If you haven’t noticed, WRAL TechWire looks, reads and sounds different in 2018, and it didn’t happen in a vacuum.

Since ending the first leg of a statewide listening tour with entrepreneurs, tech influencers, economic developers and higher educators, the TechWire team launched a new award-winning website, expanded its coverage statewide and launched a new podcast: Tech on Tap. The team has also fostered an Advisory Board and is fortunate to be filling it with innovators and disruptors like Johnson Automotive.

These partners are helping shape and steer WRAL TechWire to go above and beyond for its growing and emerging audience and community.

Going above and beyond is commonplace for Johnson Automotive and is the point of distinction the eight-brand, 10-location family of dealerships is known for. It makes them a perfect partner and advisor.

“Johnson Automotive is honored to be recognized as an innovator and to have this opportunity to partner with WRAL TechWire to contribute to the remarkable growth we are experiencing in the Triangle and all of N.C.,” stated Erick Kirks, marketing director for Johnson Automotive.

In addition to helping shape and steer WRAL TechWire, Johnson Automotive, led by Kirks, will play a key role in the emergence of several new media projects aimed at engaging TechWire’s audience while leveraging the company’s leadership in innovation, disruption and community impact.

Here are a few things in store for this partnership in the coming months:

  • Johnson Automotive will share its thought leadership through sponsored content on WRAL TechWire, and Kirks, whose professional experience includes automotive startups, will begin maintaining his own column as a Face of TechWire representing the Triangle Region.
  • Johnson Automotive will begin a Presenting Sponsorship of WRAL TechWire’s Tech on Tap podcast. Johnson will serve as Tech on Tap’s go-to thought-leader in the automotive space and maintain a quarterly segment touting innovation and disruption in their industry.
  • In celebration of the drop of Lexus x Alexa, the WRAL TechWire and Johnson Automotive teams are collaborating on new ways to engage their respective audiences through the use of Amazon Alexa.
  • Two new digital video specials touting the company’s commitment to innovation, disruption, and community impact are in production and expected to release in late 2018 and early 2019.

North Carolina is home to nearly 300 automotive establishments employing more than 25,000 North Carolinians.

In addition to Johnson Automotive, brands doing business include a litany of innovators and disruptors from tire maker Bridgestone to automotive supplier Denso, who announced a significant investment earlier this year in IoT and automotive cybersecurity.

WRAL TechWire Manager of Strategy and Business Development James Amato said, “Like Johnson Automotive and the automotive industry at large, we’ve learned that innovation and disruption are ties that bind a storied past with a bright future and are excited to drive this point home moving forward.”