Student Wins National Prize in Marketing from TMCF

News Date
ASU Student Celeste Thedford TMCF winner 2022_0.jpg

ASU junior, Celeste Thedford (contributed).

ASU Student on Top National Team of Thurgood Marshall College Fund's USA Marketing ‘Pitch’ Prize! 

By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 

An Alabama State University student is a member of the team that was awarded the Thurgood Marshall College Fund's (TMCF) top national prize in marketing. The prize is titled, "The Legacy of Leadership Pitch Competition." 

Celeste Thedford, an ASU Marketing major, is a member of the TMCF team that placed first nationwide for designing the best marketing format/campaign “pitch” for the existing Creme of Nature product. In the marketing world, a “pitch” is the manner/rhetoric that one conceptualizes and uses to convince a person to remember or purchase a product or service. Thedford's team was tasked with conceptualizing a promotional idea for a real-life product (Creme of Nature) without using any of its existing pitches or marketing ideas. The junior from Shreveport, La. took home the accolades of being on the first-place team and of pocketing the first-place monetary prize of a $2,500 scholarship. 

"It feels great to win and to be selected as a member of the number-one winning marketing team in all of America by the professionals at Thurgood Marshall. It is an amazing feat for me, personally," Thedford said by phone. "The contest lasted three days and our team planned-out an effective re-branding marketing plan for Creme of Nature, which is a hair product and part of a very successful natural-care line of products." 


Thedford says a large part of her success is due to the training and education she has received as a student at ASU. 

"Alabama State has prepared me by teaching me about how to best and honesty promote and project the best parts of a product and how to brand it in such a way as to help it successfully reach, be remembered and be purchased by consumers," Thedford stated. "Winning this shows that I have 'promise' and expertise in my professional craft of marketing, and it will hopefully open doors to new opportunities, which will help me excel in my future marketing career." 


The University's TMCF liaison explained that one of the organization’s goals for its partnership with ASU is to help students succeed in winning national awards and to assist them in obtaining gainful employment upon graduation. 

"This honor shows that ASU not only has a talented student body, but a competitive student body with Ms.Thedford being a member of the team that won this  honor from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund," said Dr. Sabrina L. Crowder, campus liaison for TMCF and director of ASU's Career Services. "It also showcases that our degree programs are preparing career professionals like Ms. Thedford, who can leverage their learned knowledge from ASU into opportunities that will change their career trajectory forever in a positive way." 


Thedford has definite ideas of how she wishes to leverage her win with TMCF and her future marketing degree from ASU.

"Because of the great education that I am receiving at Alabama State University, I am certain it will continue to advance me with good internships now and great career opportunities in marketing upon my graduation," Thedford said. "My main immediate goal is getting an internship with NIKE or a similar Fortune-500 brand, which will hopefully turn into a permanent career as a member of its design or marketing team."


The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is the largest organization exclusively representing Historical Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs) in the United States.  TMCF provides scholarships, capacity building, research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships to assist students to be competitive career professionals. It also serves as a primary source for employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and job opportunities.  

News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.