Craig Jackson and Barrett-Jackson Auction Company are well known in the car collector hobby. Today we will take a look at Craig’s biography and history of the company.
As Chairman and CEO of the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company, Craig Jackson has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most respected collector car and restoration experts. Growing up in the family business gave Craig the opportunity to develop the expertise that has helped propel Barrett-Jackson’s evolution into the world’s leading collector car auction and automotive lifestyle event.
During his tenure, Jackson has taken the original Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale to other popular destinations across the United States. He is responsible for managing all aspects of Barrett-Jackson Auction Company’s multi-media empire that serves the collector car industry.
Craig Jackson was raised in the car hobby
Born and raised into the automotive lifestyle, Jackson has grown to be an integral part of the car collecting industry. Following in his father’s footsteps, Jackson has shared his family’s passion and devotion to the automobile market.
In 1971, his father Russ and business partner Tom Barrett founded Barrett-Jackson, which included an automotive repair shop.
Craig soon became involved, and his extensive education on classic car restoration resulted in numerous Best of Show and First Place trophies.
Jackson climbed the corporate ladder and assumed the leadership position in 1995 after the untimely death of his brother, Brian. Since then, he has constantly worked to grow the company. Not only has he helped Barrett-Jackson garner a reputation as being one of the best collector car auctions events in the world, he has also molded the Barrett-Jackson auction week into an automotive lifestyle event filled with hundreds of exotic and unique collectible vehicles from across the globe.
Barrett-Jackson on Speedvision in 1996
When Jackson took over the reins of the company, he had a vision to broadcast collector car auction on national television. He reached out to Speedvision and a deal was struck in 1996.
For the first time, enthusiasts experienced the thrill of a Barrett-Jackson auction from the comfort of their living rooms. From that moment on, it was full speed ahead as coverage continued on SPEED Channel, which later became FOX Sports.
In 2015, they launched a new television partnership with the television networks of Discovery Communications, Inc. This marked another milestone in the auction company’s history, with coverage on Discovery and Velocity setting several rating records.
Barrett-Jackson was even broadcast in Spanish!
For the first time ever in collector car auction history, live coverage of Barrett-Jackson was broadcast in Spanish on Discovery Channel and Discovery Turbo throughout Latin America, and on Discovery en Español to Spanish-speaking viewers in the United States.
Through his impeccable attention to detail and with a reputation as a rare visionary in the car collector market, Jackson has been able to provide first-class information about the collector car hobby. Jackson not only serves as an advisor to many notable collectors and celebrities, most of whom attend Barrett-Jackson’s events each year, but has also garnered international attention.
Through Jackson’s role as CEO, Barrett-Jackson events have been covered by notable media outlets, such as Forbes, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NBC Nightly News, Motor Trend and Autoweek. He has also appeared as an automotive expert and correspondent on Bloomberg Television, CNN and SPEED.
Jackson’s Commitment to Charity
Jackson’s strong commitment to philanthropy has resulted in raising over $118 million since Barrett-Jackson’s first car auction, with $9.6 million generated at the 2019 Scottsdale Auction alone. The funds raised in 2019 included Jackson’s $1.1 million purchase of a 2020 Ford Shelby GT500 VIN 001 to benefit JDRF.
He has received numerous awards for his contributions, which include the Innovation Techanthropic Award, presented to him by The Arizona Technology Council and NPower, and the prestigious Men of Character Award by the Phoenix Theatre in October 2007. Carolyn and Craig Jackson also were grateful to receive the Pope Humanitarian Award from the Phoenix Theatre in 2016, as well as the Childhelp Spirit of the Children Award in 2018.
Jackson’s generosity has also earned the company numerous accolades, including the Sterling Award for Small Business from the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce, which honors excellence, innovation and local stewardship within the business community.
In 2009, Craig launched the Barrett-Jackson Cancer Research Fund at TGen in Memory of Russ and Brian Jackson, which to date has brought in more than $2 million.
Jackson has been named twice to Motor Trend’s Top 50 Power List in the automotive industry. He has also captured the coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Business Services category in the Arizona/Orange County region. This award is presented annually to business leaders whose integrity, hard work and perseverance create and sustain successful, growing enterprises.
Craig Jackson’s dedication to the success and traditions of his family-owned company illustrates true loyalty to family values, hobbyists and the collector car enthusiasts around the globe that have made Barrett-Jackson a world-class automotive lifestyle event.
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