For the third straight year primary, Mazda Road To Indy partners Cooper Tire and Mazda Racing will utilize an innovative hashtag program to help grow the three MRTI series and as an easy way for fans to follow future Verizon IndyCar Series stars as they climb the open-wheel ladder.

In 2014, Cooper Tire rolled out the #TeamCooperTire program and was able to garner 60 million impressions.

The #TeamCooperTire program was joined by the #MRTI hashtag and Mazda Racing in 2015 and grew to 127 million impressions, reaching 6 million unique users on Twitter and 1 million unique users on Instagram.

There can be little argument that the motorsports landscape has changed over the past few decades. Gone are the days that a driver only has to bring his helmet to the track. They still need to be quick, but they also need much more in their toolbox. A sponsor is now looking for results AND a driver that is engaged and represents their brand well. With the amount of money and brand, goodwill involved it’s not surprising that engaged drivers like James Hnchcliffe and Helio Castroneves are popular with fans and sponsors.

With that last point in mind, the goal of the #MRTI and #TeamCooperTire hashtag program is for Cooper Tires and Mazda to provide a series of guideposts that will help Mazda Road To Indy drivers tell their story (branding) and connect with and increase social media followers. Both of those functions are key to attracting a personal fan base and also gives a driver a chance to show off their personality to potential sponsors.

The career benefits are enough to make a driver and team want to participate in the program, but Cooper Tires and Mazda have gone a step further and will be providing prizes to the teams and drivers. The MRTI season has been divided into six different contest periods and if a driver/team passes all of the provided guideposts in that period they will entered to win a prize, which will include a free set of Cooper Tire racing slicks.

Fans will also have a chance to benefit from this program by:

  • Having a central place to find MRTI content. Searching the two hashtags on Twitter and Instagram will guide you to content created by drivers, teams, the series, media and partners. Drivers are encouraged to post behind-the-scenes action, so that you, as a fan will have fun way to follow along with the stories and lives of the drivers as they strive to reach the Verizon IndyCar Series.
  • The potential to win prizes, and who doesn’t like giveaways? Last year, MRTI drivers were able to give away a set of tires as well as other Cooper Tire prizes to their loyal followers. Make sure to be on the lookout for fun contests from your favorite MRTI drivers.

Don’t forget to follow Team Cooper Tire on Twitter and Instagram.

Don’t forget to follow Mazda Racing on Twitter and Instagram.