Wiley X looks to France, Spain and Russia
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With the precision befitting its military heritage, Wiley X is sweeping across Europe, the Middle East and Africa as it establishes its brand of fishing sunglasses in those regions.
Under the watchful eye of Wiley X Europe Vice President and Outdoor Director, Thomas Wæver, the company has agreed distribution deals with many fishing tackle distributors throughout the region, including the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy, the Benelux countries and Malta.
Next in its sights are France, Spain and Russia – countries that Wæver believes offer great potential for its products. “France is a big fishing country, Spain is a place where you should have no problem selling sunglasses and Russia is an up and coming market that is key to us.”
Wiley X’s growth in the outdoor market in Europe coincides with Wæver’s arrival at the company in 2011 and a crucial switch of strategy. He told Angling International: “We didn’t have the right strategy back then. Our specialised eyewear, which consisted of products for fishermen, hunters/shooters, motorcyclists, the optician and airsoft markets as well as the military and security divisions, was being sold under one banner. We were not talking the same language as the people we were selling to. We were left with a general distributor in each country.
“If you are aiming to do business in the fishing market you need to work with specialists who speak and understand the language of those markets. Only by engaging them can you improve your market position as well as your brand. Their needs are different from the military and the hunting fraternity. That is why we now only work with market-orientated distributors in each country and this has been a great game changer.”
Wiley X is the world’s leading manufacturer of protective eyewear and the only one that certifies all models. It provides protective eyewear to military units and law enforcement personnel all around the globe, including the US army and navy as well as many European forces.
Wæver says that it offers the ‘perfect package’ for anglers – a proprietary polarised lens with 100% UV protection, patented Facial Cavity Seals, virtually unbreakable Triloid Nylon frames, U-shape frame that blocks out side and back light and shatterproof polycarbonate lenses that offer ‘absolute premium protection’. There is also an option for RX customised prescription lenses.
As part of its plan to continue to develop new products for the recreational fishing market, Wiley X has recruited some of the best anglers in Europe to the Wiley X European Fishing Team.
The latest high-profile signing is the winning team in the 2014 World Carp Classic – Krzysztof Charmuszko, Andrzej Walczak and Gabriel Starzek. The team’s skipper, Charmuszko, said: “Winning the WCC was something we could only dream about. As winners we were invited to work with Wiley X, which is a great opportunity for us.
“We will not only be testing and using the fantastic Wiley X polarised eyewear, but also developing new product from 2016 onwards. We have used a lot of eyewear in our fishing careers, but we have never used anything like this before. It can really make that difference in our way of fishing.”
For 2015 Wiley X is bringing out 17 sunglasses, the biggest polarised launch in the history of the company, taking its polarised eyewear collection to 39 different models. Among them will be a polarised yellow lens colour which Charmuszko and his team look forward to testing.
“It is one we will be using for sure. As carp anglers we often fish under low light conditions, but we still need the polarised filter for our fishing.”
The triumphant WCC winning team joins an impressive line-up which also includes Martin Forbak, the 2014 individual Spinning Word Champion and the 2014 World Predator Classic winners.