I fell in love with the cobbled together word “Sportitude” a few years ago, first in the context of a feature story for our annual sport eyewear issue, and then last year as the headline right on the cover as well as within the feature.
And as you can tell from our cover and feature this time around, we are still in a growing identification of “Sportitude” when it comes to eyewear specifically created to provide a full realm of actions focused on the needs of sport functions related to vision.
And if you wander forward to the featured eyewear in this issue so masterfully captured by photographer Ned Matura, you will likely agree this is eyewear in your face and on your face, proud and loud about its performance story. You see it in the tech of the lenses. Colors of the lenses deliver specific and proprietary technology on the cutting edge of performance. You note it in the vast array of frame colors from brash neons to emboldened blacks and confident flat finishes. The hinges tout strength as well as ingenious methods of folding, flexing and function. This is eyewear wrapping around from the front of the face offering peripheral vision, protection and penetration.
All this by way of noting that this is eyewear with an emphasis on attitude. Hence our creation of the word Sportitude. Without having to really dig too deep, you come to realize sport eyewear plays to a key point we make so often in these pages: You need to both understand and tell the “story” about the eyewear you are dispensing. And you need to fully believe in that story. You need to become the master of telling that story to someone looking for eyewear to fit and function within their sport-focused needs.
The story is paramount to the spectacle, and the spectacle is in the story. Never lose that ability to connect with the eyewear at hand that is about to become the eyewear on the face and over the eyes of the person sitting across from you at that dispensing table. I’m always a bit shocked when I notice someone in the optical profession asking on social media about what eyewear might be out there worth stocking when it comes to sports. I suppose it is a good enough starting point, but the real ECP quest should be a deep research of the brands, an ongoing quest of understanding specific sport attributes needed for a variety of sports and a journey to embrace the stories eyewear with “Sportitude” has that can comfortably and confidently become the true tales you tell in fulfilling a powerful niche in the rainbow of optical options you offer.
YOU need that exact attitude to deliver eyewear with Sportitude. Game on.
• James J. Spina