Shining The Spotlight On Our Road Warriors

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It starts out the day before with contacting our local sales rep and figuring out a route to the event and making sure we won’t run into any problems getting there and parking the truck. These problems can consist of anything from bridges with a low clearance to low-hanging trees, turns that are too sharp or finding a truck stop that we can fuel up at and wash the rig. Sometimes that’s a true mission in and of itself. Then there is the amazing feat of parking the truck. When set up, it’s 60 feet long and 30 feet wide, so it’s not easy. That’s when satellite imaging comes in handy – and even then it’s no guarantee. Once all of that is accomplished, we usually roll in that night to park the truck, get a late night bite to eat and turn in to our 100th something hotel bed for an early rise setup.

A morning event can start anywhere from 6:30 AM to 10:00 AM. Setup takes at least two hours depending on the type and the weather, so that means sometimes we are at the site as early as 4:30 in the morning. If it’s a smooth setup and we have no issues with the trailer, then we are ready to roll.

We try to cater to each event individually, trying to change our presentations and the eyewear we show accordingly. This way we can really show how Oakley’s technology applies to so many different sports and demographics. Everything from extreme sports to NASCAR or fly fishing, and our Rx division as well. This personal attention to each event keeps it fresh for us, the reps and anyone who has been through more than once – they know it’s not just a script. We like to average at least 100 people through the lab each day, but we have had over 600 in and out in just one day before. We are always looking to break the record so we invite everyone to help us try. An average day could be as short as six hours or as long as 14.

The lab is a mobile replication of the optical side of our research and development lab. It consists of all 8 of the tests required by A.N.S.I. (American National Standards Institute) to be certified at the Z87.1 testing level. That is considered the most stringent level of testing for optical clarity and impact resistance. Right now Oakley is the only company in the sports performance world even volunteering our eyewear for these tests. During our tours we discuss each test while actually testing Oakley eyewear against competitors, giving visitors a first-hand experience of how well we test and what separates us from everyone else on the shelf. Seeing truly is believing. We also allow people to test their own eyewear and personally ask any questions they may have and get a sincere answer from trained specialists.

When the end does come around, it’s another two hour breakdown no matter what time it is or what the weather’s doing – rain, sleet or snow. If it’s not too late we usually have some dinner and maybe a beer or two with the local reps and then head off to bed to do it all over again. Traveling over 300 days in a year is an amazing way to see new places, meet new people and try new things. It never gets old and the surprises never stop coming. You build a bond with the guys you work with that you can never replace – we literally eat, sleep, and #!%* together. I have gained some of my best friends in the last two years, and wouldn’t trade that for any desk job. You add that to the tons of positive feedback that we have received from sales reps, accounts and people in general, plus the increased sales numbers and client base and we really have had a great experience while doing a great job. And that job is conveying the technology behind our High Definition Optics to everyone we can for as long as we can.

A BIG thanks to everyone on the crew and everyone who has made this possible. From the top to the bottom, you know who you are. THANKS! See ya’ll on the road.

Author

Adam Racioppi and the O Lab Crew

Date

October 20, 2008

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