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I caught up with Oakley Vice President of North America Ted Li this week for a quick update on how Oakley’s increased focus on the surf market is going, and to see if there were any plans to increase the brand’s snow outerwear for the ski and snowboard markets.
Ted Li: We have seen year-over-year increases in shipped orders and pre-books, but our real push is to continue to make product that performs.
The Blade Boardshort that we will introduce in spring is a great example of the product that we are capable of making. We did a pre-release in Australia and the feedback from accounts is very positive.
We are getting better penetration in surf accounts, but we still have a lot of opportunity in front of us.
Oakley has always been involved with surf events, but the Surf Shop Challenge and the Oakley Pro Am have been great for us.
We are able to reach the kids on the floor and help educate them on the other categories we make.
We have always been a company that has appealed to ski and snowboard. We have some of the best snow athletes in the world, including Eero Ettala (snowboard), Eiki Helgason (snowboard), Jake Blauvelt (snowboard), Tanner Hall (ski), Seth Morrison (ski), Simon Dumont (ski), Sean Pettit (ski).
We aren’t expanding our technical outerwear SKU count, but we will be offering Gore for the 2011 season. We have expanded our lifestyle product that has performance features that can be worn in the bar and on the mountain.