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TSN Original Favela United: Produced by TSN and TWG

What We’ve Been Working On: Favela United, a TSN Original

Few places in the world are more dangerous than the Favelas in Rio de Janeiro, where most young girls grow up in a culture of drugs and crime. In March 2015, TSN sent a production team to Brazil to document how soccer was impacting the lives of a group of young women living in these neighbourhoods.

Fronted by TSN Senior Correspondent Rick Westhead and produced by Josh Shiaman, Favela United investigates the positive impact of street soccer culture upon girls growing up in extreme poverty in the most dangerous neighbourhoods of Rio de Janeiro, known as favelas. In these urban slums, violent conflict between local police and drug traffickers is a daily occurrence, and children are commonly used as drug runners. Amid the gunfire, girls’ soccer programs offer a glimmer of hope, and an escape from being forced into the drug trade.

Favela United, a TSN Original, produced by TSN and TWG

Produced by TSN and TWG, the Favela United web experience marks TSN’s entry into the world of longform digital storytelling. Combining atmospheric sound, photos and videos with original writing by Rick Westhead, the experience brings the reader into lives of the girls living in the favelas. TWG designed the branding and typography and provided creative direction for the online experience.

The online experience, optimized for desktop viewing, accompanies a full broadcast feature, which premiered on June 13, 2015 as part of TSN’s FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 coverage. Favela United is the latest of a number of collaborative projects between TSN and TWG, including the award-winning TSN Hockey iOS app.

View Favela United

For more information about this project please contact Adrienne Marshall, Business Development Associate:


About TWG

TWG is a Digital Product Studio located in Toronto. We are designers, developers, and business-thinkers with a mission to work with visionary teams and craft remarkable products. We believe in doing right – by our clients and partners, by our community, and by each other.  

About TSN

TSN is Canada’s Sports Leader and #1 specialty network. With a broad portfolio of multimedia sports assets, TSN delivers world-class content across its industry-leading platforms including five national television feeds,, TSN GO, and TSN Radio stations across the country. TSN is a division of Bell Media, which is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company.

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