CANNES, France, June 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Nissan Europe and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's GT Academy 2010 programme has been honoured at the prestigious annual gathering of the advertising and marketing industries at Cannes. The second series of the virtual-to-real racer competition was awarded a coveted Golden Lion for 'Best Use of Branded Content' at the 58th International Festival of Creativity.
The GT Academy 2010 TV series was picked up by over 160 broadcasters worldwide and generated hundreds of digital and paper column inches of media coverage. The Gran Turismo game demo required to enter the competition - a preview of the hugely successful Gran Turismo®5 - was downloaded over 1.3 million times in the participating territories.
The competition ran in 17 countries throughout Europe, as well as Australia and New Zealand. The 20 fastest gamers from each territory gathered for national finals events with 18 graduating to the Academy itself at Silverstone for a series of driving, physical and mental challenges. Frenchman Jordan Tresson beat the field and was trained to international racing standard before participating in the European GT4 Cup in a Nissan 370Z.
A series of five 24-minute TV episodes charted the action as the PlayStation gamers vied to become a real racing driver. A social media, advertising and PR campaign supported the programme.
The inaugural GT Academy in 2008 was won by 23-year-old Spanish student Lucas Ordoñez. Lucas raced in the LMP2 class at this year's Le Mans 24 Hours and took second place with his Signatech Nissan Team. His journey from PlayStation®3 gamer to the Le Mans podium in less than three years is a clear demonstration of the strength of the Academy.
Having received the award, Nissan International's European chief marketing manager for sports cars, Darren Cox, commented: "It's great to receive this prestigious award only 10 days after our historical podium at the Le Mans 24 Hours with our first GT Academy winner and only a few days after our new 2011 winner was announced at Silverstone. It is testament to the ongoing success of the programme, a success that has taken five years of effort by a small, committed group of individuals. The Academy is a true example of Nissan's 'Innovation and Excitement for Everyone' while we are also very proud that it is a joint initiative with an excellent partner in PlayStation."
Sony Computer Entertainment's Mark Bowles, who developed the concept with Darren Cox, added: "This is recognition for what has been an exciting, but challenging five years developing this project and delivering great content across multiple channels. PlayStation is all about delivering rich, innovative experiences and our close partnership with Nissan on GT Academy has enabled us to change the lives of two gamers, who can both now call themselves professional race drivers. GT Academy continues to grow due to the passion of all those involved and I am very excited about watching the progress of our latest winner as his journey begins."
Jann Mardenborough, a 19-year-old from Wales, has just been announced as the GT Academy 2011 winner. He will now embark on an intensive training programme before entering the prestigious Dubai 24 Hour race in January, 2012 in a full, race-spec Nissan 370Z. Series three of the programme will air across Europe this Autumn.
For more information, please contact your local PlayStation or Nissan PR manager.
About the Gran Turismo® Franchise
With more than 60 million units shipped worldwide, the award-winning Gran Turismo®franchise for the PlayStation® , PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®3 and PSP (PlayStation® Portable) is regarded as the best and most authentic driving simulator ever created due to its true-to-life graphics, authentic physics technology and design. Since the inception of the Gran Turismo franchise, famed creator Kazunori Yamauchi and Polyphony Digital Inc. in Japan have revolutionized the racing category as we know it today. His offerings provide the most realistic driving simulation in the industry and a unique medium for automotive manufacturers to showcase their products.
Gran Turismo®5 was released on 24 November, 2010 and sold 5.5 million units worldwide in its first two weeks on sale. The ninth instalment of the world's best-selling racing franchise features a completely new physics engine for an improved feel for steering during turns and drifts, delivering a more intuitive driving experience than ever before. The gamealso features an impressive line-up of more than 1,000 licensed cars from the world's top manufacturers. Other innovative features include stereoscopic 3D support, real-time car damage, dynamic weather effects and a deep online and community feature set where players can race online with up to 16 competitors through PlayStation®Network. With the widest scope and depth of gameplay options in the Gran Turismo series, Gran Turismo 5 offers users an entertainment experience that is only possible on PS3.
Gran Turismo clothing and merchandise is now available on http://www.shop.eu.gran-turismo.com
About Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), based in London, is responsible for the distribution, marketing and sales of PlayStation®3, PlayStation®2, PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) and PlayStation®Network software and hardware in 99 territories across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania. SCEE also develops, publishes, markets and distributes entertainment software for these formats, and manages the third party licensing programs for the formats in these territories. Since the launch of PlayStation 3 in November 2006, 47.9 million units have been sold globally and continue to be sold at a record level. Maintaining its position as one of the most successful consumer electronic products in history, PlayStation 2 has sold over 149.8million systems worldwide. Since its launch at the end of 2004, over 67.8 million PSPs have been sold globally, highlighting the importance of the portable entertainment market. With the huge increase in interest and accessibility of network applications and network gaming, more than 69 million accounts have registered to PlayStation Network, the free-to-access interactive environment, and over 1.43 billion items have been downloaded.
More information about PlayStation products can be found at http://www.playstation.com.
PlayStation, the PlayStation logo are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. PS3 and PSP are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
About Nissan in Europe
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 12,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 528,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Japanese brand in Europe.
For rights free images please visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/gtacademyeurope
SOURCE Nissan Europe and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe