Oakley Athletes and Celebrities Descend Upon Sundance


Every year in a little town known for being home to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Park City, Utah hosts Sundance Film Festival. Sundance was started by Robert Redford as a fun and relatively small event, but today is one of the biggest independent film festivals in the world.

Oakley’s Alternative Marketing team has activated around this week in years prior, but 2009 would go down as the brand’s most impactful presence to date. Last year through Oakley’s relationship with our professional snowboard athletes we were able to put together a small organic “learn to ride” session with two-time Olympic silver medalist Danny Kass and some celebrities. The results were insane coverage, including People Magazine.

Looking to capitalize on this success the Alternative Marketing team put together a very special four days of “learn to ride” sessions with over a dozen Oakley athletes. First the team picked out a beautiful home up on Eagle Cove Drove that overlooked the town and local ski resort. Thus creating a perfect setting for an Oakley Safehouse that the athletes and invited celebrities and media could enjoy each day.

The house was decked out with everything Oakley from display cases to a downstairs that looked more like an Oakley store then a game room. Included in the game room were K2 board, boots and bindings, Gnu boards, Bental Metal bindings and Flow Boots. Upstairs Jamba Juice’s new “oatmeal” was served along with Muscle Milk products to pump up the would be shredders for there time on the hill.

Day one was focused around Oakley’s top female snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler who was accompanied by several other Oakley athletes – Grete Eliassen, Lauren Perkins, Elena Hight, Marie-France Roy and Laura Hadar. Additionally, the Travel Channel came by to do a segment with Lauren Perkins and Oakley’s 2002 Olympic bronze medalist JJ Thomas with Samantha Brown.

Other notable celebrities making appearances on day one were Laura Harring from David Lynch’s 2001 film Mulholland Drive and Alan Cumming from the James Bond film Goldeneye. Also swinging by the house were tons of media from People Magazine to Instyle to Stylecaster.

The next two days would feature some real fun celebrities learning about Oakley, scoring some gear and shredding the sun baked Utah snow. Topping the list of visitors were Susan Sarandon and her son Miles, Terrell Owens who was a riot, Stephen Baldwin making everyone laugh, Rodrigo Santoro from the movie 300 and Emma Roberts. Once again Grete, Marie-France and JJ Thomas were giving lessons on how to shred. Added to the list of Oakley athletes giving lessons were Aaron Biittner, Zach Leach and The Dingo.

On the final day Oakley hosted the New York Times up on the hill with Oakley athlete Lauren Perkins teaching Woody Harrelson how to board, at the same time “The Dingo” and Oakley’s Alternative Marketing Director Jeremy McCassy were doing E News with Host Ashlin and Christina Milian. After that the group did the Daily 10 with Milian claiming her relationship with Oakley and how much fun she had doing it.

By doing this four day “learn to ride” sessions, Oakley was able to develop an efficient program that blends the heritage and knowledge of action sports with the affluent entertainment world, while giving them a skill or experience that they would not have otherwise done.