Life is not a pony farm. Especially not as a father and certainly not when your own child expects you to deal with it. That you become a pony yourself and crawl through the room on all fours while you’re really just looking forward to the weekend. Finally child free! Finally Bundesliga!

This is roughly how the sports show imagines life as a football-loving father. At least that’s the impression given by the latest advertising campaign for the men’s Bundesliga, which starts on August 5th. On a poster next to the heads of Sané and Co in capital letters: “Wednesday: Your daughter’s pony party. With you as a pony. Look forward to Saturday.”

The poster is part of a larger advertising campaign with which the sports show wants to improve its ratings. Because the show lost 17 percent of its viewers last season compared to the previous season and now apparently feels compelled to remind football fans what they have in the sports show despite the championship being decided early on.

A poster reads: “Thursday: start of vacation. At 30 degrees. At the end of the traffic jam. Look forward to Saturday”. And on another: “Friday: City trip. you in Paris Your suitcase in Prague. Look forward to the weekend.” Annoying everyday situations are contrasted with the glimmer of hope in the Bundesliga.

In the case of pony riding, it is childcare. In this respect, the reaction of the sports show to the criticism on social media is not very convincing. “We don’t understand why the mother can’t look forward to the sports show with her daughter after the pony party?!” it said. “Parents of all genders are addressed here.”

Of course, that’s true linguistically – “you” is first of all gender-neutral. Nevertheless, dealing with the daughter is portrayed as stressful and annoying and sexist clichés are served along the way. Some will chuckle at the thought of a dad crawling across the floor in exasperation and whinnying.

But is that also the case when imagining a mother? Aren’t societal demands still very high on women, who do most of the caring work? And aren’t mothers who don’t conform to these ideas judged much more quickly?

The sports show reveals a lot about its own target group with the advertising campaign. It is questionable whether the ratings will increase as a result. In any case, football-mad parents who are not interested in clichés will hardly be convinced. They prefer to switch over to channels like Sport1 – that’s where the women’s Bundesliga is on.