The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

4EVER Kevin Harvick

Entered in Sports


In January 2023, Kevin Harvick, our driver of the No. 4 in the NASCAR Cup Series, announced he would be retiring at the end of the season. Harvick had been our flagship driver at Stewart-Haas Racing, amassing 60 Cup Series race wins (10th on the all-time win list) and the 2014 NASCAR Cup Series Championship. But it's more than Harvick's performance that makes him special.

Harvick came into the sport in unfathomable circumstances, climbing in the car of Dale Earnhardt Sr. after he tragically passed away in the 2001 Daytona 500. He took on pressure most people wouldn't — but he didn't just take it on; he honored Dale Earnhardt respectfully, helped heal a fanbase, and created his own legacy.

Harvick became one of NASCAR's greatest drivers because of his start in the NASCAR Cup Series after Dale Sr passed, his quick success, and his fiery attitude. Harvick was unapologetically himself, even in the toughest circumstances. The future Hall of  Famer has a "once in a lifetime" story. 

Because of Harvick's contribution to our organization and sport as a whole, we wanted to create a fully integrated retirement platform for our social channels that would:

With him driving the No. 4 race car and leaving a mark on the sport, we landed on #4EVER as our campaign platform with this simple idea:

Through it all, Kevin Harvick has been critical to our DNA. His edge. His desire to win. His unapologetic attitude. His racer's way. He 4EVER changed our team and sport

Strategy and Execution

We wanted to ensure we had an organic social media platform for the entire season to dive into all the various stories and memories from Kevin Harvick's career. We landed on 4EVER because it could mold and manifest in different ways. It's simple enough for people to remember and use, yet has endless applications.

Before our team could execute, we met with Harvick to get buy-in. Harvick and his team were crucial in executing the campaign as they had access to the stories and people. Once we had buy-in, there were two critical components to our approach:

First, we wanted to identify themes.
Because going beyond Harvick as a racer was important, our team mapped out tentpole themes for different weeks. The themes included but were not limited to 4EVER a Champion, 4EVER Happy, 4EVER The Closer, 4EVER Dad, 4EVER Friends, 4EVER a Prankster, 4EVER the Cactus King, etc. Each theme was supported by graphics, videos, fan engagement, etc. that matched that weekend’s race or a significant moment in Harvick’s career.

Second, we wanted to tell his story through the voices of others.
We took a unique approach to Harvick's retirement from most sports teams because 4EVER was about more than just his time at Stewart-Haas. Harvick's start in the NASCAR Cup Series molded him into the racer he was for us, so it was important to tell his entire story, and many voices contributed to our campaign from outside our organization. This campaign wasn't about us, but it was about Harvick.

Ultimately, our team published more than 1,200 social media posts supporting the organic campaign, and while we can't go through everything we executed, here are a few highlights:

Retirement Announcement: #4EVER Proud
To announce Harvick's retirement, we wrote a letter from our owner, Tony Stewart, to Harvick on what he had observed from him as a competitor, teammate, boss, and friend. The result was an emotional video about how Harvick had made Tony 4EVER proud.

Supporting content for the retirement announcement included a Harvick Q&A, photos, hero graphics, fan engagements, merchandise, and a video message from Harvick.

Longform Video Series: #4EVER Defining
Harvick was known to keep his inner circle close at times, but those who have gotten to know him, both on and off the track, have a different appreciation for who Harvick is as a person. 

We launched a long-form video series called 4EVER Defining that dove into all sides of Harvick through the eyes of people who know him best. The stories were told through incredible guests, including Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, DeLana Harvick (Harvick's wife), Denny Hamlin, and many more. The 12-episode series tied into our tentpole themes (4EVER a Dad, 4EVER Happy, etc.) to unpack the man behind the visor.

Additional Content:
The retirement announcement and 4EVER Defining series barely scratch the surface of what our team produced. We had a robust content strategy that included but was not limited to:



4EVER became a year-long platform, not just for Stewart-Haas, but for our entire industry. Everyone from the track venues to partners to NASCAR and competitors themselves rallied around the campaign to create an incredible send-off for Kevin Harvick. To us, that was the ultimate goal. Beyond that though, the numbers speak for themselves.

Our retirement announcement content alone generated (numbers provided by Zoomph):

It doesn’t stop with the announcement video! In total, over the course of the 2023 season, our 4EVER campaign resulted in:

When we set out at the start of 2023, we wanted to make sure we did Kevin’s story and career justice and help fans understand all sides of their favorite driver. We did that, but we also created one of the most robust retirement social media campaigns the sports world has seen.



Video for 4EVER Kevin Harvick

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Stewart-Haas Racing


Entry Credits