Luxottica wheels out Oakley for a grand Tour – 09/07/09

Oakley Jawbone uses new SwitchLock Technology to allow easy access for quick lens changing

FRANCE. Eyewear brand Oakley has linked up with several Tour de France athletes and launched new products to coincide with the major cycle road race, which is being held in France from 4 to 26 July 2009.

Oakley brand owner Luxottica, which acquired the brand in 2007, said the Tour de France marked a major opportunity for travel retail, with up to 2.25 million international visitors travelling to France each year to watch the event.

About 50 Tour de France athletes are wearing Oakley eyewear in this year’s race, and the company has revealed which are their favourite styles: Lance Armstrong favours the Jawbone/Radar (Livestrong); Fabian Cancellara wears the Atomic Orange Radar; Carlos Sastre likes the Polished Aluminium Radar; and Mark Cavendish has the Jawbone (Fire Iridium Lens).


Oakley Jawbone: Using Oakley’s new SwitchLock Technology, the lower part of the frame rim opens to allow easy access for quick lens changing, enabling the riders to optimise vision in any light condition. This technology is said to ensure there is nothing to diminish the clarity and precision of the optics while still giving riders the comfort and fit of a flexible frame design. Among others, the Jawbone is being worn by Mark Cavendish (GB) and Thor Hushovd (NOR).

Lance Armstrong is wearing a special version, called the LiveStrong Special Edition Jawbone

A former cancer sufferer, Armstrong has achieved a record-breaking seven consecutive Tour de France victories and has worn Oakley sunglasses throughout his career. Oakley has supported the efforts of the Lance Armstrong Foundation with numerous special-edition eyewear products. This year, the brand is introducing a LiveStrong Special Edition Jawbone to aid the foundation’s ongoing mission of inspiring people affected by cancer. With every purchase of a Livestrong special-edition eyewear, Oakley will provide US$20 to the foundation.

To date, purchases of Livestrong eyewear have contributed more than US$1.4 million to the fight against cancer. Armstrong is wearing the LiveStrong-Versions of Jawbone and Radar during this year’s Tour.

This Radar XL model extends the wearer’s range of view

Oakley Radar XL: According to Oakley, athletes have won more championships and medals with its sunglasses than with any other single sports product on Earth. The Oakley Radar XL, described as a milestone in performance technology, is a specially designed edition of the company’s Radar eyewear. With an extra 7mm between the nose bridge and the top of the frame, this XL version extends the wearer’s range of view. It was originally invented to solve the problem of restricted view in the head-down position when triathletes were trying to break through the pain barrier.

Oakley Anti-Freeze Radar: Oakley, a long-time supporter of cross-country cycling and downhill racing, has produced Radar eyewear for these extreme two-wheeled sports, and this model is one of the first designs to come with Jade Iridium lens coating for truer colour recognition, especially in bright sun. For each of the last two years the company has released a small quantity of uniquely-coloured Radars to highlight its top cycling athletes competing in France’s “la grande boucle” (“the big loop”). In 2007, the company said, “we scorched eyeballs with Retina Burn”, adding: “In 2008 we paid tribute to the nuclear-powered quads of Fabian Cancellara with Atomic Orange.”

This year marks the release of another special edition for the Tour de France: Anti-Freeze. The frame, constructed of a translucent green material, is matched with a Jade Iridium lens, a new tint that is said to complement the vivid colour of the frame and is suitable for medium to bright conditions. The Anti-Freeze Radar is available in extremely limited quantities in two different configurations.

This special-edition Anti-Freeze Radar translucent green frame is matched with a Jade Iridium lens

Oakley’s Radar Riders include Fabian Cancellara (CH), Carlos Sastre (SP), Cadel Evans (AUS), Andy Schleck (LUX), Daniele Bennati (I) and Lance Armstrong (US) [Livestrong Edition].

Airport HPPs in the pipeline

Since Luxottica Group acquired Oakley in 2007, the brand has continued to forge strong associations with international sports stars and global sporting events, and Luxottica Travel Retail can confirm that it is planning several high-visibility airport retail promotions to support this global brand strategy. Details will be released later, the firm said.

About the Tour de France

Some of the world’s greatest athletes will ride almost 3,500 kilometres in 21 gruelling stages. For each cyclist, more than 963,000 heartbeats and 430,000 pedal strokes will burn 76,000+ calories and generate enough total watts of power to fire up every light in a city.

About Luxottica Group

Luxottica Group is a global leader in premium fashion, luxury and sports eyewear, with over 6,250 optical and sun stores in North America, Asia Pacific, China, South Africa and Europe and a strong brand portfolio. Luxottica’s key house brands include Ray-Ban, Oakley, Vogue, Persol, Oliver Peoples, Arnette and REVO, while licensed brands include Bvlgari, Burberry, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Donna Karan, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tiffany and Versace. In addition to a global wholesale network covering 130 countries, the group manages leading retail brands such as Sunglass Hut globally. The group’s products are designed and manufactured in six Italy-based manufacturing plants and in two wholly-owned plants in China. In 2008, Luxottica Group posted consolidated net sales of €5.2 billion.


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