Rory McIlroy's US Open win was a big victory for his sponsors, including Oakley, which had a branding all over the 22-year-old golf phenom from Northern Ireland.
Oakley logos on McIlroy's shirt, collar, belt, pants and glasses yielded $14.7 million in equivalent television advertising time, according to Front Row Marketing, a sponsorship evaluation firm. Due to McIlroy's tremendous lead, and lack of Tiger, McIlroy's sponsors got an incredible amount of branding time.
Oakley logos alone were seen for an astounding 36 minutes and 50 seconds, according to Front Row.
So what will it mean to the business of Oakley, which just started using McIlroy earlier this year?
"Everybody knows us as a sunglass company," said Oakley CEO Colin Baden. "Quite frankly, we get top honors because of the design and the technology we put in those products. We want to get to be known for what we do in our other categories, specifically golf, and Rory is just an incredible pace car for our company to do that and deliver that message to the world."
McIlroy played in the brand's UV protected, antimicrobial golf polos, its moisture management Take Pant 2 and wore the Fast Jacket sunglasses on the back of his head. I found it strange that at no point did McIlroy put the glasses on his face, so I asked Baden how that affected them.
"Well, our main business is quickly becoming everything but sunglasses," Baden said. "And Rory's new to optics. If you look at the field, had the sun been out, you would have had half the field wearing our product."
Believe it or not, only 54 percent of Oakley's business today is in sunglasses.
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