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Mazda Partners with SPIN, VIBE and Stereogum to Create Official Venue for SXSW® 2017
'Mazda Studio at Empire’ to Become Go-To Venue for Creative Experiences and Music Showcases

IRVINE, Calif. (March 2, 2017) – Driving its way into downtown Austin, Mazda will once again take over South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference and Festivals as the Official Automobile Sponsor. Converging on the city from March 10-19 with a complimentary ride service, activities at the outdoor stage and a first-of-its-kind Mazda-owned, official SXSW venue, Mazda hopes to reach SXSW guests who are there to learn more about brands that continue to break traditional boundaries.

“As we celebrate our third year at SXSW, we’ve developed a collaborative space for those who wish to wander and discover. Those who seek to understand why it’s important to not just drive a car, but to have a passionate driving experience,” said Russell Wager, vice president of marketing for Mazda North American Operations. “Through our previous work with SXSW, we’ve found that attendees of the festival share common passions with our brand, and what better way for us to connect with those people than in a place where they are already seeking new creative outlets and forms of expression?”

From March 14-17, Mazda invites SXSW attendees to explore the brand’s challenger spirit by attending design, technology and innovation downloads at the Mazda Studio at Empire. The studio, which was developed in partnership with The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group’s sites SPIN, VIBE and Stereogum, will feature Mazda designers and brand experts who will host new activities each day, along with live performances from many of SXSW’s brightest emerging and established artists.The week-long activation will lead guests on a journey from the foundation of why Mazda exists, to the evolution of where Mazda seeks to position themselves as a brand in the future. Attendees will discover why Mazda continues to push itself to be more than a car company, by getting involved and experiencing Mazda’s innovation downloads and artistry process first-hand, in a creative atmosphere that only SXSW can deliver.

At night, the venue will transform into a music hot spot for official SXSW showcases featuring well-known talent as well as those on the verge of breaking into the industry. Building on Mazda’s never-stop-challenging spirit, the venue will give less-known musicians an avenue to share their passion and unique approach to an established art form. Evening music showcases will be powered by SPIN, VIBE, and Stereogum, and will set the stage for an environment that brings together the most creative minds, with the highest level of passion, ultimately building an experience that can only be achieved in this high-energy, collaborative setting.

Additional information on all of Mazda’s activations at SXSW 2017 will be detailed at and will include:

Mazda Lounge – Austin Convention Center (ACC)

March 9, 1 – 6 p.m. and March 10-18, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Visitors to the ACC can get inspired and stay connected at the Mazda Lounge. Charging stations will help SXSW attendees stay connected with the rest of the lounge elements serving as inspiration for the festival. Mazda Express registrations are available at the Mazda Lounge.

Mazda Express

March 10-18, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. daily

Registered Mazda Express attendees can get around Austin in style, thanks to the Mazda Express complimentary ride service. The all-new 2017 Mazda CX-5, as well as the entire Mazda vehicle lineup, will be on hand to help shuttle attendees through the city. Attendees can register for the service at the Mazda Lounge at the ACC or by visiting

 Mazda Studio at Empire

March 13, 7 p.m. – 2 a.m. and March 14-17, 12 – 5 p.m., 7 p.m. – 2 a.m.

Living, breathing art studio by day, music showcase hot spot by night—the Mazda Studio at Empire is Mazda’s first owned home base since partnering with SXSW in 2015. Daytime activities will allow attendees to experience Mazda’s artistry process firsthand The Mazda Studio at Empire will host daytime concerts and official evening showcases featuring the best and brightest talent at SXSW presented by SPIN, VIBE and Stereogum. Through the design and innovation downloads, SXSW guests will learn why building a car that is engaging to drive is more than just a business proposition.

SXSW Outdoor Stage at Lady Bird Lake

March 16-17, 5 – 10 p.m. and March 18, 1 – 10 p.m.

SXSW attendees can find Mazda by the popular SXSW “selfie sign” where festival goers can silkscreen a t-shirt with designs by local artists. Make sure to stop by for other surprises.

The partnership with SXSW and The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group was developed and designed in partnership with Mazda’s creative partner, WPP’s Garage Team Mazda, and spans various marketing activations including experiential, editorial/native, social and digital media.

For more information on Mazda activities during SXSW 2017, visit Mazda’s interactive website at and join the social conversation by following Mazda on Facebook or Twitter, using #MazdaSXSW.

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, California, and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through more than 600 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at

SXSW dedicates itself to helping creative people achieve their goals. Founded in 1987 in Austin, TX, SXSW is best known for its conference and festivals that celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries. The event, an essential destination for global professionals, features conference programming, showcases, screenings, exhibitions, and a variety of networking opportunities. SXSW proves that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. SXSW 2017 will take place March 10-19, 2017.

Billboard is the world’s most influential music brand, built on the most complete and well-respected database of charts across all music genres. The Billboard charts define success in music. From the iconic Billboard magazine to, the ultimate consumer-facing destination for millions of passionate music fans, to the industry’s most elite conference series and influencer events including the Power 100 and Women in Music – the Billboard brand has unmatched authority among fans, artists and the industry alike. Billboard has a social media footprint of 14.8 million social followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Billboard magazine has published major news-generating covers recently including Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony, Justin Bieber, an open letter to Congress signed by 180+ of the music industry’s biggest stars and executives. In December 2016, the Billboard Women in Music ceremony, which honored Madonna as Woman of the Year, was presented to a mass audience via Lifetime, the exclusive broadcast partner.

The Hollywood Reporter is the entertainment industry’s flagship media brand. With in-depth reporting, analysis, unprecedented access, world-class photography and video, and feature exclusives, The Hollywood Reporter is the definitive source for breaking entertainment and business news. THR won a 2016 Webby Award for best online film and video in the entertainment category and the American Society of Magazine Editors National Magazine Award for General Excellence in the Special Interest category in 2015 and 2016 in addition to a 2015 and 2016 ASME National Magazine Award nomination for Magazine of the Year and a Gerald Loeb Award nomination for its Studio Chiefs Roundtable. Additionally, the brand took home 10 SoCal journalism awards in 2015 and seven in 2016, including Entertainment Journalist of the Year. In 2014, The Hollywood Reporter staff won Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards for The Hollywood Reporter in Focus: The Wolf of Wall Street. The Hollywood Reporter and SundanceTV partner to co- produce and broadcast “Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter,” an original non-fiction series featuring panels with potential Emmy and Oscar nominees. In June 2016, The Hollywood Reporter launched a new feature, the THR 100, ranking the 100 most powerful people in Hollywood. THR’s platforms include an award-winning weekly magazine, dynamic web and mobile sites, a huge social media footprint, and glittery year-round events.

In 2016, The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group acquired SpinMedia’s storied music assets Spin, Vibe, and Stereogum, establishing the world’s largest music brand by digital traffic, social reach, and audience share. Combined entity of music and entertainment properties now reaches 45 million unique visitors and one in every three U.S. millennials.

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