Champion Coach victorious at College Football Playoff,
Wrapping its 8 new 2018 MCI J4500s coaches in Alabama and Georgia colors

DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS, FEBRUARY 16, 2018: (TSX:NFI) Motor Coach Industries (MCI), the U.S. subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc. ("NFI Group"), the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, notes how Greenville, South Carolina-based Champion Coach, a major transportation provider to professional and college athletic teams throughout the Southeast, scored one of college sports' most high-profile assignments — the exclusive right to transport both contenders to the College Football Playoff National Championship in Atlanta January 8.

And for that prestige assignment, Champion featured its eight new 2018 MCI J4500 coaches wrapped in specially designed team colors to carry both the teams and staffs of the University of Georgia Bulldogs and University of Alabama's Crimson Tide to Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

"This all started back in March (2017) with the Atlanta host committee for the championship," said CEO Craig Dance, who co-founded Champion in 1998 with his wife Hazel, executive vice president. At the time, no one knew who would make it to the championship, but Dance and the rest of his staff hoped the final would include the University of Georgia, the couple's alma mater and longtime client.

"We provide transportation service for all the sports teams at the University of Georgia year-round and Hazel and I graduated from Georgia, so we were very happy about that," said Dance, who began his career in sports broadcasting but later took a job in team transportation. His career choices have paid off — Champion now provides regional transportation for the Dallas Cowboys, L.A. Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Clemson, Duke and Auburn as well as college teams throughout the SEC and ACC. On the corporate side, Champion serves BMW North America, CBS Sports and Delta Airlines.

Champion also serves other annual college football bowl games, and this year, the scheduling couldn't have been tighter. For the January 1 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Champion used the same eight J4500s to transport competitors Auburn and the University of Central Florida — within minutes of that assignment, Champion began preparations to wrap those coaches for Georgia and Alabama.

Fortunately, having both bowls at the Mercedes-Benz stadium saved time, because Champion would need every second of it.

Champion turned to coach-graphics leader Turbo Images, which drove the completed materials from its Quebec headquarters across the U.S. border so they could be overnighted to Champion without any customs issues, said Dance. "They went above and beyond for us, even had a plan to drive them overland to our offices if there were weather issues," he said. "We had them shipped to our main office in South Carolina and then we drove them to the Georgia World Congress Center by truck so everything could be done on time."

Not only did Champion make the deadline, both teams rode in top style on MCI's newest coaches, which sport a completely redesigned, more spacious interior. Said Dance, "We have all the bells and whistles on these coaches, including leather seats, Wi-Fi and DIRECTV," and the additional optional feature of the 2018 J4500's, all-new customizable interior RGB interior lighting feature including six pre-programmed colors (red, blue, green, cyan, magenta, yellow) plus white.

"If you saw the game, you saw that Bulldog Red from inside our coaches on TV, which looked great," said Dance. "I felt the MCI buses showed really well. The curb appeal is amazing."

For the Dances, the outcome of the game wasn't exactly to their liking (Alabama 26, Georgia 23), but the 35-coach company only enhanced its reputation as a specialist at the biggest events in college sports. "It made for an intense 2-3 weeks over the holidays, but it was really worth it," said Dance.

Becoming a national sports transportation leader

Champion often carries well-paid professional teams or college teams headed for their biggest games of the year. So it's all about comfort, luxury, safety, full service and most of all, punctuality. It requires a commitment to a 24/7 business schedule to meet the needs of elite teams in college and professional sports, and Champion works every day to win business from the best.

Part of that means being ready for anything. Champion's drivers are specifically trained at working with police escorts and are up-to-date in airport and other venue security requirements. The Dances and their staff work around the clock to meet the travel needs of high-profile professional sports players and coaches, corporate leaders and local tour groups.

The company offers guaranteed Early Arrival promising passenger delivery 30 minutes prior to arrival or other connections, emergency pickups in the event of canceled flights and other delays and tarmac pick-ups for charter flights thanks to strong, longtime relationships with airport fixed base operators (FBOs). These relationships and connections ensure smooth travel transitions for easy, cooperative transportation of passengers coast to coast.

To learn more visit

About NFI Group

NFI Group and its subsidiaries comprise the largest bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, with 32 fabrication, manufacturing, distribution, and service centers located across Canada and the United States and employing nearly 6,000 team members.

NFI Group provides a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under several brands: New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), MCI® (motor coaches), and NFI Parts™ (bus and coach parts, support, and service). NFI Group's vehicles incorporate the widest range of drive systems available ranging from clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, trolley-electric, battery-electric, and fuel cell electric.

Further information is available at,, and The common shares of NFI Group are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI.

For further information, please contact:

Patricia Plodzeen, MCI Public Relations
Tel: 847-283-0883
or Jon Koffman, New Flyer Investor Relations
Tel: 320-316-4964

Motor Coach Industries - An NFI Group Inc Company: Corporate Address 200 East Oakton Street, Des Plaines, Illinois 60018 | Phone: 866-MCICOACH

Copyright 2004-2018 Motor Coach Industries Int'l, Inc. and its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.