Stetson Graduate Student Receives Rod Campbell Award

Cedric Burkhardt

Stetson University School of Business Administration graduate student, Cedric Burkhardt, is the first recipient of the inaugural Rod Campbell Award. The recognition includes a paid summer apprenticeship in the motorsport industry.

Burkhardt has been an auto racing fan since he was a child and plans to pursue a business career in motorsports. The Rod Campbell Award will provide him with an opportunity to get one step closer to achieving his goal.

“I was overjoyed when I found out that I’m the recipient of the Rod Campbell Award,” said Burkhardt, who received his Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing and professional sales from Stetson last year, and is pursuing his MBA now. “I hope to gain a well-rounded understanding of the motorsports business during my summer apprenticeship.”

Campbell, the award’s namesake, was a motorsport marketing pioneer who passed away in March 2020.

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John Riggs, DBA

“As the recipient of this prestigious recognition, Cedric will be an incredible asset to the motorsport industry and companies he will be working with this summer,” said John Riggs, DBA, director of the Centurion Sales Program. “I have had the pleasure of mentoring and working with him during both his academic and early professional career, and look forward to seeing him become a successful young executive.”

The School of Business Administration and its internships provided Burkhardt with invaluable experience. His 2018 summer internship included working in Mazda Motorsports’ operations and business development department, and traveling to races.

He returned to Mazda Motorsports in 2019 and worked for its creative agency The Garage Team Mazda in Costa Mesa, California, where he learned about the advertising and marketing side of the business, during his second summer internship.

“The School of Business Administration taught me how to communicate effectively and build relationships, which are crucial aspects of working in motorsports,” said Burkhardt. “I would not be where I am today without the assistance and mentorship of Dr. Riggs and Professor James Fyles, who helped me overcome my shyness and become confident when communicating with organization leaders while pursuing a motorsports career.”

Logos for Stetson and NASCARBurkhardt also is a Stetson Centurion Sales Program delegate at NASCAR. He is credited for securing the collaborative initiative, which provides Stetson with an opportunity to be a NASCAR collegiate sales partner and part of the company’s NASCAR University. The program allows students to join NASCAR’s Group Sales Department team during race events and gain experience in ticket sales.

During his career, Campbell had an opportunity to promote the Canadian-American Challenge Cup sports car racing series, Formula One international auto racing and Ford Motor Company. He also launched the motorsports communications company Campbell and Company in Dearborn, Michigan.

Campbell’s protégés, who include Sean Jones, Townsend Bell, Jeff Swoboda, Jason Campbell, David Scheinberg, Steve Madincea, Chris Lencheski and Paul Pfanner, wanted to honor him by giving back and mentoring the next generation of motorsports businessmen with a paid summer apprenticeship.

Burkhardt will spend four to six weeks this summer working with 7R Events, Bryan Herta Autosport, Fantastec, Phoenicia Sports & Entertainment, Racer Media & Marketing and Short Shoot TV, and during races and the virtual Canadian International AutoShow.

-Sandra Carr