What’s Working at Oakley, plus Costa Integration Plans
With all the changes at Oakley over the years as it integrated more closely with parent company Luxottica, we have not had a good contact there of late so have been lacking in Oakley updates.
I’m happy to say that we now have a good line of communication with an Oakley leader: Justin Andrews, SVP of Oakley who is responsible for Oakley wholesale and marketing in North America, and now also the Costa business.
Justin is an Oakley veteran who understands the industry. He has worked at Oakley for 15 years, and previously served as Oakley Managing Director in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.
He is now based out of Luxottica’s headquarters in New York City.
He answered questions for us about Oakley’s recent performance, new product launches, and how the Costa integration is going.
What is working well in the North America business? Where is Oakley seeing growth?
Justin Andrews: In North America, we are focusing on key sports that are extremely relevant to the market, including football through a partnership with the NFL, snow with a sponsorship with the Vail and Alterra groups, and golf with a partnership with the PGA Tour.
Additionally, we are continuing to focus on the sports that our brand were founded on and have a passionate fan base, such as bike, skate and surf.
Key growth drivers in North America are sunglasses, goggles and ophthalmic frames. Additionally, to date, in 2020, our apparel, footwear and accessories business is up more than 20%.
How have the sales and marketing structures changed since the integration with Luxottica?
Justin Andrews: In North America, the structure has not changed much but has evolved because of normal market evolution. The North America marketing team is run out of New York and the sports marketing and field marketing teams are still based at Oakley headquarters in Foothill Ranch, California.
With the Luxottica integration, there has been a shift of some of Oakley’s global functions being run out of Milan, Luxottica’s headquarters.
How has the new NFL relationship impacted the business?
Justin Andrews: In season one, the NFL relationship has been a massive success. In addition to the mass brand exposure, the league partnership has resulted in elevating Oakley as a true sports brand that delivers performance technologies that the world’s best athletes rely on.
There are not many brands that can show up on the NFL field and at Pipe Masters on the North Shore, and we are proud to be that brand.
How have goggle sales gone, and are there any new snow initiatives for next season?
Justin Andrews: Our goggles business is strong and there is potential for additional growth.
Our Prizm™ Snow Lenses are game changers and continue to be a leading technology in the category. We have a range of snow lenses, giving athletes and consumers the option to select the lens that will best equip them to take on the environment of the day. Having a deep range has proved to be very successful for us.
I actually just attended one of our Oakley Weeks in Whistler, which was a great brand touchpoint and authentic moment to see our impact in snow. For Oakley Week, we take over key mountains in North America, offering consumers Prizm™ and goggle trial experiences on-hill, athlete meet and greets, and more. We also did an Oakley Week at Vail earlier this year and are heading to Mammoth in a few weeks.
In terms of sales, we have seen significant growth over the past three years in goggles. We are continuing to increase our investment in the category and will be bringing new exciting products to the market for the upcoming 20/21 season with two new goggles: Flight Path XL and Flight Tracker.
- Flight Path XL: With new Ridgelock EV technology, Flight Path XL maximizes upper field of view for greater visibility in aggressive ski racing positions.
- Flight Tracker: Inspired by the brand’s first true oversized snow goggle Canopy, Flight Tracker features an oversized full rim toric design to create the best viewing experience on mountain.
Will Oakley continue to support the Surf Shop Challenge? If so, why?
Justin Andrews: We will continue to support the surf industry and the great stores that carry Oakley. And yes, the Surf Shop Challenge will still be a priority for the brand.
As a brand that is driven to innovate and drive the industry standard, the series may evolve in the future.
What is your background with Oakley and what are you responsible for in your current role?
Justin Andrews: I have been at Oakley for 15 years. I was the Managing Director of Oakley in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia looking after wholesale, Oakley retail and e-commerce.
In 2011, I integrated the Oakley business into the Luxottica business and became the Managing Director of Oakley and all Luxottica brands in that region.
Then in 2018, I moved with my family of five to New York City to look after Oakley wholesale (sport, optical and military) and Oakley marketing (all channels) for North America. We also sell Ray Ban in the sport channel.
In addition, I am now responsible for the Costa brand globally.
How is Costa being integrated into Luxottica?
Justin Andrews: Costa is being integrated into the Luxottica business to leverage the back of house efficiencies – providing the tools to help make Costa a global brand, which it deserves to be.
The sales structure will remain the same, and marketing will remain in North America, as more than 95% of the business is done in the USA and Canada.
The key differentiator of the Costa brand is delivering an elevated water experience and the brand will continue to push forward and lead that industry. There is no other brand in the Luxottica portfolio that is similar so we are excited to support and drive new penetration in key North America markets.