Press Room


Share this Post

After the successful launch of the Rod Campbell Award in March of 2021, and the continuation of the program in 2022, the popular program returns for the third consecutive year in 2023. With the application process now open, the 2023 Rod Campbell Award Winner will receive six to eight weeks of paid apprenticeship work with a variety of motorsports entities run by Rod’s protégés and a hopeful career in the world of motorsports similar to 2021 recipient, Cedric Burkhardt and 2022 winner AJ Abate.

“To continue the Rod Campbell Award in his legacy and honor is exciting, and I can’t wait to begin receiving the 2023 applications,” expressed motorsports executive Jeff Swoboda. “Recipients from the past two years earned a wealth of knowledge and experience and are now employed in the motorsports industry. Applicants need to be in the ages of 18-23 with an aspiration to work in the motorsports/mobility fields of marketing, public relations, sponsorship, or business development.”

The 2021 Rod Campbell Award winner, Cedric Burkhardt, secured a position managing Topcon’s Motorsports Marketing program. The 2022 winner, AJ Abate gained the necessary experience to land a position at Andretti Steinbrenner Racing as both Burkhardt and Abate have ties to drivers and teams within the NTT INDYCAR Series. Rubbing elbows with some of the industry’s top players, the Rod Campbell Award opened many doors and contacts for Burkhardt in 2021, and now Abate in 2022.

“This past winter my brother Michael and I were scouring the internet for ways for me to begin my career in motorsports when he made the astute observation that racing is in fact a rather difficult industry to break into,” expressed 2022 award winner AJ Abate. “Luckily, a few weeks later I discovered the Rod Campbell Award, a program that provides young people with a truly unique summer experience that has essentially become a “golden ticket” to launch their careers, including my own. This year I received an unparalleled education in so many different aspects of the industry. Steve Madincea taught me so much about NFTs, a whole new concept I initially knew nothing about, as well as the expansive world of Formula 1. I was able to spend a weekend with Townsend Bell and NBC Sports where I gained a whole new appreciation for the effort that goes into every broadcast as well as the cooperation between NBC and INDYCAR’s competitors. Sean Jones was gracious enough to welcome me to Steinbrenner Racing and Bryan Herta Autosport at the track where I began learning about the broader concepts of sponsorship in racing and what it takes to maintain winning programs at the sport’s highest levels. There is no other program I am aware of that affords those who participate exposure to such a diverse and high-caliber set of individuals.”

Abate continued, “I would not be working in racing today if not for the Rod Campbell Award, but it has provided me with so much more than the start of my career. I have a set of incredible mentors and new amazing people in my life that are not only deeply interested in my career, but in me as a person. These are the guys that call you after a meeting to see how you’re doing, ask about your family, and wish you a happy holiday. This experience has been truly life-changing for me, and for all these reasons I could not be more excited for the 2023 winner of the Rod Campbell Award and all that’s in store for them.”

With Rod Campbell Award applications now open, the deadline to complete the process is set for February 20, 2023, with a winner announced shortly after that date.



Passing away in March 2020, Rod Campbell left behind a legacy that will be difficult to rival. Not only the success that he achieved personally, but the large number of people that he mentored and launched into their own orbits of business success. A founding group of Sean Jones (7R Events, Bryan Herta Autosport, Steinbrenner Racing), Townsend Bell (NBC Sports, Short Shoot TV), Jeff Swoboda (BHA, Luftgekühlt, Short Shoot), Jason Campbell (Canadian International Auto Show), David Scheinberg (Campbell Marketing & Communications), Steve Madincea (Fantastec), Chris Lencheski (Phoenicia Sport), Jose Matiauda (Interact Automotive), and Paul Pfanner (Racer Media & Communications) hope to continue Rod’s legacy for years to come with the Rod Campbell Award.

Application Process: 
Ages: 18 – 23
Pursuing a career in the fields of automotive or motorsports journalism, public relations, marketing, sales, business development, or sponsorship.

Launch Date:
Award winners picked shortly after the February 20th deadline.

Read more Rod Campbell Bio – Click HERE
Rod Campbell Biography:  Courtesy of
Racing cultivates a lot of self-absorbed people, but it’s the self-made ones from the good old days that are always the most interesting.

Scroll to Top