Despite being extremely talented, women who play football have to work harder on the field to be noticed and attract the financial investments needed to propel their skills to the next level. And even though there has been great advancement in women’s football in recent years, the sport seems to still be considered a men’s activity around the world. The same happens in Brazil where, according to a survey, only 1% of the income of Serie A clubs is planned to go on promoting female soccer teams. And while the women’s teams are struggling with this injustice, their male counterparts continue to be in the spotlight.

Sports brand PUMA plays in the league of equality in sports so, together with BETC HAVAS São Paulo, the company decided to show men that playing soccer as a woman feels very difficult compared to how they have played so far. Aiming to raise awareness about the low investment in women’s football in the country, the brand launches the “Joga Na Subida” campaign (“The UnLevel Playing Field” in English), an initiative that metaphorically reproduces the harsh conditions women in Brazil have to face in order to play soccer.

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To visibly highlight the financial disparities between men’s and women’s football in the country, PUMA created a football pitch that’s not like any other. Inclined at 4.5 degrees and rising more than two meters from one goal to the other, the structure is challenging to play on. At least, this is what we discover from listening to one of the players who experienced the UnLevel Playing Field: “Playing on this climb is not gonna be easy…” he says. The man, alongside other amateur soccer players, was invited by the brand to a match at the venue to witness firsthand the efforts women need to put in to get what they deserve: proper recognition and funding.

“Being a partner of a brand like PUMA, which dares to do an out-of-the-box project like this is a privilege. This idea is the representation of a cause that needs to be looked at with care to really make a change,” comments Marcelo Ribeiro, Creative Director of BETC HAVAS.

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“The surprise of the players when they saw a football field 2 meters high on the highest side was unique, and it got even bigger when we explained the whole context that this was a representation of the difficulty every female athlete goes through,” adds Victor Castelo, Associate Creative Director of the São-Paulo-based agency.

The unlikely field that proves how difficult it is for ladies to play football in Brazil saw the support of player of Corinthians and the Brazilian National team, Tamires Dias, as well. Invited to participate in the experiment — which the footballer described as “amazing” on her Instagram page — Dias believes that now, after having played in difficult conditions, men are more aware of the fact that women footballers are at disadvantage compared to them. The game was recorded and turned into a one-minute-long video, developed to draw the public’s attention to the lack of investment in women’s soccer.


Agency: BETC HAVAS São Paulo

Client: PUMA

Product: #JogaNaSubida (The UnLevel Playing Field)

CCO: Erh Ray

ECD: Andrea Siqueira

Creative Director: Marcelo Ribeiro

Associate Creative Director: Victor Castelo

Creatives: Victor Castelo, Philippe Demar e Guilherme Markert

Integrated Production Director: Anna Luisa Ferraz

Producers: Juliana Arantes, Rafael Paes e Dayane Dantas

Scene director: Luigi Dias

Editor: Arthur Carvalho

Graphic Production: Gilmar Souza, Carlos Valeriano e Marcio Brusaferro

Audio Production: Mission music

Music producer: Gabriel Soster

Account: Luciana Fernandes

Coproduction company: Santeria Filmes

Client approval: Fabio Kadow e Rubia Pria