Creative in association withGear Seven

Nissan GT Academy 3 Launches

TBWA\Chiat\Day project extends Nissan & Sony partnership

Nissan GT Academy returns to U.S. television for its third season, determining once again which of America’s best racers from PlayStation®3 driving simulator Gran Turismo®6 have what it takes to make the jump from the couch to the cockpit to become a professional racing driver.



Season 3, Episode 1 of Nissan GT Academy debuts on SPIKE TV at 10:30pm ET/9:30pm CT on Monday, November 11. Five 30-minute episodes will air each Monday, leading up to a one-hour season finale on December 16, in which a winner will be crowned. Episodes will also air with a one-week delay on MTV2 starting November 18, and every episode will be available on the Nissan YouTube channel the Thursday after its original air date.



“We are excited to announce the third season of the GT Academy show and to further our relationship with PlayStation and SPIKE TV after last year’s success. At Nissan, performance and excitement is at the heart of our brand, and the third season will deliver both for our audience.  We are confident the Season 3 winner will demonstrate speed, strength and soul: all qualities of a Nissan Motorsports Athlete that will translate into success on the track for Nissan,” said Jon Brancheau, vice president, Marketing, Nissan North America.



The show, a race from virtual to reality, provides the top Gran Turismo drivers with a chance to become a professional racing driver for Nissan.  Over 400,000 racing enthusiasts registered for the competition, with the top 32 contenders making it to the National Finals in New York City. This year, in a change from the previous two seasons, the finals saw the contestants get whittled down to just 12 finalists after a series of virtual, media and real-life driving challenges.



Over the course of the six-part series, the 12 finalists are put through the paces on the track at Silverstone in the U.K. to determine one Nissan GT Academy winner. The competition includes a variety of physical, psychological and athletic challenges in addition to extensive track time in Nissan 370Z NISMOs, Nissan GT-Rs and the Nissan JUKE NISMO.



The show is hosted by ex-NFL player Dhani Jones. Judges for Season 3 include returning racing stars Danny Sullivan and Boris Said, with former racer and GT Academy instructor Rob Barff joining the expert panel for Season 3.



A Nissan GT Academy First Person online experience was created to provide a fun interactive element for fans of the show. Using video and motion tracking, users get to experience the action firsthand and feel what it’s like to be behind the wheel of a racecar. Videos are accessible via web browser, tablet or phone, and once completed, users can share their performance with friends on Facebook.


The GT Academy program is currently running in six regions: Europe, Russia, Germany, South Africa, the Middle East and the United States. Winners from the program have gone on to compete professionally in racing competitions around the world. Inaugural GT Academy Europe winner Lucas Ordonez won the Pro-Am division championship of this year’s Blancpain Endurance Series in a Nissan GT-R, while numerous GT Academy winners won pole positions and finished on the podium at a variety of races around the world in 2013.



The GT Academy program was developed in partnership with TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles, OMD and RadicalMedia. The TV series is directed by Jeff Zwart. Critical Mass is responsible for the First Person online experience.


Try the first person experience online:

Client: Nissan North America
Project: Nissan GT Academy Series 3

For TBWA/Chiat/Day

Executive Producer: Brian O’Rourke
Producer: Tim Newfang
Creative Director: Karl Dunn, Tito Melega
Associate Creative Director: Jason Locey 
Art Director: Liz Levy
Promo & Web Editor : Peter Smith, Greg Young 
Executive Business Affairs Manager : Robin Rossi
Managing Director: Peter Bracegirdle 
Account Director : Bonnie Schwartz, Craig Werwa
Management Supervisor : Jeanann Grubbs, Patrick Jones, Val Tyll
Account Executive : Natalie Huffman
Community Manager : Ashton Dunn
Worldwide PR & Communications Director: Marianne Stefanowicz
Executive Director of Integrated Production : Richard O’Neill

