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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It was the tweet read 'round the world.
Brad Keselowski changed the NASCAR social media landscape forever last year when, during a lengthy delay in the Daytona 500 for a fuel fire, he grabbed his phone and started tweeting. Showing agility and quick reflexes, Keselowski used his nimble thumbs to post pictures from the scene of the fire, answers questions from fans and give updates on the delay.
Those tweets gained him more than 100,000 followers on that night alone, and far exceeded his plan of being the first driver to tweet from Victory Lane.
"My goal at the start of last season, before Daytona even started, was to be considered a leader in social media," Keselowski said. "Ironically, the things I had set up to do were not nearly as big of a hit as the things I did not have set up to do. That tells you spontaneity is worth more than anything."
So Keselowski, the reigning Sprint Cup champion, is being careful about what he plans for this year and the expectations that are out there for him to continue paving the way for how drivers interact with fans through social media.
The only thing he's so far signed off on for this season is a promotion between sponsor Miller Lite and Fan Mosaics that kicks off Friday.
The promotion will give legal-drinking-age fans an opportunity to submit their favorite "Miller Time" moment with the best selections featured on the paint scheme of Keselowski's No. 2 Ford at the May 18 All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
As an incentive to participate, Miller Lite will donate $2 per submission up to $22,222 to Keselowski's Checkered Flag Foundation.
Keselowski, who will be tweeting about the promotion through its March 31 end date, thought this was a good fit that brings together the two most important elements of NASCAR.
"I am always looking for new creative things to do that can embrace fans and sponsors, and obviously be authentic and relatable to me," he said. "The biggest challenge we have in this sport right now is that our revenue is based off of two sources: one is sponsors, and two is our fans. So for anything we do, for it to be successful, both of them really need to be happy.
"You can't do things in this sport that only please one party. Putting together a program like this is one of the few opportunities I've been able to find that can satisfy both bases. That's what we need to do as a sport, that's how we are going to move forward as a sport."
www.FanMosaics.com/GetOnThe2 and www.CheckeredFlagFoundation.org