Transitions Adds an Optical Touch to CMA Music Festival With Educational Events and Vision Screenings


NASHVILLE—Transitions Optical played a major supporting role at the Country Music Association (CMA) Music Festival, held here from June 6 to 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 Optical 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 outdoor activities and had the chance to win prizes, including a meet and greet with and 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," said 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, remarked, "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 were presenting 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 Optical 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 Optical's, which will be 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 Optical 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," observed Fortner. Consequently, he advised the attendees to "customize a solution based on your engagement with the patient." Instead of "upselling," try "upserving," said Fortner.—Andrew Karp,

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Transitions: 2013 CMA Festival »

A country music band entertaining visitors with a free concert at Transitions Performance Park. Many different bands performed during the four day festival.

Transitions: 2013 CMA Festival »

Attendees relaxing on one of the specially designed Transitions eyewear hammocks at Transitions Performance Park.

Transitions: 2013 CMA Festival »

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

Transitions: 2013 CMA Festival »

Darius Rucker, bottom right, visited Bess the Book Bus, which was on hand to provide free books for the children.

Transitions: 2013 CMA Festival »

CMA Award winning music artist, and Transitions lenses wearer, Darius Rucker, (center, with cap) joins Brian Hauser of Transitions Optical (standing at rear with glasses) and some local children at VSP Vision Care’s mobile vision clinic “Eyenstein,” where the children received free eyecare services and new eyewear fitted with Transitions lenses.

Transitions: 2013 CMA Festival »

Inside the Transitions Enhanced Vision Experience exhibit, company executives picked out a country tune. From left are Tim Fortner, Sherianne James, Brian Hauser and Dave Cole. A lifesize cutout of Darius Rucker, far right, joins in the fun.

Transitions: 2013 CMA Festival »

Elida Rodriguez of Transitions Optical, right, attached special “try on film” to an attendee’s glasses so she could experience what it is like to wear Transitions lenses.

Transitions: 2013 CMA Festival »

Dave Cole, president of Transitions Optical and Brian Hauser, general manager, U.S. and Canada, stopped to visit the Transitions Enhanced Vision Experience.