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How Oakley Sunglasses Impact The NFL?

Over the years, many products have become synonymous with the NFL. They tend to be consumer goods, such as Apple or the beer brand Bud Light. These mostly take the form of sponsorship and advertising because product placement is hard during a football game

Oakley is one big brand that has products that are well-placed during games, but its history isn’t solely with the NFL. Indeed, Oakley sunglasses are perhaps better known for extreme sports like cycling, skiing, and motocross, as well as athletes from the NBA. Models such as the Sutro, much like a full-face visor, have been used by many extreme athletes over the years but have also moved across to fashion. Recently, a pair based on the popular model featured in the Patrick Mahomes signature series, a product collab between Oakley and the NFL star.

While individual players have deals with the brand, there’s an overarching deal that spans the entire NFL, which was recently reviewed. The new season will be the second of a seven-year association between the NFL and Oakley, which we examine here.

The Deal

In September of last year, following Oakley’s NFL FLAG partnership and the latest drop of the Patrick Mahomes II​​ Signature Series Collection, the company renewed its on-field partnership across the whole NFL. This was a continuation of a four-year deal in which they pledged to supply all 32 teams with pro-shields and eyewear powered by their unique Prizm™ Lens Technology. Prizm™ is what sets Oakley’s sunglasses apart from rivals – the tinted lenses accentuate certain colors, making it easier for players to pick out teammates.

The move toward tinted lenses at the beginning of the deal was big news. Indeed, the league once banned tinted lenses, essentially what Prizm™ is. That ban was enforced in 1998 but lifted in 2019 when Oakley first partnered with the league. This was seen as a step forward, although it prevents players from having visors from other suppliers, unless medically required and unbranded.

What Was Said?

When Oakley and the NFL penned the new deal, it wasn’t just seen as sponsorship but rather a gateway to improving the wider game. Oakley’s products are unique in that they’re respected across a range of sports and have managed to become popular in motorsports, football, skiing, running, and a host of others. They’re flexible and adaptable, which is just one benefit the NFL enjoys with the partnership.

“The partnership with the NFL is far from being a conventional sponsorship deal; rather, it grants us the opportunity to offer young people access to sport, a better life and community,” says Caio Amato, Oakley’s Global Head of Marketing. “This collaboration not only nurtures athletes but also shapes well-rounded individuals to make a difference both on and off the field.”

Which Other Players Wear Oakley?

Oakley isn’t just the NFL’s official eyewear partner; several players have personal deals or publicly back the brand. The most obvious is Mahomes, perhaps the most famous quarterback in the world right now, but he is far from alone. Derwin James, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Justin Jefferson have all penned deals with the brand.

“Oakley Prizm Shield on the field is a crucial element to my game as it empowers me on the field, ensuring my physical safety remains a priority,” said Jefferson, who won the NFL Offensive Player of the Year Award in 2002. “In the moments where focus and precision make all the difference, I trust Oakley to provide me with best-in-class products.”

Jefferson was in the MVP race in the same season and is a fine example of a top-performing player endorsing Oakley’s products on the field, mirroring Mahomes’ use of them away from football.


Oakley and the NFL seem like a match made in heaven. The league has a lucrative sponsorship deal that works financially, but the players and teams benefit from cutting-edge technology on the field. The brand is associated with America’s favorite sport and some of the biggest names in the world. However, unlike Bud Light and Apple, fans can see the difference the brand makes across the sport, building an irrefutably positive image of Oakley sunglasses.

Plus, they do make you look so damn cool!


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