New Balance reveals what keeps Jaden Smith and Olympian Sydney McLaughlin going

Friends and family are the focus in the shoe brand's latest campaign

Published On
Jul 25, 2019

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When she was just 16 years old, Sydney McLaughlin competed in the 400m hurdles at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She set an NCAA and SEC record in the event last year, and went pro in October. Now she’s preparing for the U.S. track and field championships this week, and she’s a favorite for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

To handle the pressure, she relies on a cadre of close friends and family, profiled as part of New Balance’s “Runs in the Family” campaign. Between training sessions, she hangs out with her best friend since childhood, learns from her coach—2004 Olympic 100m hurdles gold medalist Joanna Hayes—and leans on her mother, herself a former runner.

McLaughlin’s spot is from L.A.-based agency and production company Rec League, which was opened last year by veterans of ESPN and 72andSunny. A spot in the campaign from Carousel features Jaden Smith, son of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, and focuses on the young musician and actor’s creative vision as he begins to make a name for himself.