hps Jardine wins race against time with Gran Turismo Sport launch
If you’re going to launch a motor racing game, where better than the Italian city of Modena in the heart of Italy’s motor valley, home to revered automotive brands Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and Pagani?
That’s where we flew 220 lucky guests, including over a hundred key international media people, for the spectacular launch of Gran Turismo Sport for PlayStation. With a lead time of just four weeks, the organisational challenge for hps Jardine was as gargantuan as the event itself.
It was a continuous series of early mornings and late nights as we raced against the clock to get the launch’s four separate locations ready in time: a main event space in the spectacular Piazza Roma, where we built four gaming ‘Domes’ and had a display of stunning cars from the likes of Mercedes, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, McLaren, Porsche and BMW; a space in the basement of a very antiquated hotel in the city centre that we converted into a stunning presentation room for day one and a very cool party and eSports venue for day two; the spectacular Museo Enzo Ferrari, where we hosted a gala dinner; and the Autodromo di Modena racetrack, where we put all our media guests through their paces in real cars on the trackhaving trained them with the game.
We were also on hand at the Enzo Ferrari School of Engineering at Modena University where the Gran Turismo creator, Kazunori Yamauchi, was made an honorary doctor.
One of the event’s highlights was the Gran Turismo Sport tournament we organised between top gamers, professional racing drivers and former GT Academy winners. Perfectly illustrating how close the real and virtual worlds have become in gaming, the tournament was won, against the odds, by one of the professional drivers who was delighted to take home a TAG Heuer smartwatch and plenty of street cred. The result would suggest this game is way more realistic than anything that has ever gone before.
At the end of this high-octane event, and a week of madness in Modena, we had plenty of flattering feedback from many of the VIP guests and manufacturers in attendance. However, the surest sign of success was the overwhelmingly positive reviews the new game received from the world’s media who had been given a chance to get to grips with it at their leisure in one of the most inspiring settings on earth.
Now, time to catch up on our sleep.
ARTICLE BY RUPERT WILLIAMSON
MD at hps Jardine. PR, sponsorship and events specialist with an impressive track record in sport and automotive worlds.