Life Fitness founder Augie Nieto discovered Oakley when it was a young company getting its feet wet in Southern California. He became an advocate of the brand as it grew and blossomed.
The friendship he forged with Oakley CEO Scott Olivet came full circle when Oakley in October launched a signature series of Augie’s Quest gear to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s ALS research spearheaded by Nieto’s Augie’s Quest non-profit foundation. The lineup so far includes sunglasses, a polo shirt ($50) and a computer bag ($90).
With each sale of new Augie’s Quest Hijinx sunglasses (MSRPs: polarized $190, non-polarized $135), Oakley will donate $20 to Augie’s Quest, an organization that works to fund ALS research.
A lifelong athlete Augie Nieto, co-founder and former president of Life Fitness, founded Augie’s Quest after he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease) in March 2005 (www.augiesquest.org). ALS destroys the nerve cells controlling muscles, ultimately causing complete paralysis while leaving mental function intact. Survival is typically two to five years after diagnosis, and no cure currently exists. Through Augie’s Quest, Nieto and his wife, Lynne, have worked with the Muscular Dystrophy Association to raise nearly $18 million in search of a cure since it was founded in mid-2005.
Nieto told SNEWS® in an email the sunglasses line came about partly due to his friendship with Olivet.
“We gave Scott (Olivet) the MDA's Robert Ross Founders Award in September. He is a wonderful friend,” said Nieto. Plus, Oakley was just a logical choice to create a signature line of sunglasses, he added: “They are the authority in sports performance eyewear.”
Nieto said in a statement that the sunglasses “combine great looks with the best sunglass technology” and “are also a fitting way to draw attention to the cause. Augie's Quest is motivated by a bold vision of the day when the cure for ALS is found.”
The black O Matter frames of the sunglasses have a laser-etched signature by Augie Nieto on the corner of the lens and on the inside stem. Plus, “Augie's Quest” appears in script on the outside portion of the frame. The non-polarized sunglasses have a custom rendition of the Augie's Quest logo laser etched on the corner of the lens, the outside portion of the frame and inner surface of the stem. The sunglasses include a specially designed pin and Augie's Quest Microclear bag for cleaning and storage. The polo shirt has an Augie’s Quest logo on the upper left chest and the bag on the front flap.
Olivet noted in a statement that Nieto has long been a supporter of Oakley. “We're proud to team with him and Augie's Quest,” said Olivet. “We honor Augie's contributions to the fitness industry, his inspiration as an individual and entrepreneur, and the innovation he has brought to medical research and fundraising. For more than 30 years Oakley has made history, and with your help we will make history in the war against ALS.”
Expressing his appreciation for Oakley, the way the sunglasses turned out and the project as a whole, Nieto told SNEWS, “They took on the challenge of redoing the logo and tag line And they gave me an edge! Winning the war against ALS!”
To see the entire Oakley Augie’s Quest line click here.