High Visibility: Getting Sporty

High Visibility features companies, products and collections that are raising brand awareness through strategic partnerships, sponsorships, consumer advertising campaigns and tie-ins to prominent events, etc. To be considered for inclusion please contact senior editors, Deirdre Carroll or John Sailer.

In this edition of Hi Vis we prove that there really are many ways to participate in active lifestyles by highlighting five sport performance eyewear brands and how they are leaving their mark on athletes of all kinds.

Rudy Project has signed on for the 12th consecutive year as the official eyewear and helmet sponsor of USA Triathlon (“USAT”), the National Governing Body of the sport of triathlon (U.S. Olympic triathlete, Sarah Haskins, shown). This ongoing partnership with USAT allows Rudy Project to reach a significant and influential sector of the triathlon industry. USAT boasts an annual membership of more than 150,000 to whom Rudy Project is able to spread the word of safety, quality, and style with its high-quality products. “Partnering with USAT has been one of the best decisions Rudy Project has ever made,” said Paul Craig, president and co-founder of Rudy Project North America. “It’s been an honor working with the leader in the sport of triathlon in the United States, and we’re thrilled to continue working with such a reputable organization.” Rudy Project also currently sponsors USA Ultimate, US Rowing, Bicycle Racing Association of Colorado (formerly “ACA”), USA Field Hockey, and is an official supplier of the National Ski Patrol and US Cross Country Ski Team.

Maui Jim has created a unique series of surfing and yoga experiences for women. The company has designed a new Women’s Adventure Series that will debut at five luxury resorts in 2012. Hosted by famed longboard surfer, Mary Osborne (shown) of Ventura, Calif., these retreats will combine relaxing yoga sessions with surfing to create a fun-filled mini-retreat. "The aloha spirit quickly spreads among groups of women as they discover the thrill of standing on a surfboard, either for the first time or as experts," said Linda Glassel, vice president of marketing at Maui Jim. "We thought the women in Maui Jim’s community would enjoy a relaxing retreat and the camaraderie of learning a new sport from one of the best in surfing." The Women’s Adventure Series will be hosted at some of the loveliest surfing resorts, including Crowne Place Melbourne Oceanfront Resort and Spa in Melbourne Beach, FL in April; the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa in Hawaii in May; the La Jolla Shores Hotel in San Diego in June; the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, Calif., in July; and the Crowne Plaza in Ventura, Calif. in August...

TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear has announced that it has entered into a multi-race sponsorship agreement with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch and Phoenix Racing. Busch, who will drive the No. 51 Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing in the entire 2012 Sprint Cup season, has a personal services agreement with the eyewear department. TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear will be featured as the primary sponsor for the Feb. 18 Budweiser Shootout at the Daytona International Speedway, where Busch is the defending winner. Additionally, TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear will serve as an associate sponsor during the Daytona 500 on Feb. 26 and again on March 11 for the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Busch’s hometown track. “TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear is very proud to be a part of ‘The Great American Race’ and other premier NASCAR events. Kurt joined the TAG Heuer Eyewear team in 2010 and he was highly involved in many projects, such as the launch of Kurt Busch Limited Edition Sunglasses. This sponsorship program will further build our brand with Kurt and is a natural extension of our ongoing relationship,” said Pascal Brouard, CEO of TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear, chairman and CEO of LOGO group. “TAG Heuer Avant-Garde Eyewear has been a great partner of mine and this is a big deal for them to step up and sponsor Phoenix Racing and me for a few races this year,” added Busch. “I consider myself very fortunate to be affiliated with such a great brand and to have their strong support.”

SPY has announced it has joined USA Cycling as an official sponsor. Along with supporting the development of America's next generation of world champions and Olympic medalists, this multi-year partnership allows SPY to build upon its heritage in cycling and technical eyewear development, further integrating its brand, products, events and athletes, including USA Cycling Professional Road Race National Champion Matthew Busche (shown) and Cyclo-cross stars Jonathan Page and Nicole Duke, into the broader USA Cycling universe of high-performance athletes, events and community. As a part of the partnership, new USA Cycling model Performance Screw sunglasses, replete with SPY's patented Scoop anti-fog technology, are being produced this spring in the colors of Ol' Glory exclusively for USA Cycling members. SPY is activating its sponsorship through a number of USA Cycling platforms, including presence at 17 USA Cycling National Championship events and supplying high-performance product for use by USA Cycling's development teams. Additionally, the 70,000-plus members of USA Cycling and its 3,000 registered clubs and teams will be afforded special opportunities on all SPY-related products as part of a USA Cycling membership.

Costa Sunglasses has unveiled images of one-of-a-kind, hand built fish sculptures of a tarpon, blue marlin and bass built entirely out of its own sunglass parts in an advertising campaign last year. Now, two of these sculptures have found new homes with some worthy organizations. Costa donated its tarpon fish sculpture to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) to be put on display inside its Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum. First opened in January 1999, the museum attracts 75,000 guests each year who come to view one of the largest repositories of sport fishing history. The blue marlin sculpture has been donated to The Billfish Foundation (TBF), a longtime Costa partner. The organization plans to showcase the sculpture from February 16 - 20 in its booth at the 2012 Miami Boat Show. Following the show, TBF will promote the sculpture online and at various events throughout the year before auctioning it off at their Annual Tag & Release Awards Ceremony in February 2013. All proceeds will benefit billfish conservation efforts. The sculptures are made of a mix of lenses, hinges, frame arms, nose pads, side shields and retainer cord segments from hundreds of Costa sunglasses. Costa plans to produce and release new sculptures featuring additional fish species later this year.