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Designer Brand Oakley?s Impact at the London Olympics


Yes, we know, the Olympics are over, but the impact that the games had in the fashion industry and how brands took advantage of such a large, historical occasion is something to take note of. One brand that went all-out in London was Oakley. The Scott Bowers, SVP Global Marketing andBrand Development at Oakley and his team launched the Oakley Safehouse located in the London Design Museum and set up shop for almost an entire month. The purpose behind the Safehouse was to be a get-away for athletes and families to escape the craziness that is the Olympic Games. And for the brand that meant interaction with customers and creating a meaningful brand experience associated with a positive event. This is nothing new for the retailer, as they have been creating Safehouses since 1996 at the Atlanta games.


Here’s a few ways the brand has been successful in launching their Safehouses and how thoughtfulness in execution is why they are still able to invest in this idea today.


They don’t outsource: at these big games many companies and brands worry about the manpower and often the cost-associated to pull off a successful event. Oakley brought 40 of their own employees to oversee and manage the Safehouse. When you outsource your brand and message become diluted, instead Oakley was able to build strong relationships first-hand and can discuss the ways to improve year after year.


Additionally, Oakley inserted itself into the event and showed its relevance. How they did this is through a lab they created in the Safehouse, where they can show off the design and technology behind their products with athletes, evening making customized items for them.  Oakley was packing almost 70,000 parts on-site, being demo ready for athletes or press in a matter of seconds. 


Oakley effectively brought together excellence in design, technology and style to the Olympic Games and the interaction and foundation they built with customers and loyal brand evangelists will last far beyond the Closing Ceremonies.

Angela Di Laurentis

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