Oakley Plans Distribution Expansion via Sports Stores
Oakley Plans Distribution Expansion via Sports Stores

EssilorLuxottica’s sports performance brand Oakley recently celebrated its fifth year of association with Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma in its latest brand campaign. Since its launch in India in 2009, Oakley has leveraged high-value sports properties both in India and abroad. The brand is now expanding its distribution network through sports stores across India.

According to EssilorLuxottica’s Q1 2024 financial filings, its consolidated revenue reached €6,335 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 5.5 percent at constant exchange rates compared to the first quarter of 2023. The Asia-Pacific region posted revenue of €768 million, up 8.2 percent compared to the first quarter of 2023, despite a slowdown in Direct to Consumer (D2C) performance. Sunglass Hut continued strong in China and Southeast Asia.

Recently, Oakley launched two new sports eyewear products, Sphaera and Bisphaera, which offer the most extended field of view. Both new products are set to make a statement at the upcoming 2024 Olympics. These products are tailored to meet the rigorous needs of athletes and bring together the best elements from Oakley’s diverse sports lineup.

Celebrating Individuality

In an interview with IndianRetailer.com, Sahil Jandial, Senior Business Brand Manager at Oakley-EssilorLuxottica, discussed the brand’s growth strategy in the Indian market and their retail expansion plans to enhance their brand reach.

Speaking about the ‘Be Who You Are’ campaign, Jandial said, “This year marks Oakley’s fifth year of association with Rohit Sharma, strengthening the brand’s commitment to supporting athletes to perform at the highest level and be their true, authentic selves. The campaign is all about celebrating individuality. We are emphasizing that each of us has something unique that sets us apart. Sometimes, we forget about this uniqueness because of societal pressure to fit in. But it's that very thing that helps us reach our full potential.”

Globally, Oakley has collaborated with top athletes such as Kylian Mbappe, Patrick Mahomes, Dylan Frittelli, and Mark Cavendish. Explaining the reason behind collaborating with cricketer Rohit Sharma, Jandial said, “Rohit is an inspiration to the younger generation and connects with audiences across the nation. He embodies passion, progression, and performance, which are core values of Oakley, making him the ideal representative to lead our brand dialogue in India.”

Oakley has leveraged high-value sports properties both in India and abroad. The brand is now expanding its distribution network through sports stores across India.

Retail Expansion Strategy

Oakley has a strong presence in over 3,000 top optical stores across India, including Sunglass Hut and LensCrafters. With an omnichannel approach, Oakley products are available on top e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Myntra, AJIO, and TATA CLiQ Luxury, among others.

Jandial said, “We are committed to continuously enhancing our product offerings with cutting-edge technology and superior design. Our goal is to provide our customers with the best gear to excel in their respective sports and inspire them to embrace an active lifestyle.”

Discussing retail expansion plans, he said, “Our retail expansion plans focus on tapping into the vast potential of the eyewear market in India. With significant opportunities for growth across multiple channels, including optical stores, retail chains like Sunglass Hut and LensCrafters, and online platforms, we're strategically positioned to broaden our reach and enhance our presence.”

He further mentioned, “Additionally, we’ve recently started working on building the distribution network with sports stores across India. This expansion into a niche market segment opens new avenues for growth and underscores our commitment to making Oakley products readily available to athletes and sports enthusiasts nationwide.”

Targeting Athletes and Active Individuals

According to an Expert Market Research report, the global sports sunglasses market was valued at $10.27 billion in 2023. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.6 percent during the forecast period of 2024-2032, reaching a value of $14.11 billion. Recently, Oakley has also collaborated with cricketers Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh.

When asked about the target audience for the campaign, Jandial said, “Oakley is for those who lead active lifestyles, pursue self-progression, and strive to reach their full potential in everything they do. This makes Oakley the perfect choice for both active individuals and athletes.”

He further explained, “Sphaera and Bisphaera, our latest eyewear innovations, are game changers, offering the widest field of view. Ideal for both elite contenders and passionate sports enthusiasts alike. These revolutionary eyewear pieces are crafted to meet the demanding needs of athletes across various sports disciplines while honoring their authenticity and unwavering dedication.”

Marketing Strategy and Ad Spend

Explaining the marketing strategy and allocation of ad spending, Jandial said, “At Oakley, our marketing strategy is a dynamic fusion of athlete collaborations, compelling advertising campaigns, and digital and social media marketing. Currently, over 60 percent of our marketing investments are directed towards the digital space. This shift allows us to leverage social media platforms, form influencer partnerships, and implement targeted online advertising campaigns effectively.”

Leveraging High-Value IPs

Indian Premier League, Pro Kabaddi League, Olympics, and World Cup are considered high-value sports IPs in India and globally. Multiple brands leverage the popularity and engagement these events offer for high brand reach.

Explaining Oakley’s strategy to leverage these high-value sports properties, Jandial said, “Our marketing strategy ensures Oakley's high visibility at major sporting events such as the IPL, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, and the Olympics.”

He added, “This dual-focused approach involves equipping athletes with Oakley products during their performances while simultaneously engaging viewers through advertisements on digital platforms like OTT, Meta, YouTube, and others. A significant portion of our digital investment is dedicated to targeting consumers who resonate most with the brand during these major sporting events in the country.”

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