PlayStation 'racing drivers' transfer from living room to track

LONDON - Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Nissan have teamed up to give PlayStation gamers the chance to become professional international racing drivers, in a new programme broadcasting next month on men's entertainment channel Dave.

Brand entertainment agency Stream\, a sister agency to TBWA\London, and production company Boomerang have produced a five-part series called ‘The GT Academy', which will air from April 4 on UKTV's blokes channel Dave.

The series is the culmination of a year-long €2m (£1.8m) marketing campaign to promote Sony's ultra-realistic racing game Gran Turismo.

Competing drivers in the series were whittled down from 25,000 people who entered the running by submitting their fastest Gran Turismo lap times onto the PlayStation Network.

The 20 fastest drivers from the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Holland and Scandinavia were invited to compete in national finals, before three people from each country were invited to take part in the Silverstone GT Academy.

The top two competitors were selected to undergo a four-month driver training programme to win their international race licences, which permitted them to compete in the Dubai 24-hour endurance race in January as part of the Nissan PlayStation team.

Shaina Galvin, Stream\'s head of content, said: "This multi-brand, multi-territory, and multi-platform project presents a fresh and exciting model for brand entertainment that delivers maximum value for the audience, the brands, and the media partners.

"We are delighted to have such a perfect and progressive UK partner in Dave/UKTV."

The series, which will run for five weeks at 7pm on Saturday evening, was developed by Nissan to promote its GTR supercar.

The series is also being broadcast in over 10 European countries including France, Spain and Italy.

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