In 1975, Jim Jannard started Oakley with an initial investment of just $300. The name came from Jannard's English Setter dog. The company began selling grips for motorcycles, with production from Jannard's garage.
In 1980, Jannard launched the O-Frame goggles with the iconic Oakley "O" on the strap. In 1984 the step into performance eyewear was made with the launch of the Eyeshade. This was the start of the Oakley brand as we know it today.
One of Oakley's key strategies is to match its brand with athletes through sponsorship. Oakley maintains a large roster of sports stars across a wide variety of sports. Athletes who have been, or are currently, sponsored by Oakley include: Michael Jordan, Shaun White, Fernando Alonso, Valentino Rossi, Ryan Sheckler and Lindsay Vonn.
With their extensive research and development of sunglasses, Oakley sunglasses have been worn by professional golfers for years. Throughout the peak of his career, David Duval was known for wearing Oakley's M Frame glasses, wearing them to win the 2001 Open Championship in addition to his 59 at the 1999 Bob Hope Chrysler Classic.
In 2011, Oakley introduced a revolutionary collection of Apparel & Accessories to match their eyewear, including the world’s lightest ever performance golf shoe, Cipher.
In 2013 Oakley expanded their stable of athletes, adding Bubba Watson (Apparel & Footwear) and Zach Johnson (Apparel & Eyewear) to the roster that already includes Ian Poulter, Ricky Barnes, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Brendon Steele, Yani Tseng, Annika Sorenstam, Ryan O'Toole and many more.