TEAM FORDZILLA ‘GAMING TRANSIT’ ROAD TRIP ARRIVES IN THE UK BRINGING ACCESSIBLE FUN TO YOUNG GAMERS, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH SEGA
This September, Team Fordzilla arrives in the UK to bring joy to children with disabilities and support special educational needs schools and children's hospices with a specially modified Gaming Transit van. Members of Team Fordzilla – Ford’s own esports gaming team –and Ford employees will drive a unique Ford Transit equipped with accessibility features on a national road trip with stops in Manchester, Essex and London.
The highly anticipated UK section of the tour goes up a gear in partnership with games publisher SEGA, who will give children the chance to play new Sonic Colours: Ultimate video game within the Gaming Transit van before it hits the shelves. Sonic Colours: Ultimate is set to launch on September 7th 2021 worldwide, however visitors to the Gaming Transit van can play the game on Xbox consoles through early access.
The Gaming Transit will visit special educational needs schools and children's hospices throughout the UK. For children with limited mobility, the van includes adaptive controllers that allow external buttons, switches or joysticks to be connected to create custom set-ups. Ford’s partner vehicle modifier Allied Mobility have also added a wheelchair lift and folding ramp to make entering and exiting easy, ensuring that all children are able to play to the very best of their abilities.
The van’s eye-catching design includes styling features by MS-RT, who produce race-inspired versions of Ford’s Transit Custom and Connect vans, as well as the striking Ranger MS-RT pick-up. Inside, the three gaming suites are separated by dividers and feature easily-cleaned surfaces. The Gaming Transit also features a pop-up event space and two racing game rigs with steering wheels, pedals, racing seats and a dual-screen setup to create an even more immersive experience for gamers.
Team Fordzilla will be making a whistle stop tour to the following UK locations this September:
- Lancashire: Derian House Children’s Hospice, 2nd & 3rd September
- Essex: Project 49, Southend, 7th September
- Essex: USP College, 8th & 9th September
- London: Richard House Children’s Hospice, London, 14th September
Mandy Dean, Director Commercial Vehicles Ford of Britain and Ireland said, “Gaming Transit has already been a massive success in Europe. It was so heartening to see how much fun it can bring to children and we’re looking forward to our leg of the tour, visiting hospices and schools across the UK, that are truly remarkable in their work with special educational needs children.”
The UK leg of the tour adds an extra exciting element with the exclusive partnership we’ve secured with SEGA to give children early access to the new Sonic game which is yet to launch. We’re expecting to meet lots of Sonic fans, excited to try out the new game.”
Caroline Taylor, Head of Income, Marketing and Communications, from Lancashire-based children’s hospice, Derian House, said “The arrival of Ford’s Gaming Transit to Derian House is going to create such a buzz amongst families. It’s a real opportunity to inject something fun and unique into their day. At Derian House, our aim is to make sure our children and young people make the very most of the time they have, and fun days like this help make precious memories to last a lifetime.”
The marathon road trip has already cruised through France, Germany, Italy, Spain and now lands in the UK to bring safe, accessible, and engaging experiences to young people.
Notes to editors:
Ford launched Team Fordzilla – its first ever esports team – in 2019 with individual teams in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. Each team competes in national competitions with dedicated team captains, with the best drivers representing Team Fordzilla at a European level.
The Gaming Transit initiative follows Team Fordzilla’s recent inclusivity campaign “Women to the Track”, which seeks to improve the representation of women in sim racing. For further updates, follow them on Twitter (@TeamFordzilla), Instagram (@teamfordzilla) and Twitch (@TeamFordzilla).
Ford created Vanzilla in collaboration with established partners from previous vehicles. The exterior style and in-cab upgrades were carried out by MS-RT, while accessibility experts Allied Mobility – a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier – fitted the wheelchair ramp for easy access, without sacrificing interior space. Envy Create were responsible for developing the gaming station fit-out to the ideal specification.