The Oakley Factory Co-Pilot Experience


609 Oakley extremists answered our battle cry. They posted more than 70 videos and 1,200 photos to prove their hardcore brand allegiance. The Top 50 were granted an all-access pass behind the bolted gunmetal doors of the Oakley Interplanetary Headquarters.


The Oakley Factory Co-Pilot Winners descended on our Interplanetary Headquarters for a behind the scenes look at our Mad Science theatre – and a heavy dose of Oakley design, manufacturing and branding history.

Oakley President Colin Baden and his gun-toting security detail greeted the troops with regal stories of the company’s humble beginnings. He closed the intro with a wild warning: camera usage would get you fed to the wild mountain lions of Whiting Ranch.

Before lunching on the helipad, Sr. VP of Global Marketing Scott Bowers dropped some pillars of knowledge on the group:

Elevate physics to an art form, talk to the front row, earn the respect of the world’s best, be brave, the world is always evolving (we’re just tired of waiting), irreverent not ignorant and brand is culture, culture is brand.

Then it was on to creativity and imagination, with our brand champs getting an earful on sculpture, design, brand ownership and visuals from the men behind the product lines. They also had front row seats in the HDO demo labs.

Day 1 concluded with the R/C Racing Championships on our brand new track with Team Associated R/C Cars. The Top 3 finishers received a gold, silver or bronze Holeshot® watch and basked in their glory around a bonfire.


Paintball. It’s more of a game of chess than a game of war. Either way the fun and games continued all day before spilling over to Dave and Busters.

In all, the Oakley Factory Co-Pilots took home enough custom products to match the idiosyncratic ink spots, old-school brand products and overall sense of Mad Science in their day-to-day lives.

We know they got deep enough inside our innovation bunker to warrant the want for a return trip. We know this because at least one winner inked the Oakley Factory Co-Pilot logo on his shoulder, raising the bar amongst the legion of brand soldiers before they even arrived.

Check out additional pictures from the event in the Oakley Co-Pilots 2009 Flickr group