Trends & Features

Industry interview: James Sutton, marketing executive at Sunwise

When did you get into the sports trade?
Growing up on a farm, I have always been an active person – being free to run around and help my parents played a big part in my life. After retiring from farming, my father became a personal trainer and so I became even more involved in sporting activities. At school I played across multiple sporting teams and was lucky enough to complete my Duke of Edinburgh’s gold award.

I have been surrounded by sport my entire life and so it was only fitting that I pursued a career within the sporting industry. From the age of 19 I worked full-time alongside completing my business and marketing degree. Upon completion, I had built up a portfolio of marketing and operation management experience from a wide range of sectors, which led me to a job with Sunwise. I am extremely happy to be part of the team and looking forward to being part of the brand’s future.

Tell us about Sunwise
Sunwise has been making considerable waves within the eyewear industry over the past couple of years and the trend is set to continue, as we are working hard on our innovation, design and market penetration.

We have seen the brand grow to be the market leader in eyewear within the UK, something we are proud of. This growth has been backed by our fantastic customer service and quality of products for an affordable price – all this, and we are a British company, something that is unique within eyewear.

You work closely with the media and have an active sponsorship programme. Tell us more
We enjoy having and building new relationships with the media. Reviews and product features can be found across a wide range of publications, from Runner’s World to The Times. Throughout these publications, it’s the excellent build quality and designs that are highlighted every time. We advertise in both consumer and trade publications all year round to ensure the best possible exposure, but also to keep the connection between brand and consumer.

We strive to give back to the community, supporting and motivating up and coming professionals and teams from all variations of sports and athletics. 2014 saw Sunwise sponsor the RAF Typhoon Display Team, golfer Johanna Björk and Team GB long jumper James Ledger. As we look to 2015, Sunwise will continue to expand its sponsorship portfolio, while encouraging, supporting and working with our hard-working ambassadors.

Can you tell us about your award winning export exploits?
Sunwise was listed by the UK government as a successful case study after being awarded The Best British Export for its quality and design and for demonstrating excellence in international trade by UK Trade & Investment. You can now find Sunwise available in over 30 countries around the world and for 2015 this number is expected to grow rapidly.

What benefits are there to stocking the Sunwise brand?
Our stockists enjoy a range of benefits. With our wide product range, Sunwise eyewear caters for all sports and for all seasons. Our glasses are proven all-round easy sellers. With our network of sales agents and distributors, there is always someone on hand for each stockist, as well as a fantastic customer support team, who bring a personal feel to our stockist relationships. Our innovation in eyewear means there are always new USPs to offer and the product consistency means our stockists can always rely on Sunwise.

What can we expect to see from Sunwise in the future?
I am very excited about the new season, as 2015 will see Sunwise release a product yet to be seen within the eyewear industry, plus some fantastic new leisure ranges with classic designs. It’s going to be British eyewear innovation at its best.

For more information call 01865 714 620, email or visit

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