RFID Race Track Brings Mario Kart To Life [Video]

RFID Race Track Brings Mario Kart To Life [Video]

Pennzoil and Nintendo created Mario Karting Reimagined at SXSW for an IRL game experience.

Leah Gonzalez Angue
  • 10 march 2014

Pennzoil, the Official Motor Oil & Auto Fuel Sponsor of SXSW 2014 Interactive, teamed up with Nintendo to re-create Mario Kart 8 at SXSW by building a custom-built track based on the Mario Kart world outside the Palmer Events Center.

Mario Karting Reimagined was free and open to attendees of SXSW Interactive and Gaming and aimed to give visitors a real and interactive Mario Kart experience. The track had large-scale icons that served as the equivalent of power-ups and sped up or slowed down the cars just like in the Mario Kart world. The goal of the race was to collect all five icons or power-ups to achieve “full protection.”


The live racing used RFID technology to allow the tracks and the karts to communicate. The performance of the karts were controlled by RFID as they sped around the course and interacted with the real-life power-ups or icons on the track.

Created by JWT Atlanta, Coyne PR and MediaCom ESP, Mario Karting Reimagined was a way for Pennzoil to promote its new product, the Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oils with PurePlus Technology.


In a press release, Pennzoil Global Brand Manager Chris Hayek said,

The collaboration with Nintendo’s Mario Kart franchise marks two iconic brands coming together as leaders on the front lines in their respective industries. Mario Karting Reimagined is sure to surprise SXSW attendees with the way that it uses the iconic elements of the Mario Kart 8 video game to capture the inspiration behind PurePlus Technology, pushing the boundaries of innovation and imagination.

During the live racing event, visitors were given a chance to get behind the wheel of a Mario Kart 8-inspired go-kart. The races were simulcast from the driver’s point of view on a jumbo-tron, with some of the scenes flipped upside down to simulate how Mario and his friends sometimes drive upside down in the game. Race participants were given a video link to their Mario Karting Reimagined experience.

Pennzoil-Mario-Kart 8-SXSW-2.jpg

Check out highlights in the video below.


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