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November 27, 2023

Toyota’s United by Opportunity widens lens for up-and-coming racing photographers


Bell, Reddick drive at Watkins Glen
Xinyi Qin
Ithaca College

A career in the sports industry doesn’t mean just competing as an athlete. There are opportunities aplenty to be around your favorite sport, and one of them happens to be photography.

Toyota’s United by Opportunity program is trying to find the next generation of motorsports photographers to support the growth of the racing community. The program was created with the goal of providing college students with exposure to a potential career path in the sports industry while simultaneously supporting a diverse and inclusive future for motorsports.

“When I think of sports, I think of sticks and balls and athletes, I never thought of me being able to do what I love (photography) as part of (racing),” said Joshua Knox, a student attending Arizona State University.

Throughout the 2023 season, United by Opportunity deployed at seven events across NASCAR, NHRA and Formula Drift, including NASCAR Championship Weekend at Phoenix Raceway.

Denny Hamlin drives at Phoenix

Joshua Knox | Arizona State University

Toyota Racing partnered with educational institutions in local racing communities to highlight their up-and-coming photography students and spark their passion for creativity and the thrill of racing through program elements at and away from the track. With on-site experience and mentoring sessions, the students became part of the Toyota Racing team.

“Toyota Racing is constantly searching for new ways to bring a wider audience into motorsports, and the United by Opportunity program has become a prime example of that commitment,” said Paul Doleshal, group manager, motorsports, Toyota Motor North America. “A major thank you to our entire team for identifying and creating this avenue for more people to get involved in our sport. I’m excited to see where we can take it in Year 2.”

Bubba Wallace on pit road

Joshua Knox | Arizona State University

Besides Arizona State, Belmont University, Ithaca College, University of Colorado-Denver, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of Washington and University of Las Vegas, Nevada also participated in the UBO program.

United by Opportunity will return in 2024, expanding its core outside of photography, and will continue to grow the next generation of motorsports professionals.

“The first year of United by Opportunity was a resounding success, and we couldn’t be prouder of the results,” said Mike Pricer, manager, motorsports marketing at Toyota Motor North America. “Each of our participants was a pleasure to work with, bringing enthusiasm and a zest for knowledge to the race track while receiving the experience of a lifetime. We look forward to exposing more students and young people to the world of motorsports through United by Opportunity next season.”

See below for photos from the students who took part in the United by Opportunity program this year.

Nashville scoreboard

Jolie Adams | Belmont University

Hamlin drives

Miranda Musgrave | Belmont University

Bubba Wallace greets fans

Angel James | Ithaca College

Nashville racing

Miranda Musgrave | Belmont University

Ty Gibbs drives at Watkins Glen

Angel James | Ithaca College

Denny Hamlin at Roval

Brooke Buchanan | University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Reddick helmet

Miranda Musgrave | Belmont University

General view of Nashville

Sam Skelton | Belmont University

Black and white photo of fans

Angel James | Ithaca College

Tires at Watkins Glen

Xinyi Qin | Ithaca College

Pace laps at Watkins Glen

Xinyi Qin | Ithaca College

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