Cooper Tire, Mazda Renew Hashtag Program for 2017 Season

PALMETTO, Fla. (March 8) – Cooper Tire and Mazda today announced the renewal of the MRTI Hashtag Program that encourages drivers and teams to utilize the #MRTI and #TeamCooperTire hashtags through their social messaging on Twitter and Instagram.

The social media program originated in 2014 as an initiative by Cooper Tire in cooperation with the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires, and was designed to encourage drivers and teams to give their fans an inside look at the life of an up-and-coming race car driver, bringing out the personalities of competitors who spend so much of their sporting lives behind the helmet.

Fans of each series can follow their favorite drivers and teams’ content by searching the hashtags #MRTI and #TeamCooperTire on Twitter and Instagram (all content featuring the #TeamCooperTire hashtag is also featured at Drivers are entered in monthly drawings for prizes that include race hospitality packages they can utilize in fan contests.

This season’s program includes a new element from series partner Hi-Tide Boat Lifts, in support of their “Kids on Track” program. The program brings youngsters from local children’s organizations such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters for a VIP day at the races that includes meet and greet tours with drivers and teams. Drivers will be posting welcome messages to the youngsters on their own social media channels throughout the season.

Over 50 drivers and 21 teams representing the three series that comprise the Mazda Road to Indy (the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda, the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires) are eligible to participate in the program.

“The MRTI Hashtag Program utilizing #TeamCooperTire and #MRTI has been a great medium for uniting all the phenomenal content from the drivers and teams across the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires,” said Chris Pantani, Director of Motorsports at Cooper Tire. “We’ve seen exponential growth over the past three race seasons, and we’re excited to see more series partners joining the program in 2017. We appreciate the support from Mazda, Andersen Promotions, Hi-Tide Boat Lifts, drivers, staff, media, and fans of the series. This program is just another testament to the #MRTI being the top developmental motorsports program in the world, not just on the track but off the track as well.”

“Our partners at Cooper Tire and Mazda have really developed the MRTI Hashtag Program over the past three years,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “The contest periods feature fun challenges for our drivers and teams and rewards them for their efforts on social media. Providing attractive prizes for the teams and drivers – including hospitality tickets they can give away to fans – strengthens and expands their fan base. It’s a ‘win’ for everyone, and I have to thank Cooper and Mazda for continuing to think outside the box.”

“A key part of the growth of the Mazda Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires around the globe has been social media,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “This hashtag program makes it easier for our fans to follow all of the news and to get to know all of the drivers much better. We have many fast young drivers who are also gifted at sharing their personality on social media.”

“The Cooper Tire hashtag program connects all of the drivers in the Mazda Road to Indy,” said Indy Lights driver Neil Alberico. ”Instead of connecting to fans just as individuals, drivers can connect with fans as a much larger and more influential group (Mazda Road to Indy). Those are small things in social media that can go a long way for a young driver establishing their brand. It’s refreshing to connect with fans on a personal level and show them who we are away from the racetrack.”

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