Brett Rosebury and Chelsea Roffey at the launch of the OPSM sponsorship.

OPSM to sponsor umpires

EYE CARE company OPSM has signed on for the next two years as sponsor of the AFL umpires and the league's umpiring development program.

On Tuesday the league announced OPSM as the game's official eye care and eyewear partner, and the new sponsor of the umpiring division.

As well as the as
sociation with the umpires, OPSM is set to provide AFL supporters with complimentary eye-screening activities at selected matches across the 2010 Toyota AFL premiership season.

The company will also encourage fans to donate their old glasses to the OneSight Foundation, which is designed to provide eye care across the globe.

AFL general manager marketing and commercial operations Paul Waldren said the league was looking forward to working with OPSM.

"OPSM provides fantastic services which are so relevant to the Australian football community," he said.

"I'm sure I'm not alone in saying I have difficulty following the ball or reading the score at the football from time to time.

"Hopefully the AFL's partnership with OPSM will generate awareness and encourage supporters to have their eyes tested every two years as recommended by optometrists."

OPSM marketing director Vanessa Knight said the move would offer optometry services to the broader football community.

"The football community is very important to OPSM.  In addition to supporters of the game, many umpires, players, coaches and commentators require optometry services and eyewear," she said.

"We understand from research that 24 per cent of Australian adults know they need some kind of vision correction but don't do anything about it.

"Many men put off seeing health professionals but interestingly, a lot of our customers report they finally came in for an eye test because they could no longer see the football score.

"Given this customer feedback, there’s already an established link between the Australian football and OPSM."

AFL umpires' manager Jeff Gieschen was pleased to formalise the relationship between the two parties after working with OPSM for many years.

"All AFL umpires have regular eye examinations as part of their pre-season preparation," he said.

"We're really pleased to be associated with a partner which makes a valuable contribution to the umpiring program, as well as the broader AFL community."

Fans can donate their old glasses to the OneSight Foundation at any OPSM store throughout the country.

This article was originally written by Jennifer Witham for afl.com.au.

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