Video game fans will soon have another way to support their favorite drivers, albeit in an over-the-top manner. NASCAR announced on Monday morning that several drivers will have their cars added to the video game “Rocket League.” Starting Thursday, players will try to score goals while driving cars belonging to Ryan Newman, Bubba Wallace, and many others.
The NASCAR 2021 fan pack will become available on Thursday and will remain so through the following Wednesday. There will be nine cars in the pack, representing all three of the manufacturers. The pack also includes nine digital NASCAR team decals, player banners, Goodyear tires, and a NASCAR/”Rocket League” decal.
Drivers, take your places on the starting grid. The @NASCAR 2021 Fan Pack is just around the next turn and will arrive on May 6!
Get your pit crew ready so you can stack your garage with the latest gear from the top teams in the sport.
Learn More: https://t.co/kqjH1VaPQ8 pic.twitter.com/Vv74iDPb76
— Rocket League (@RocketLeague) May 3, 2021
“Rocket League” will include several teams in order to appeal to multiple NASCAR fans. The list includes Roush Fenway Racing (Newman), Stewart-Haas Racing (Aric Almirola), Team Penske (Joey Logano), Chip Ganassi Racing (Kurt Busch), Richard Childress Racing (Austin Dillon), 23XI Racing (Wallace), Hendrick Motorsports (Chase Elliott), Richard Petty Motorsports (Erik Jones), and Joe Gibbs Racing (Kyle Busch). More teams could also potentially join the fold in the future.
“Rocket League” will fully embrace NASCAR paint schemes for the partnership
One big part of the new announcement is that “Rocket League” developer Psyonix will allow sponsors on all of the paint schemes. This decision marks the first time that sponsors such as McDonald’s, Smithfield, Oscar Mayer, and Napa will be in the action-packed game. According to The Esports Observer, the reason is that both sides recognize the importance of sponsorships in stock car racing.
Each team involved was able to select one car/sponsor to place into @RocketLeague.
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) May 3, 2021
An interesting aspect of the partnership is that the teams will not get immediate revenue from the new fan pack. The teams reportedly believe that marketing exposure to younger demographics could make the venture worthwhile from the start. Though this deal is a multi-year partnership that could lead to income in the future.
“This is one we’ve had circled from the very beginning of when we wanted to get into this space,” said Tim Clark, NASCAR’s senior vice president and chief digital officer, in a Monday press release. “There’s no game that is more of an obvious choice of where there’s some degree of organic integration for the NASCAR brand into a game, so this was one we had at the top of our list. To see it come together has been huge.”
“Rocket League” is the master of the special partnerships
While the NASCAR pack is the latest to highlight a professional sport, it is not the first. Psyonix has previously partnered with the NFL, the NBA, and the X Games, using the ventures to revamp the classic field. The NFL deal, in particular, featured the matches taking place on a football field while banners of all 32 teams hung in the rafters.
“Rocket League” has incorporated several other car packs to keep fans engaged. Gamers have had the opportunity to score goals while driving the Batmobile, some classic vehicles from Hot Wheels, and a multitude of cars from “The Fast and the Furious” universe. Even Doc Brown’s DeLorean from “Back to the Future” became available.
With the latest DLC pack, NASCAR fans will now have another opportunity to drive their favorite stock cars. They will not have to worry about uncontrolled tire penalties or losing speed due to damage. Instead, they can literally channel Newman’s “Rocket Man” nickname while scoring a goal.
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