As the leading driver development program and the only platform to guarantee its champions advancement to the next step on the ladder system, the Road to Indy Presented by Cooper Tires today announced expanded roles for Rob Howden, the Official Voice of the Road to Indy, and Road to Indy TV, its broadcast production arm, in preparation for the 2021 racing season.
Howden will see his position grow as Series Development Director, a multifaceted role with the primary focus as a liaison with teams and drivers in addition to assisting with the recruitment of prospective competitors and as an advisor on key areas for continued growth of the Road to Indy. He replaces Jonny Baker who, after three years, departs due to the time demands of his highly successful CoForce consulting, marketing and digital agency, founded in partnership with Anders Krohn in 2011.
As President of Howden Media Group, Howden has been covering motorsports since 1993, working for numerous publications before launching his own trio of magazines. In 2004, he established eKartingNews.com, which has become the North American hub of kart racing. In addition to his duties with the Road to Indy, Howden is also a pit reporter for the Pennzoil INDYCAR Radio Network.
“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to expand my role with Andersen Promotions and the Road To Indy, and to be able to connect even more closely with the drivers and teams in the paddock,” said Howden. “I’ve had the privilege of acting as the voice of the series for almost 10 years, and the chance to be more involved, and to help shape the future of the series, is a dream come true. This sport is all about people and we have some of the very best in our RTI family, and I’m excited about what the coming years will bring as we continue to graduate talented and well-prepared drivers into the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and the Indianapolis 500.”
Road to Indy TV has been providing unprecedented coverage of the Road to Indy since 2014. Launched by JP Manterola, Founder, CEO and Creative Director of Pro Racing Group – an international award winning, full-service sports marketing agency headquartered in Lithia, Fla., just outside Tampa – Road to Indy TV will add a digital media team alongside its production and creative group to manage all social media channels of the Road to Indy.
The expansion will provide a cohesive unit dedicated to continually developing the branding, content and reach of the Road to Indy for its teams, drivers, partners and fans of the three ladder steps: Indy Lights Presented by Cooper Tires, the Indy Pro 2000 Championship Presented by Cooper Tires and the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship.
In total, Road to Indy TV will have a staff of six trackside at every event on the 2021 calendar with a support team of four working remotely. The group will continue to provide global live-streaming of on-track action as well as live feature segments throughout the race weekends.
“In today’s ever-evolving sports climate, we live in a world that communicates through images, sounds and a digital presence,” said Manterola. “The only way to engage fans is to generate content to garner their attention with compelling storytelling as every race weekend shifts the championship tidings. Heading into 2021, it was a logical move to merge the team that documents the storylines of the Road to Indy.
“Modern sports media revolves around great content, and we are convinced that we will create an incredible amount to increase the series’ reach, garner attention and bring people closer to the stories of tomorrow’s NTT INDYCAR SERIES stars. We are very proud and honored to expand Pro Racing Group’s production and our presence in the series, and can’t wait to see what the 2021 season brings our way.”
Road to Indy TV has been at the forefront in expanded coverage, initially with the launch of the Road to Indy TV App in 2015. In 2016, the Road to Indy became the first American racing series with a dedicated broadcast channel on demand – which is currently available live and on demand at Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku – and also the first open-wheel series to have an official App on Xbox One.
“I am very pleased to welcome Rob in an expanded role and to see the footprint grow for the Road to Indy TV group,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions. “Rob’s enthusiasm, passion and knowledge of the Road to Indy makes his position of Series Development Director a natural fit. He already has established relationships throughout our paddock in addition to his strong connections to other junior formulas including the karting community. Rob has already hit the ground running and I believe this will be a win-win across the board.
“Like Rob, JP and his team at Road to Indy TV bring a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and passion as well as exceptional creativity to our three series. To have our broadcast production arm and social media arm, who work and travel together, interconnected as one unit makes good sense. We continually strive to be the best that we can be and I believe these new transitions will make our program stronger and of enhanced benefit and value to those in our Road to Indy family.”