In a move that will reportedly snag $41 million in advertising exposure, Oakley has become the official sponsor of the trapped Chilean miners. The company donated 35 pairs of Oakley Radar Sunglasses in both the Path and Range lens versions to the 33 men who have been trapped in a mine shaft for the past 70 or so days. Although there is some debate as to the actual value of these glasses amongst the major news outlets (CNBC says $450, MSNBC says $280) Bike Rumor was able to accurately determine the real cost of the glasses through one of our super-secret-agents, who may have either a.) tortured an anonymous source with a car battery and a wet sponge a la Jack Bauer. OR b.) Googled the Oakley website and looked up the MSRP of the glasses in question. While a story about 33 men who make $400 in a month receiving  $450 pairs of glasses reeks more heavily of irony, the retail price of the glasses is $160 for the Range and $180 for the Path. There haven’t been any reports of arguments breaking out at the bottom of the shaft over who gets the more expensive models; although there have been reports of arguments breaking out over who is going to be the last man to be rescued…several of the men want to set the record for longest trapped miner.

That last part wasn’t a joke.

For further details of Oakley’s remarkable magnanimity click more…

Oakley’s impetus (aside, of course, from the massive amount of cheap advertising) for donating the glasses:

The miners’ eyes will be dilated, and this brings the risk of added UV exposure to delicate structures within the eye. Oakley Plutonite® lens material filters out 100% of all UVA, UVB, UVC and harmful blue light up to 400nm. (From the Oakley website)

After being trapped in a mine for 70 days my first concern would be with UVA, UVB, UVC, and harmful blue light; not the fact that my employer, the San Esteban mining company, had frozen my pay for over two months and that I was out of a job. Albeit a horrible and dangerous job, but a job nonetheless.

Oakley also says this about the pupil-preserving glasses:

Oakley Radar sunglasses feature a single-lens shield that wraps around the eyes. This will give the miners optimal protection from sunlight — not just straight ahead but at the sides of their eyes.

And according to the Epoch Times, Dr. Andrew Hartwick, assistant professor at the College of Optometry at Ohio State University, told AP:

“Just like when you walk out of a dark movie theater, it’s uncomfortable in the light,” Hartwick told AP. “It takes a few minutes for vision to return, and the retina needs to reset itself depending on light levels.”

Really? Just like that? Two hours in an Imax theater throwing up while watching Inception...70 DAYS STUCK IN A FILTH AND FOUL FILTH MINE SHAFT. Same difference. Huh, in that case I guess I know what those guys have been through. Maybe, like Chilean Minister of Mining, Laurence Golborne, I can convince the Oakley folks to hook me up with a sweet pair of Ranges or Paths so I can “show my solidarity with the trapped miners” (and look hella-good doing it, WOO!).


  1. That’s some funny schnatt Thom. Now whenever I go out I will bring mine-tastic glasses, should I not reappear in 90 minutes from the abyss.

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