Clockwise from top: Inside the Transitions Enhanced Vision Experience exhibit, company executives picked out a country tune. From left: Tim Fortner, Sherianne James, Brian Hauser and Dave Cole. A life-sized cutout of Darius Rucker (far right) joins in the fun.

At the Country Music Hall of Fame, Tim Fortner speaks to local eyecare professionals about how to adjust to changing consumer needs.

CMA Award-winning music artist and Transitions lenses wearer Darius Rucker joins Transitions’ Brian Hauser and some local children at VSP Vision Care’s mobile vision clinic “Eyenstein.”

Transitions Optical played a major supporting role at the Country Music Association (CMA) Music Festival, held in Nashville, Tenn. from June 6-9. As the “Official Eyewear of the CMA Music Festival,” Transitions staged free outdoor concerts, hosted educational events for consumers and eyecare professionals, and helped provide free eye exams to local children. The activities were part of the 2013 Official Sponsor of Sightseeing campaign, a consumer education effort created by Transitions to demonstrate that vision is the gateway to the world around us, allowing us to “see the sights” in everyday life.

At Transitions Performance Park, located in Nashville’s Walk of Fame Park, the company hosted the Transitions Enhanced Vision Experience. Visitors enjoyed an enhanced view of some of today’s best country music artists atop Transitions’ two-story deck. They tried out simulations of the Transitions family of products including Original Transitions lenses, Transitions XTRActive lenses and Transitions Vantage lenses, and participated in outdoor activities and had the chance to win prizes, including a meet and greet with CMA Award-winning music artist and Transitions lenses wearer Darius Rucker.

“One thing I love about being a musician is the ability to connect with my fans, and vision is very much a part of that experience,” says Rucker. “As part of my partnership with Transitions Optical, we’re working to spread the word in Nashville and across the country about the importance of eye exams and having the right eyewear to fit your lifestyle.”

Brian Hauser, general manager, U.S. and Canada, Transitions Optical, remarks, “The opportunity to partner with Darius Rucker and serve as the Official Eyewear of the CMA Music Festival provides such a relevant platform for us to show people how healthy, enhanced vision can impact the way they live and experience life, no matter what interests they have.”

Early during Festival week, Transitions lenses and industry partner Visionworks presented sponsors of the Darius Rucker & Friends Concert and the Darius Rucker & Friends Golf Classic, both benefitting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Rucker also joined Transitions at the W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music School, where the company and industry partner VSP Vision Care brought the mobile vision clinic “Eyenstein” to provide free eyecare services and new eyewear fitted with Transitions lenses to underserved students participating in a summer music camp made possible by CMA’s “Keep the Music Playing” program, which supports music education. Rucker spent time at the school sharing his own story about how vision impacts his career and personal life, and encouraging the students to take care of their eyes so they can see their best to read and play the music they love.

Eyenstein also visited the Andrew Jackson and Franklin Boys & Girls Clubs to continue to provide these services to children later in the week, along with mobile literacy initiative Bess the Book Bus, another partner of Transitions’, which was on-site distributing free, brand new books to the children, reinforcing the connection between healthy vision and reading and learning.

On the third day of the CMA Festival, about 35 eyecare professionals, including members of the Transitions ProForum advisory group, attended a seminar at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Transitions spokesperson Tim Fortner discussed the importance of adjusting to a changing consumer market in which eyeglass wearers, empowered by the resources available to them online, have now reached “information parity” with eyecare professionals.

“The buyer has gotten better at buying than the seller has at selling,” observes Fortner. Consequently, he advised the attendees to “customize a solution based on your engagement with the patient. Instead of ‘up-selling,’ try ‘up-serving.’”

—Andrew Karp