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Oakley Goes Beyond The Pro Spotlight To Highlight Sports Obsession In New Campaign

The brand eschews the spotlights of its high-profile sports to look at what inspires its pro athletes and amateurs alike.

Over the last couple of decades, Oakley has become about as ubiquitous as the Swoosh, building a presence in professional sports of all stripes–golf, hockey, surfing, baseball, and many more. But with its newest campaign, the brand decided to take a step back from the professional ranks and instead focus on individual moments of inspiration shared by pros and amateurs alike.

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As the money in pro sports just gets increasingly astronomical, brands like Oakley (and Beats) are recognizing that there is power in finding common ground between these gods of athletics and mere mortals.

“One Obsession,” developed with agency Eleven San Francisco, takes a varied mix of athletes like San Diego Padres star Matt Kemp, Moto GP champion Marc Marquez, skateboarder Eric Koston, Indian star cricketer Virat Kohli, surfer Gabriel Medina, cyclist Mark Cavendish, and badminton player Lin Dan, as they toil away at their craft away from the spotlight. The first spot is also a teaser for a series of video portraits of some of these athletes yet to come.


Tom Cartmale, Oakley’s global brand communications director says the idea for the campaign came after the team began to look at what professional athletes have in common with everyday athletes, creators, and innovators and found the idea of “obsession” to be that link. “This is not about results, winning, or achieving perfection,” says Cartmale. “It’s about the journey there. By taking athletes out of more familiar and expected territory allows us to explore the mental and physical places of obsession they share with others, and find new ways to connect and inspire this passionate community.”


The brand wants fans to share their own places of obsession around the world through the hashtag #LiveYours and reward its favorites with surprise experiences and access to Oakley athletes. In April, it will also unveil three branded hubs, open to the public to live out their passions in skateboarding (Los Angeles), urban cycling (London) and baseball (New York).

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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