Cannes Lions

83 Futures



1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Supporting Images






In the United States, the current waiting list for an organ transplant is 113,000 lives long, and 10 people get added every minute. These are men, women and children in desperate need of a lifesaving organ. At the same time, young men register to be organ donors at the lowest rate of any group, which represent a huge missed opportunity. And while they won’t take 5 minutes to register, they will wait for hours or days for the latest sneaker or streetwear drop.


To get young men as excited about registering to be organ donors as they get about the latest sneaker or streetwear drop, we created a new streetwear brand called 83 Futures — so named because just one donor can save and heal 83 lives. But the only way to get our drops is to register to become an organ donor, making it the most exclusive streetwear brand in the world. You have to literally give your organs for our products. We did collaborations with 10 well-established streetwear brands like Staple, Primitive and Skull Candy, and partnered with well-know personalities like legendary rapper Freeway, himself an organ recipient, to draw even more attention and credibility to our new, life-saving brand.


Donate Life’s mission: register as many organ donors to help save lives as possible. And, in this case, change the organ donor imbalance.

Our mandate: connect with multicultural communities in priority cities through a common thread—an obsession with streetwear and sneakers.

Fostering partnerships transcending celebrity is no easy task for an unknown, nonprofit brand. The myths and fears around organ donation are pervasive. The ambassadors and facilitators had to be prepared for: “Are you telling me my father lied about this?” The intentionality behind every partner to carry the weight of truth with sincerity and credibility was paramount.

In addition to Donate Life’s network of organ recipient ambassadors—we partnered with BJ The Chicago Kid (who openly talked about his fears around organ donation); former NFL player and organ recipient, Bobby Howard; and Philly hip hop artist and organ recipient, Freeway, to provide in-depth conversations based on lived experiences.


We launched our life-saving streetwear brand at ComplexCon — the biggest streetwear festival in the world. We created every element of the 83 Futures brand from the ground up, starting with the name which represents the 83 lives that a registered organ donor can save or heal. We also designed the logo, color scheme, several pieces of 83 Futures exclusive clothing, and then worked with well-known streetwear brands and artists to design collab products, including limited-edition t-shirts, hoodies, duffel bags, headphones, jewell-covered pill bottles, hats, and one-of-one sneakers made from shoes donated by celebrities. We designed our booth at ComplexCon including a life-sized, fully-functioning game of Operation along with 83 custom organ donator coolers. And we created shopping bags that read “I gave my heart for this” so newly registered donors could proudly spread the message, encouraging others to register.


In 36 hours at ComplexCon we were able to register over 300 new donors, potentially affecting over 25,000 lives. We also exposed the idea of organ donor registration to over 90,000 visitors at ComplexCon in an unexpected and surprising way. We also sparked a flurry of social conversations, including features on the Complex Media social channels alongside the world’s top streetwear brands, and achieved press coverage in the likes of Source Magazine, Hip Hop Vibe, Maekan, LA Canvas, Black Girl Nerds Podcast and others, further exposing the idea of registering to be an organ donor to a group that hadn’t considered it previously.

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