ANAHEIM -- Not only is Oakley the official eyewear company of Major League Baseball, but now -- for the first time -- it has the right to sell team-specific apparel and already has begun to do so for the Angels and Yankees.
"We wanted to have a power in the East and a power in the West," said Raphael Peck, chief merchandising officer for Oakley. "In terms of geography, we chose the Angels because they are our hometown team and we felt the Yankees were the most important team in the East and a great organization to do business with."
Oakley has opened a unique store behind Section 113 in Angel Stadium.
For fans wanting to purchase a pair of sunglasses while at the game, the new Oakley store has a tremendous number of options.
While fans can simply pick out a pair of sunglasses like they would at any Oakley store, the Angel Stadium venue is home to the only Oakley etching machine outside of the company's corporate headquarters. This means fans can customize their glasses and get their name, nickname or even the Angels' logo etched onto the lenses.
The ability to customize glasses from the frame to the lenses has been big for Oakley over the past few years and that is present in the store as well. Customers can browse through several options on a touch-screen tablet and then either wait for the glasses to be made -- which takes roughly five minutes -- or have them delivered to their seat in an inning of their choosing.
In addition to eyewear, the store has unique Angels apparel and accessories including backpacks, headwear, T-shirts, belts, wallets and phone cases.
"Outside of eyewear, custom headwear and the three-quarter-sleeve baseball-inspired T-shirts are selling the best right now," Peck said. "What we've learned is that fans love items with the logo because it goes back to the heritage and spirit of the sport. Once you alter or begin to play with the logo, fans [are weary]. They want their logo."
Right now the team-specific apparel is only available in stores, but Peck expects it to be available on MLB.com with the next four weeks.
William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.