Today, It’s a Penalty launched its 14th global campaign ahead of Super Bowl LVII focused on harnessing the power of sport to prevent abuse, exploitation and human trafficking.

Through partnerships with Hilton Hotels, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Airbnb, Motel 6, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and many others, the 2023 Super Bowl campaign covers travel touchpoints to educate sports fans and the general public on what classifies as human trafficking and the subsequent penalties tied to those offenses. This year, It’s a Penalty is also excited to partner with Where Hope Lives, a survivor-based organization that serves women in Arizona and provides trauma-informed housing, behavioral health, medical care, education and career services.

It’s a Penalty aims to use large events that bring thousands of people together, such as the Super Bowl, as an opportunity to inform the public on not only how to identify exploitation and human trafficking, but also how to take action and report these breaches of freedom.

THE EXTENT OF THE PROBLEM

  • 1/3 of detected trafficking victims are children (Source: UNODC, 2021)
  • The Polaris National Human Hotline has identified Arizona as the eighteenth highest State for Human Trafficking 2022
  • More than 100,000 children are sold for sex in the U.S. each year (Source: ECPAT-USA)
  • 83% of sex trafficking victims in the U.S. are U.S. citizens (Source: U.S. Department of Justice)
  • 50 million people are trafficked and exploited around the world (Source: ILO, latest Global Estimates of Modern Slavery)

“The It’s a Penalty campaign, along with our partners, will help to prevent human trafficking and exploitation in the run up to and during Super Bowl LVII, contributing toward a positive legacy in the host city of Phoenix and beyond,” said Sarah de Carvalho, CEO, It’s A Penalty. “We know from previous campaigns just how impactful they can be. Last year, our largest campaign ran during the Super Bowl in Los Angeles, which reported that 96% of people felt improved awareness of the issues of human trafficking and exploitation, and more equipped to make a report after being exposed to the It’s a Penalty campaign.”

HIGH PROFILE AMBASSADORS

It’s A Penalty is proud to announce its 2023 Ambassadors to help deliver campaign messaging:

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Lois Cook, D.C. Divas
Markus Golden, Arizona Cardinals
Collette V. Smith, NFL’s 1st Black female coach in history
Chris Godwin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Andy Dalton, New Orleans Saints
Chatarius Tutu Atwell, Los Angeles Rams
Nick Foles, Indianapolis Colts
Tynequia Roberts, Tampa Bay Inferno
Chante Bonds, Boston Renegades

These high-profile athletes lend their voice to help raise awareness via a 30-second campaign film shown in-flight by American Airlines and Southwest Airlines as well as 52 American Airline lounges, with a potential to reach up to 10 million national and international passengers in January and February. If viewers suspect they’ve encountered a case of human trafficking, or if they see a combination of the signs of exploitation, the campaign film encourages them to call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 to make a report or send an anonymous tip by texting ‘BE FREE’ to 233733.

ADDITIONAL CAMPAIGN ACTIVITIES – Focused on education and awareness at travel touchpoints:

  • Awareness Kits / Volunteer Event with Where Hope Lives: On January 24th, It’s a Penalty staff alongside volunteers from Where Hope Lives will create hundreds of awareness kits for local hotels containing all campaign materials to educate guests and employees. These tangible and digital kits include posters featuring the NFL Ambassadors with human trafficking ‘signs to look out for’ and the National Human Trafficking Hotline for front and back of house; business cards with the signs and hotline information; wristbands with hotline information; and a list of missing children from the last two years in the Phoenix area from our partners, NCMEC (National Centre for Missing & Exploited Children). It’s a Penalty will distribute the awareness kits through partnerships with Hilton Hotels, Motel 6, IHG Hotels & Resorts, and Airbnb.
  • Campaign Press Launch: On January 25th, It’s a Penalty will host a press launch with its partners from the travel & tourism industry, the sports industry, local law enforcement and local government, NGO’s and a human trafficking survivor, to discuss efforts to battle human trafficking leading up to the Super Bowl, hosted in collaboration with Hilton and the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.
  • Training Events: On January 25th and 26th, It’s a Penalty will participate in informational outreach and training events with Hilton Hotels staff, Airbnb hosts, and Southwest Airlines Phoenix employees. Each session will educate attendees and provide them with materials and resources including NCMEC’s list of missing children in Phoenix, signs on how to spot human trafficking, and methods to report.
  • Stop Traffic Walk: On January 28th, It’s A Penalty will participate in the Stop Traffic Walk in Phoenix, which raises funds for the nation’s largest human trafficking rescue & rehabilitation operation at the Phoenix Dream Center and StreetLightUSA. It’s a Penalty will have a booth to share its educational campaign materials and will speak at the event to a potential 5,000 people.

“Hilton has always operated under the belief that hospitality can and should be a force for good. Respecting human rights is core to Hilton’s purpose and an important part of our efforts to drive responsible travel,” said Erica Gordon, Global Head of Public Affairs and ESG, Hilton and President, Hilton Global Foundation. “Through our recent support of the American Hotel and Lodging Foundation (AHLA Foundation) No Room for Trafficking’s Survivor Fund and our continued partnership with It’s a Penalty, Hilton is proud to stand with our peers to raise awareness and support our industry’s efforts to combat human trafficking.”

“IHG’s partnership with It’s A Penalty and our ongoing industry-wide collaborations against human trafficking underscore our deep commitment to fighting this terrible crime,” said Elie Maalouf, CEO, Americas, IHG Hotels & Resorts. “We’re empowering our colleagues with the training, resources and support they need to help identify and prevent human trafficking on every level – not just in February, but all year long.”

“It’s a Penalty continues to engage the local, national, and international sporting communities to make them aware of the impact of trafficking in persons in our communities,” said Jeremy Vallerand, President and CEO, Atlas Free. “At Atlas Free, we seek to accelerate and resource the fight against sex trafficking and exploitation and as such we see It’s a Penalty as a strategic partner in this fight. We look forward to working together to bring awareness during the upcoming Arizona Super Bowl campaign.”

KEY PARTNERS

Main Partner: Atlas Free
Supporting Partners: Hilton Hotels, IHG Hotels & Resorts, G6 Hospitality, parent company of the Motel 6 and Studio 6 brands, Carlson Family Foundation, Southwest, and Airbnb.
Friends: Where Hope Lives, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), the American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation (AHLAF), the Women’s Football Alliance, Safe to Compete, and United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY).
Participating Airline: American Airlines

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