Cannes Lions

The Day-After-Women's-Day Newspapers


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´Raparigas da Bola` (English translation: Ball Girls) is an advocacy group that fights to give more visibility to women in sports.

When it comes to sports media coverage, the difference between the coverage that male athletes get and females athletes receive is even more blatant. In Portugal, this gap is even wider.

There are 3 important sport newspapers in Portugal, with huge audiences that predominantly focus on male athletes.

Raparigas da Bola wanted a campaign to raise awareness about the deep-rooted inequity that exists in sports coverage.


With the media spotlight on women on 8th march (International Women’s Day), then what better day than the 9th march to draw attention to the deep-rooted inequity that exists in sports coverage, everyday.

We needed a simple, powerful, and eye-catching execution to turn the news of the day into a tool with which to fight for fairer visibility for female athletes.

That's why we turned the news of 9th, published by the Portugal's top 3 sports newspapers, into 3 infographic publications, highlighting the imbalance of media exposure between men and women in sport.


Simplicity was key to this project: a simple, two-tone, color coding system was used, whereby every column inch of 3 important sports newspapers was digitised and block-coloured based on gender coverage, in order to explicitly highlight the disproportionate media coverage given to male athletes, and in turn, creating infographics that could be used as a tool with which people could fight for fairer visibility for women in sports by just sharing the campaign and joining the movement #WomenAlsoPlay (#ElasTambémJogam).

All the content from Portugal’s 3 most important sports newspapers was condensed into the only data necessary to underscore this inequity: the athletes' gender.

On the morning of the 9th, the newspapers were digitized, then their data was turned into simple shapes like squares and rectangles, allowing readers to quickly and visually identify the difference in coverage given to male and female athletes.


In the early hours of the 9th March we digitized Portugal’s top 3 sports newspapers, replacing text and photos with two-tone block colours, illustrating the imbalance of coverage between male and female athletes. With a color assigned to each gender, the final infographics visually summed up the blatant bias given to male athletes, and in stark contrast to women’s coverage, with only a few squares sparsely dotted about the publications.

In order to get traction on social media, we partnered with 50 athletes who helped to amplify the campaign with their teammates and colleagues, spreading the campaign on social media with the hashtag #ElasTambémJogam (#WomenAlsoPlay).

From just 30 copies of the newspapers, we were able to reach an audience 52x larger than Portugal’s biggest sports newspaper.


With zero investment, including in media, but with a powerful execution, the campaign was able to:

. reach 52x more people than Portugal’s biggest sports newspaper;

. secure participation from more than 150 athletes to help spread the campaign;

. impact more than 32 countries;

. get traction on major news platforms around the globe;

. become the topic of the day on 9th March

. put pressure on sports newspapers to increase coverage of female athletes, reaching around a 100% increase in said coverage just one week after the campaign was run.

As a direct result of the campaign, one of the members of Raparigas da Bola was invited to write about gender equality in Portugal’s biggest sports newspaper.

They also increased the number of followers 5 fold, which led to more sponsors, allowing them to keep up their good work.

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