Ford Brings 'Octane Academy' to Life at X Games 17

Ford is revving its engine to start its new high-performance driving program, Octane Academy, at X Games 17 – the largest assortment of action sports competitions worldwide.

Ford Brings 'Octane Academy' to Life at X Games 17


  • Ford is partnering with ESPN to launch the company’s new consumer-focused Octane Academy program at X Games 17, the largest assortment of action sports competitions worldwide

  • Ford Fiesta has dominated X Games for the last two years, with three gold, two silver and one bronze medal; this success has contributed to the growing popularity of Fiesta in the Millennial market

  • With nearly 330 applications already submitted before launch, Ford expects Octane Academy could be its most successful consumer-focused program yet

Jamie Allison, Ford North America Motorsports Director; Ford RallyCross and Off-Road Truck racer, Brian Deegan; Jim Farley, Group Vice President of Global Marketing, Sales and Service; Vaughn Gittin, Jr, 2010 Formula Drift Champion; and John Felice, General Manager, Ford and Lincoln Marketing, announce the launch of Ford's first-ever action sports campaign with the Octane Academy.
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DEARBORN, Mich., July 28, 2011 – Ford is revving its engine to start its new high-performance driving program, Octane Academy, at X Games 17 – the largest assortment of action sports competitions worldwide.


Ford has already received nearly 330 applications for Octane Academy, even though it does not officially go live until the first day of X Games 17.


“Ford has always valued its relationship with ESPN and using their X Games event as a fun way to launch Octane Academy is a great way to further this partnership,” said John Felice, general manager, Ford and Lincoln Marketing. “The event provides a unique opportunity for fans to experience the excitement of performance driving with their favorite Ford action motorsports drivers.”


Why X Games?

Ford is launching Octane Academy at X Games 17 because of the popularity of action sports with Millennials – a younger, more diverse generation of enthusiasts.


Millennials watch, attend and participate in action sports more than any other athletic activity. This makes X Games – which draws one of the largest viewing crowds in person and on television around the world – the perfect place to launch Octane Academy.


“This is Ford’s second year as the exclusive automotive sponsor for X Games and this time we wanted to develop a new, interesting way to expand our presence in action sports and get fans excited about Ford’s action motorsports heroes,” said Jamie Allison, director, Ford Racing. “We believe we have the most formidable team of drivers with Ken Block, Brian Deegan, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Tanner Foust. Rounding out the team at X Games is the Ford Fiesta, the most successful car in U.S. RallyCross competition. We’re pretty excited about the team’s potential.”


“At X Games, you'll see the drivers up close and personal as they show off their skills while also engaging fans on the sidelines by letting them make their Octane Academy video submission and entering to win a Fiesta through our ‘I Win! You Win! competition,” added Felice.


“I Win! You Win!” is an on-site promotion in which X Games fans can text “FORDX” to 446365 to be randomly paired with featured athletes in Moto X Best Trick or RallyCross and get the chance to win a new 2012 Ford Fiesta.


Fiesta, X Games and Millennials

The Ford Fiesta has dominated X Games since its debut two years ago at X Games 15, where it finished first, third and fourth. Fiesta would have swept the podium if the top two qualifiers, also both Fiestas, had not been pitched against each other in the semifinal. Fiesta’s domination continued at X Games 16 when Foust and Deegan took gold and silver medals respectively in both rally events.


“The Ford Fiesta is a proven force, and just won’t stop winning,” said Allison.


This year Fiesta has already won eight races, including each of three rounds of the North American Global RallyCross Championship, sweeping both the AWD SuperRally and RallyCross events.


“The success of the Fiesta in action motorsports has contributed to its popularity with Millennials. Sixty-five percent of Fiesta buyers are saying it’s important to have a car that is fun to drive, and action motorsports shows Millennials how much fun a Fiesta can be,” said Robert Parker, group marketing manager. “With the popularity of X Games and with Ken Block’s Gymkhana video featuring his Fiesta reaching more than 33 million views on YouTube, it’s not surprising Fiesta awareness has almost tripled. The Fiesta is dominating both on and off the racetrack.”


Block, Deegan, Gittin Jr. and Foust will all be racing Fiestas this weekend head-to-head in RallyCar competition on Saturday and in RallyCross on Sunday.


Octane Academy submissions
Since Ford announced Octane Academy earlier this month, nearly 330 submissions have been received even before its official launch at X Games 17.


“The early interest and response we have received for Octane Academy is astonishing. We knew there was an appetite for action sports, but the interest shown before the program has even kicked off has exceeded our expectations,” said Crystal Worthem, Ford Brand Content and Alliances manager. “It just goes to show how excited fans are about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it could make Octane Academy possibly Ford’s most successful consumer-focused program yet.”


For more information on the Octane Academy or to submit your video, visit

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About Ford Racing North America
Ford Racing North America, based in Dearborn, Mich., is responsible for major racing operations in North America, including NASCAR (Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series, Camping World Trucks), Grand American sports car racing, NHRA drag racing, USAC midget car racing and the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup. The department also oversees the development and marketing of Ford Racing Engines and Performance Parts, the outreach programs with all Ford Clubs and Ford enthusiasts, and the marketing of the Ford Racing brand through initiatives such as Team Ford Racing. For more information regarding Ford Racing’s activities, please visit


About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit