear to the US Military as well as various law enforcement firms within the country. There is a very large sports team roster that Oakley maintains and some of the world’s best athletes can be found on that roster.
At present, Oakley is one of the largest companies to e developing eyewear and other sports goods in the world, and having become such a huge force in just over thirty years, the company just proves to be a testament to the hard work that was put in by the owner of the firm and how it has grown from strength to strength. It functions in various countries, and also has exporting deals with various countries, ensuring that sales operations are carried out virtually all over the globe.