Motor Coach Industries (MCI) was part of this year’s biggest sporting event through its relationship with Greenville, S.C.-based Champion Coach, a major transportation provider to professional and college athletic teams throughout the U.S., predominantly the Southeast. Champion Coach earned one of the highest-profile assignments in professional sports February 3 – the exclusive right to transport both contenders to the Super Bowl.
Their ride? Nothing more than 12 MCI J4500s, each specially appointed for staff and players of the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
In his presentation to Atlanta’s team transportation selection committee earlier last year, Champion Coach owner/CEO Craig Dance put his newest 2018 and 2019 MCI’s J4500’s best-in-class features on full display, from industry-leading legroom and luxurious seating options to optional programmable lighting to showcase each organization’s colors and branding.
“We lined up our new J4500 coaches and showed each lit with a different color interior,” said Dance. “It made quite an impression. We stood apart from anyone else and that, with all the Champion Coach brand represents, gave us the leading edge.”
The coaches were featured on national broadcasts from the teams’ arrival in Atlanta to their delivery to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on game day. “It was spontaneous coverage all week long, and a proud moment for Champion Coach,” said Dance. “I’m grateful to our staff and our assistance from MCI to assure the flawlessness of each coach move.”
It was a particularly proud moment for MCI for its relationship with Champion Coach as well as with many more customers and their J4500s taking people to the big game flawlessly and in style, according to the company.
“It was an exciting moment to catch glimpses of Champion Coach’s fleet and other MCI coaches moving thousands of people including teams, media, and spectators throughout the weekend as they enjoyed pre-game events and Sunday’s big game,” said Ian Smart, MCI President. “Enhancing the travel experience is what makes this industry great.”
Dance, who co-founded Champion Coach in 1998 with his wife and executive vice president Hazel Dance, began his career in sports broadcasting but later took a job in team transportation. His career choices and sports knowledge have driven Champion Coach to its prestige position as regional transportation provider for the Dallas Cowboys, L.A. Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, and college giants including University of Georgia, Clemson University, Duke University and other leading teams throughout the SEC and ACC.
On the corporate side, Champion Coach serves such major accounts as BMW North America, Sealed Air, and Delta Airlines.