The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) continues to present significant health risks for older people, which is why GSK has brought in NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson for its latest health education campaign.

Having spent decades as a leading healthcare advocate since he publicly announced his HIV diagnosis in 1991, Johnson is helming GSK’s Sideline RSV campaign to raise awareness about the seriousness of the disease and how to guard against getting infected.

The Sideline RSV effort features a website with information about RSV, community-focused events and social media content about the disease.

Johnson is also starring in a 45-second ad promoting the campaign and will appear in other educational content centering around the risks presented by RSV in older people and those with underlying conditions. 

“My health is a top priority, yet like so many others, I was unaware that older adults are one of the highest risk groups for severe RSV infection, no matter how healthy they feel,” Johnson said in a statement. “Throughout my life, I’ve learned the importance of staying up-to-date on potential health risks that come with aging. That’s why I’m teaming up with GSK to bring this critical RSV conversation to center court and inspire people to understand their risks to help Sideline RSV.”

The campaign launch comes as GSK awaits approval from the Food and Drug Administration for its RSV vaccine candidate.

Earlier this month, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted unanimously that the data from GSK’s vaccine candidate proved its effectiveness and voted 10 to 2 on its safety profile.

GSK is competing in an increasingly crowded RSV vaccine space, with Pfizer also receiving a recommendation from VRBPAC while Moderna’s vaccine received a breakthrough designation from the FDA at the end of January.

Johnson is another basketball great headlining a recent healthcare campaign.

His former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is participating in the No Time to Wait campaign from Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer aiming to raise awareness of atrial fibrillation. Meanwhile, former NBA champion Sean Elliott has once again teamed with Fresenius Kidney Care to raise awareness about kidney disease.