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Racing 4WARD with Josh Berry

Entered in Long Form Video


Kevin Harvick, our driver of the No. 4, announced he was retiring at the end of the 2023 season. Harvick dominated the last decade of NASCAR Cup Series racing, becoming a NASCAR Champion with Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) and a future hall of famer. This wasn't just any driver retiring; this was our flagship driver. Not only that, but Harvick has a large and loyal fanbase, and he has been critical to our brand identity at SHR both because of his winning ways and his unapologetic personality.

With his retirement announcement, our social and content team at Stewart-Haas Racing had a tall task: announce the racer filling one of the most coveted rides in NASCAR, the No. 4 Ford Mustang. Given Harvick's immense popularity and his integral role in shaping our brand, the announcement was significant on multiple fronts.

First, we wanted to seamlessly transition Harvick's loyal fanbase to embrace the new driver of the No. 4, Josh Berry. We needed to foster a sense of continuity and respect for Harvick's legacy while ushering in a new era with Berry.

Secondly, we wanted to solidify Josh Berry as the right guy for this ride and add credibility to him. Our organization would never get this passing-of-the-torch moment back, and it was crucial that we positioned Berry correctly and fans knew he was their guy.

Finally, just like fans have an emotional connection to Harvick, we wanted to help build an emotional connection to Berry with our fans.


Significant moments in sports, like a driver announcement, are an opportunity to reinforce what your brand stands for. In these moments, sports teams have the attention of their fans, and knowing that, it was important our launch video not only passed the torch the right way but also made sure our creative was unique and ownable for Stewart-Haas Racing. 

From a concept standpoint, our team landed on crafting an emotional letter from Harvick to Berry on why he was the right guy for this ride. The letter focused on the SHR brand DNA of racers and how Berry fits that mold. Having Harvick narrate a letter and focus on how Berry fits SHR was strategic for us. If we wanted to add credibility to Harvick's successor, there was no one better to do it than Harvick himself. And because the letter was written from an emotional lens, it allowed us to facilitate an emotional connection with the new driver to fans. The passing-the-torch moment was necessary for our audience to experience. 

To execute the video, we gave Josh an intimate experience to absorb and reflect on Harvick's message. He read the letter for the first time as iconic moments from Harvick's and Berry's careers flashed on a wall using a projector. Berry got emotional as we created an environment for him that made the passing of the torch moment real. 

We also got creative with our set, which was built entirely by our team. In need of an on-site location to execute our projector idea, we opted for a paint booth in the race shop. The booth is used to paint pieces for the race cars, but after hours, it became our studio. We built a set of trophies, helmets, and branding — all within a couple of hours because this is a working area of our shop. 

One of our biggest challenges with our execution was that Kevin Harvick was out of the country while our announcement plans unfolded and would not return until the night before the announcement was set to go live. Because of that, we had to record a stand-in voiceover until he returned to the US. The morning of the announcement, our team drove to his house to record his voiceover and had to turn around the final edit before 10 am ET, right before the press conference.

The SHR creative team turned around the plan and all content in less than a week, managing the entire production from concept, script writing, set design, shooting, and editing.


Josh Berry's announcement plan, which included graphics, videos, fan engagement, and behind-the-scenes content, set a new benchmark for SHR. In a span of less than 72 hours, our announcement plan earned (numbers provided by Zoomph):

Breaking it down further, the announcement video alone accounted for:

Content around Berry's announcement rivaled Kevin Harvick's retirement announcement. A NASCAR Champion, one of the sport’s 75 Greatest Drivers, and a future Hall of Famer, fans have been invested in Kevin's final send-off. But knowing the future of the No. 4 and SHR is in the hands of Josh Berry resonated just as much. With our strategic decision to have Harvick read a letter to Berry on what he saw in him, we immediately elevated Berry's profile.

Praise on social media came from big names in American motorsports: NASCAR Hall of Famer and SHR Co-Owner Tony Stewart, NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr., & 2x INDYCAR Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner Josef Newgarden. NASCAR on NBC used the video during their NASCAR Cup Series race broadcast, talking about Berry moving up in NASCAR. We tapped into nostalgia with Harvick's pride for the "underdog" and Berry's rise to the Cup Series.

The data show that thoughtful content wins. Intentionality matters a ton when dealing with brand initiatives. By setting goals for the announcement plan, we identified what we wanted fans to take away.


Video for Racing 4WARD with Josh Berry

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Stewart-Haas Racing


Entry Credits