Ford has announced its latest virtual tie-up, and it’s a canny one. The brand will add its F-150 to the wildly popular video game, Rocket League.
The free-to-play video game that works a bit like soccer but with rocket-boosted cars is played by a lot of people. In September, PC Mag reported that across all platforms it had reached a high of 1 million concurrent players. The game is so big that it was the fourth most popular game on Steam, a digital distribution service, despite not actually being downloadable on through the service anymore.
Ford, then, has teamed up with developer Psyonix to create a version of the new F-150 that would balance its need to advertise a real truck with the need to fit into the cartoonish aesthetics of Rocket League.
“It had to be an F-150 but one that fits within Psyonix’ extreme virtual world pairing soccer and mayhem,” said Ehab Kaoud, chief designer, Ford trucks. “F-150 is already the most popular truck in the real world, and this F-150 Rocket League Edition is poised to be the most popular truck in the gaming world, too. It’s Built Ford Tough meets gaming.”
This crossover follows Team Fordzilla’s creation of a wild, no holds barred supercar made exclusively for online racing. The P1 Project was designed with the help of Fordzilla’s Twitter followers.
The automaker didn’t stop at simply adding an F-150 to the soccer-but-with-rocket-powered-cars video game, though. Ford has announced that it will serve as presenting sponsor for this month’s Rocket League Championship Series Winter Majors. That will mean the virtual arena that Rocket Leaguers play in will be covered in Ford billboards.
Ford will also sponsor other events, like the + Rocket League Freestyle Invitational, that judges trick shots, kind of like the NBA’s slam dunk competition. Both can be viewed on Rocket League’s official Twitch and YouTube channels.
“As opportunities in gaming continue to grow, we’re really looking at this as its own marketing channel,” said Scott Denby, strategy manager, Ford brand content and alliances. “It’s the same way you would look at social media or TV and film integration. We’re identifying authentic ways to be involved in gaming and to do it in a meaningful way. We want to make sure we’re adding to the player communities’ experience.”
Players looking to play with the F-150 can buy it from February 20 to 28 as part of a bundle that also includes a chairman decal, two sets of F-150 wheels, F-150 Rocket League Edition engine audio, F-150 boost, and an F-150 player banner.