Summer 2016 truly was the summer of sport. Viewers were gripped to Team GB’s medal pursuit in both the Olympic and Paralympic Games due to the continued success of British athletes across an array of different sports. Inevitably, a summer of sport brought with it a summer packed full of Oakley Sunglasses.
The eyewear giant specialises in designing high-quality eyewear products specifically for sport, tackling some of the main threats to achieving maximum performance for athletes.
Before Team GB made their way to Rio, it had already been announced that the Oakley brand would sponsor the British Rowing team. The new deal between The British Rowing Association and Oakley saw each member of the Olympic and Paralympic rowing team receive a complimentary pair of shades; a special edition Green Fade Collection.
There’s no denying that the Team GB rowing team have surpassed expectations over the years. Following the success of London 2012, rowing as a sport received an increase in funding by 19.47% which equates to £32.6million in total. It is clear that the aim after London’s Olympic Games was to protect the legacy that it had left behind and build on performance.
Fast forward four years and the rowers that competed in both the Olympics and the Paralympics in 2016 have done just that.
The Paralympic Games saw Rachel Morris win Gold in the arms-shoulders single sculls. We also witnessed Lauren Rowles and Laurence Whiteley securing gold in the trunk-and-arms mixed double sculls, followed by another shiny gold medal in the mixed coxed four. Those three medals alone, won in a very short space of time, signalled the best ever tally for the Paralympic Rowing team.
The Olympic Games also saw a good medal haul. Team GB managed to take home 5 medals which included 3 golds and 2 silvers. Although the team did narrowly miss out on their target of 6, their efforts were undeniable.
So why have such a successful team chosen to wear Oakley sunglasses? What makes the brand so complimentary to their sport?
Kenny Baillie, Director of Partnerships and Communications at British Rowing explained why he was excited about the partnership.
“Rowers spend long periods of time outdoors so it is essential that they use sunglasses to protect their eyes from strong reflections from the water. The right eyewear is an important part of a rower’s kit. Having a trusted, performance brand such as Oakley supporting all of our rowers, from the elite rowers in our world class Olympic and Paralympic programmes right down to local clubs across the country, is of huge value to our sport. We are excited to have Oakley on board as an official supplier of British Rowing.”
The informed technology used by Oakley means that they always deliver on their promise to improve the performance of athletes.
Oakley uses prism lenses which can be colour tuned for specific environments. Different prism lenses match particular sports. Oakley lenses are also HD polarized. This protects rowers from the dangers that long exposure to the sun can cause. Firstly, the sun shining on open water creates a nasty glare, which can distort the vision of rowers whilst they race. In the long term, intense glare can also deteriorate vision. HD polarized lenses stop the glares from the sun, preventing the pitfalls from occurring.
Oakley’s partnership with the GB Rowing team is expected to last until 2017. There’s no doubt that we are set to see Oakley Glasses on the water at many of the major rowing competitions. We just hope that rowing continues to thrive as a sport across the UK.