The founder’s eldest son, Samuel (Dr. Leonard) Simpson, and his younger son Alexander Simpson were both keen sportsmen, and DAKS actively contributed to sports. DAKS invented the belt-less trousers in 1934 and aggressively sold them, using the slogan “Comfort in Action”. DAKS trousers stole the limelight in sportswear, and supplied uniforms for many of the British national teams for golf, tennis, cricket and football.
Leonard, an enthusiastic golfer himself, inaugurated a DAKS golf tournament in 1950, which was the first golf tournament to have a corporate sponsor and the first in Britain to be shown on television, broadcast by the BBC.
He also founded the Walter Hagen Award in 1961, which was presented annually to a golfer who had made the greatest contribution to friendship between Britain and America. Among the recipients of this award were Walter Hagen, who was called the golfer of the century, and Bobby Jones, Gene Sarazen, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. These names indicate how prestigious the award was. In 1967, DAKS ran a golf promotion featuring Gary Player, who visited the store to act as coach in the store’s Golf Clinic.
DAKS also played an important role in improving the status of women golfers at a time when only male golfers received recognition. In 1959, it launched the DAKS Ladies International Golf Tournament and in 1968, it established the DAKS Woman Golfer of the Year Award.
The DAKS contribution to the sports world at all levels was distinctive, enthusiastic and much respected in the sports as well as the fashion world. In the 1960s, DAKS involved itself in other sports in addition to golf. They provided the uniform for the motor racing team of Paul Stewart, son of former F1 champion Jackie Stewart. In addition the also provided uniform for Britain’s Wightman Cup tennis team, the England football team (in 1966, 1970, 1986, 1990 &1992) and in 1960 they were chosen as the official uniform of the Great Britain team in the Rome Olympics.
Today, DAKS sponsors the Pony Club International Mounted Games at The Royal Windsor Horse Show, a historic partnership that has continued since 1979. As well as, recognising those who volunteer in sports and recreation by sponsoring the annual Torch Trophy Trust Awards, a partnership which has been there since its inception in 1962.