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General Gran Turismo film

Why PUMA was inspired to team up in the new Gran Turismo movie

Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story, tells the unbelievable true story of a video gamer’s progression to become a professional racing driver, detailing his journey after winning the GT Academy competition in 2011.

The new motion picture feature tells the real-life story of a struggling working-class gamer being shown the ropes by his trainer, a failed former racer himself, all overseen by an idealistic motorsport executive who puts the Academy endeavour together to ensure authenticity in a life-like recreation of a racing pitlane, the cast of Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story are fully kitted out in sponsored racing overalls - which have been supplied by sportswear giant PUMA.

These race suits, totalling over 100 bespoke sets tailored to the actors’ frames, were produced alongside hundreds of race gear items in rapid time to ensure the full regalia was delivered in lightning speed to meet the busy production schedule.

PUMA has been supplying racewear to various teams across the world of motorsport for decades, with drivers dressed from head to toe in its products throughout the race weekend.

Speaking about the German brand's decision to expand its reach within motorsport through its involvement with the Gran Turismo film, PUMA Motorsport's Head of Marketing Mathias Wendholt explained that the growth of motorsport in mainstream media has accommodated a generational shift in viewers.

For PUMA, supplying products to Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story allows it to be visible in a newer market, and to be publicly associated not only within the world of motorsport but with some of the biggest stars on the screen.

"Partnering up with Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story and Sony in that case is definitely, from a strategic point of view, relevant and important because we are also creating visibility for our brand in a younger consumer area."

PUMA's presence in the Gran Turismo film mirrors that of its presence in the franchise's games, where its recognisable logo appears on advertising hoardings and on the vast array of cars within the latest instalment - Gran Turismo 7. The series, in which players build up a garage of some of the world's most iconic automobiles and race them at circuits around the world, has sold more than 90 million units since its inception in 1997.

Wendholt says that the target market for the games and the movie overlap, and that PUMA is also keen to be involved in Gran Turismo's future sim-racing offerings - like those like the stars in the Gran Turismo movie a path into professional motorsport.

"We are talking to a much younger generation of consumers, that love playing the Gran Turismo game and now they have the opportunity to watch the movie.

"Whether it’s down to its presence on the race suits of the characters in the Gran Turismo film, or beyond that adorning the clothing of motorsport’s biggest stars, PUMA has clear designs on building itself as one of the key focal points of motorsport culture."

The motorsport merchandise arena has become big business among racing's boom in popularity, and PUMA is confident that its visibility across various forms of media - be it in the movies, or across streaming platforms - can cement its place in the cultural zeitgeist.

"Our goal is to inspire consumer to express their motorsport passion by wearing our PUMA collection and being top of mind when they think about motorsport apparel and footwear," says Wendholt.

"Of course, we are not a car manufacturer but we are working closely together with them and whenever it comes to apparel, whenever a consumer would like to wear something from their loved brands, of course they will find it at PUMA."

In a film that could inspire the next generation of gamer-turned-racers in the audience, PUMA aims to provide the perfect apparel as they embark upon their journey – both on the track and on the street.

Catch Gran Turismo: Based on a True Story exclusively in cinemas

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