Cannes Lions

Racism: The Virus of Structural Inequality


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In football, cases of racial discrimination against athletes and fans continue to grow. According to the Observatory of Racial Discrimination in Football, there was a 70% increase in occurrences in Brazil between 2018 and 2019, when 150 cases were recorded. Among the sports evaluated in the country, football concentrates 90% of cases of discrimination, two thirds of them due to racism.

Racism also kills and causes damages to health. In 2018, 45,000 blacks had their lives interrupted in Brazil, according to the 2020 Atlas of Violence. And the chance of suicide and developing depression is 50% and 45% higher among black male youths and adolescents, respectively.

In this context, Centrum and Botafogo started an innovative campaign aimed at driving the attention of a hugely popular sports to this big challenge. That’s a long and necessary path, since although 84% of Brazilians claim to perceive racism, only 4% admit being racist.


The campaign "Racism: The Virus of Structural Inequality” increased awareness around racial discrimination and strengthened Centrum brand through a conceptual and impactful communication action.

With this objective, the campaign transformed the traditional stripes of Botafogo’s shirt into graphics, bringing shocking, impactful data and making the shirt mostly white. It showed how the prejudice is clear in an unequal country.

Important data displayed in the shirt reinforced the campaign’s messages:

Stripe 1 (white): Only 27% of the richest are blacks

Stripe 2 (black): 61% of femicide victims are black women

Stripe 3 (white): Blacks are only 10% of students in the 20 best schools in Brazil

Stripe 4 (black): 56% of the Brazilian population are black people

Stripe 5 (white): Only 18% of doctors are black

Stripe 6 (black): 75% of homicide victims are black

Stripe 7 (white): Only 27% of medical students are black


Explore the large impact and reach of Brazilian football, the most popular sport in the country, with a potential to reach more than 150 millions of fans nationwide (according to the most recent data of Pluri Consultoria), to promote a conceptual, impactful communication action around Brazil’s Black Conscious Day and the fight against racism in sports.

Transmit to people through an innovative, unprecedented way that racial discrimination is not limited to social, educational or public safety issues. Racism can also damage immunity and generate other harm to the black population, leading to several damages to health and even death.


1. Botafogo’s shirt against racism:

Special shirt to reinforce messages of Brazil’s Black Consciousness Day. Nov 20-30, 2021. 1,885 organic social media posts in Brazil, 85 stories published and aired by press

2. Auction of the shirt against racism:

Antiracism uniforms were auctioned by MatchWornShirt, with 4.489 euros fully reverted to Observatory of Racial Discrimination in Football. Nov 21 to December 10, 2021. 9 organic social media posts (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) published by Botafogo and Centrum

3. Special content:

Social media organic content published by Centrum and Botafogo, using hashtags #RacismoÉCrime, #CombataEssaDoença and #AsCoresDaIgualdade. Nov 19-24, 2021. Published at Instagram (10), Facebook (1) and Twitter (2) by Botafogo and Centrum

Distribution of antiracism awareness kits to digital influencers, including a video testimony by Mr. Altair Lira, activist in the field of health for the black population. Nov 22, 2021 to Feb 15, 2022. 9 Instagram stories


85 stories published in Brazilian press

5,45 MM estimated valuation in Brazilian press (BRL)

40 MM+ people impacted by the campaign

150 MM+ brand impressions

20% base growth in Centrum's social media

2.5 MM+ impressions on Botafogo's social media, with approximately 10% of engagement rate

1,885 organic posts generated by users in social media (98% in Twitter, 1,67% in Instagram and 0,33% in Facebook)

Sales/business targets: the main purpose of the campaign wasn’t increasing sales, but mostly focused on brand awareness and the defense of a cause.

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