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It's a game of two halves

Both multiples and independents are embracing the current football fever to enhance their retail potential

09 Jun 2016 by Robina Moss

The summer of sport has been seized upon in optics more than ever this year – hopefully with inspiration for practices of all sizes. Naturally the big players are leading the field, but this is a game of two halves – multiples and independents can both join in.

The goal of raising eye care up the league table on the High Street is one every practice can score with, boosting awareness and raising their profile in their local community.

Despite being a ‘football widow,’ one campaign that scored a goal with me was the timely and fascinating Optical Express campaign that names its ‘Eye Injury XI’ team of players who are notable, not just for their performance, but also their eye problems.

A social media campaign is taking place as part of the initiative, which was launched in time for the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France this week.

The aim is to raise awareness of the dangers of eye injuries and also the benefits of regular eye examinations among football fans, not renowned as being particularly health conscious.

The Optical Express Eye Injury XI team lineup

Facebook and Twitter also featured in Specsavers’ virtual reality initiative, which gave rugby fans the chance to become referees for the day at the RFL Dacia Magic Weekend in St James Park.

Using pioneering virtual reality technology developed specially for the campaign, it gave fans the chance to step into the shoes of the referee, test their knowledge and make sporting decisions, with the chance to win rugby prizes.

Another multiple, Vision Express celebrated the news that paralympian Harriet Lee will represent Great Britain in the 2016 Paralympic Games with a visit by the swimmer to its store in Manchester’s main Arndale Centre. Look out for our profile of Harriet in the August edition.

Optical companies are also making the most of the summer sports season with Clearlab releasing nine contact lenses with a football/Euro 2016 theme.

On the frames side, Eyespace has launched a sports water bottle giveaway this summer with its Rock Star brand for children, aiming to boost footfall into practices during the school summer holidays.

As well as highlighting the importance of eye health, such campaigns are undeniably useful for boosting retail opportunities. Knowing that practitioners often struggle to balance both the retail and clinical elements, OT is devoting a whole edition to the former.

Don’t miss the retail excellence issue of OT (2 July). It’s packed with ideas to help all practices raise their retail game in the High Street challenge.

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