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Special Project

Special Project
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

Sha'Carri Richardson & Kanye West for Beats Studio Buds

Finalist in Instagram Partnership

Entered in Real Time Response


Sha’Carri Richardson captured the world’s attention with her record-breaking 100-meter dash. But as quickly as fans fell in love with her, a mistake off the track appeared to overshadow everything she had worked for.

The objective of this campaign was to provide a platform for an undeniable talent to own her narrative and produce a compelling piece that showcased the humanity in adversity. It is in Beats' DNA to champion the underdog; and when other brands shied away from Richardson, Beats ran toward the track star and created space for her to finish what she started—a race of her own.

Strategy and Execution

To celebrate the launch of Beats Studio Buds, the brand’s first true wireless earbuds, this timely spot showcased an optimistic Sha’Carri Richardson training for the next chapter of her journey. Although the track star is seen wearing the earbuds, product takes a backseat to allow Richardson to shine. The campaign's slogan, “Live Your Truth,” is an ode to Richardson’s courage to stand in accountability amid controversy.

Notably, Beats enlisted Grammy-winning artist Kanye West to score and edit the ad. The soundtrack featured one of West’s latest tracks appropriately titled “No Child Left Behind,” which was unreleased at the time of the campaign launch. The stunning cinematography, coupled with West’s chilling vocals, also served as the official announcement of the highly anticipated “DONDA” album release date.

The amalgamation of these elements would yield a unique opportunity to cultivate a culturally-relevant phenomenon in the sports and music worlds. Complex exclusively broke the news about the ad prior to launch, reigniting fans' excitement for both Sha'Carri Richardson's comeback and Kanye West's new album.


The spot premiered during Game 6 of the NBA Finals, setting social media ablaze. It went unequivocally viral, garnering over 28 million earned views across all social platforms (plus an additional 8 million views on Instagram Stories), and became the No. 1 trending video on YouTube and Twitter.

Notable talent reshared the video in support including Kanye West, LeBron James, Chloe Bailey, Justine Skye, Dak Prescott, Bubba Wallace, and more. Consumer and trade press positively covered the news across an impressive 200+ articles including The Shade Room, Billboard, Complex, People, Elle, TODAY Show, Variety, Fast Company, and New York Post.

On Beats’ channels, it ranked as the most commented and shared Instagram post and most viewed tweet of 2021.


Video for Sha'Carri Richardson & Kanye West for Beats Studio Buds

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