Denver Broncos linebacker and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller has teamed up with Allergan to raise awareness for glaucoma.
Miller joined Allergan’s MyGlaucoma campaign, which aims to educate people about the signs and risks of glaucoma and urges people to get their eyes checked regularly to prevent vision loss.
While Miller is best known for his football accomplishments and Dancing with the Stars appearance, he has also advocated for vision health over his career, which made him a perfect fit for Allergan’s campaign, said Matt Bolton, executive director of glaucoma marketing at Allergan.
“We needed to find somebody who could align with our principles to improve eye health,” Bolton explained. “The reason we went with Von is because he has great range. His social media presence really captured the social media audience we were after. He has been passionate about eye health and has his own vision foundation that he’s been involved with his entire career.”
For this campaign, Miller tells the story of his own struggles with vision. While Miller doesn’t have glaucoma, he struggled with vision problems as a kid. He recounts going to the eye doctor as a child with his brother for an eye exam and how that visit changed his life.
Once he got his glasses, Miller was able to perform better in school, gain confidence with his peers and get into football. He uses that story to urge others to get their eyes checked. Miller’s foundation, Von’s Vision, helps to provide children in the Denver area with free eye exams and eyewear.
The campaign and Miller also educate people about glaucoma. In a video and an interactive quiz, Miller shares facts about glaucoma and preventive measures patients can take.
Allergan wanted to bring some star-power to the MyGlaucoma campaign, which launched last October on World Sight Day. By bringing on Miller, the campaign can capitalize both on his celebrity advocacy and the upcoming Super Bowl to raise awareness for glaucoma.
“When we do social media scrubs for who is talking about glaucoma out there, it’s eerily silent,” Bolton said. “There’s nothing. There’s more social media posts about people’s pets with glaucoma than family members. It’s a silent thief. It steals your sight slowly and there’s not a lot of noise or attention around it. So we needed help.”
The campaign is targeting adults in their 40s, 50s and 60s, Bolton said, and trying to reach them on social media. Miller is sharing his efforts on his social channels, including an Instagram post that got more than 66,000 views. He also appeared on several talk shows, including Tamron Hall’s Tam Talk.
MyGlaucoma is also raising awareness for the condition among doctors through its sales representatives and has partnered with eye health patient advocacy organizations.
The challenge of glaucoma is that people don’t consider it a serious condition. A survey from Allergan and the Glaucoma Research Foundation found that 40% of people said it was only somewhat serious or not serious.
The campaign is stressing that untreated glaucoma can lead to lifestyle issues like loss of independence, a greater risk for falls and the inability to drive because of vision loss.
“We can’t repeat it enough, there’s such a low awareness around glaucoma, “ Bolton said. “A pretty significant number of patients continue to go blind because of it. We’re using MyGlaucoma and our partnership with Miller as a catalyst to drive patients to see their doctors and to get their eyes checked.”