For Critical Mass

Motion Design Director: Amo Milosz¬
Quality Assurance Lead: Barb Patrick
Senior Art Director: Carl Lukasewich
Senior Quality Assurance Specialist: Chris Davis
Group Planning Director: Chrissie Graboski
Technology Lead: Demian Krige
Senior Developer: Evan Lask
Producer: Gene Ho
Marketing Science Analyst: Geoff Peden
Marketing Science Senior Analyst: Heather Roxby
Senior Copywriter: John Hamilton
Designer: Jordan Natyshen    
Account Manager: Lindsay Carter
Senior Business Analyst: Martin L'Heureux
Account Director: Matt Ciampa
Project Manager: Sabrina Krivan
Technology Director: Scott Ingalls
Group Creative Director: Steve Savic¬



Group Director: Aaron Anderson
U.S. Director Zero Code: Dario Raciti 
Strategy Supervisor: Ruben Chavez

For Nissan North America

Vice President, Nissan Marketing : Jon Brancheau
Director, Marketing Communications: Vinay Shahani
Director, Interactive & Social Media Marketing: Erich Marx
Sr. Manger, Marketing Communications: Mike Awdish
Sr. Planner, Marketing Communications : Terri Welch
Sr. Manager, Media Operations & Direct Marketing Group: Phil O’Conner
Sr. Planner, Media Operations & Direct Marketing Group: Jeremy Meadows
Sr. Manager, Nissan Lifestyle and Motorsports Marketing: Jay Schaffer
Sr. Planner, Nissan Motorsports: Rick Kulach
Sr. Manager, Interactive Marketing: Scot Cottick
Sr. Manager, Social Media Marketing: Chad Jacoby
Senior Specialist, Corporate Communications: Steve Yeager

For Sony Computer Entertainment

President of Polyphony Digital; Creator, Gran Turismo Franchise: Kazunori Yamauchi
Senior Vice President, PlayStation Brand Marketing: Guy Longworth
Senior Director, First Party Games: Asad Qizilbash
Director, First Party Games: Mike Webster
Senior Brand Manager, First Party Games: TJ Consunji
Brand Manager, First Party Games: Ken Chan
Associate Brand Manager, First Party Games: Douglas Harakal
US Game Producer: Taku Imasaki
Senior Manager, Brand Partnerships: Andres Diaz
Manager, Strategic Partnerships: Ryan Maloney

For GTA Global LTD

Managing Director : Laurence Wiltshire
Operations Manager: Martyn Smith
Content Director: Andrew Hill
Hospitality Manager: Nicki Hewson

For Radical Media

Directed by: Jeff Zwart
Executive Producers: Dave O'Connor, Frank Scherma, Jon Kamen, Justin Wilkes
Co-Executive Producer: Andrew Fried
Producers: Lindsay Panell, Sarina Roma
Story Producer: Mike Pantaleo
Producers: Susan Sullivan, Ray Leakey
Line Producer: Paul Beard
Production Managers: Andrea Berman, Lucy Banks
Managing Director: Liz Friesell Mason
Post Producers: Gina Grosso, Jennifer Helm
Post Production Supervisor: Lisa Gray
Editors: Eric Freidenberg, Adrienne Gits, Paul Little, Jeremy Lusk, Brett Mason, Jesse Overman
Super Tease Editors: Peter Marshall Smith, Jeremy Lusk
Additional Editors: Vito DeCandia, Arshia Haq
Lead Assistant Editors: Matt Masci, Steffan Niemann, Scott Simerly, Todd Webb
Assistant Editors: Lilliana Lyons, Sarah McAnally, Przemyslaw Radlowski
Graphic Design/Animation: Ryan Gibson
Audio Post Mixer: Josh Eichenbaum
Colorist: Charles Haine
Online Editor: Matt Mascia, Todd Webb
Music: Warner Chappell
Original Composition: Bill Sherman

Special Thanks

Website & 2nd Screen Content created by Critical Mass
Azzurro Travel
Kevin Knocke
Venice Beach Editorial

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