NFL stars Aaron Rodgers, Markus Golden and Collette V. Smith plead for an end to abuse and human trafficking during It’s a Penalty campaign ahead of Arizona’s Super Bowl LVII

The It’s a Penalty campaign brings together big names in hospitality, sport and tourism to educate and equip football fans and the public in Arizona and around the world

PHOENIX, January 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, It’s a penalty launched its 14th global campaign ahead of Super Bowl LVII focused on harnessing the power of sport to prevent human abuse, exploitation and trafficking. Through partnerships with Hilton Hotels, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Airbnb, Motel 6, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines and more, the Super Bowl 2023 campaign covers travel touchpoints to educate sports fans and the general public about what is considered human trafficking and the subsequent penalties associated with these offences. This year, It’s a Penalty is also thrilled 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 major events that bring together thousands of people, such as the Super Bowl, as an opportunity to educate the public not only on how to identify exploitation and human trafficking, but also on the how to act and report these freedom violations.


  • 1/3 of detected trafficking victims are children (Source: UNODC, 2021)
  • The Polaris National Human Helpline has identified Arizona as the eighteenth highest state for human trafficking 2022
  • More than 100,000 children are sold for sexual purposes in the United States each year (Source: ECPAT-UNITED STATES)
  • 83% of sex trafficking victims in the US are US citizens (Source: US Department of Justice)
  • 50 million people are trafficked and exploited worldwide (Source: ILO, latest global estimates of modern slavery)

“The It’s a Penalty campaign, along with our partners, will help prevent human trafficking and exploitation before and during Super Bowl LVII, contributing to 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 how impactful they can be. Last year our biggest campaign was during the Super Bowl in Los Angeleswhich reported that 96% of people felt more aware of the issues of human trafficking and exploitation, and more equipped to report after being exposed to the It’s a Penalty campaign. »


It’s A Penalty is proud to announce its 2023 Ambassadors to help spread the campaign messages:

  • Aaron RodgersGreen Bay Packers
  • Lois Cookdc-diva
  • Marcus GoldenArizona Cardinals
  • Collette V. Smith1st black female coach in NFL history
  • chris godvinTampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Andy DaltonNew Orleans Saints
  • Chatarius Tutu Atwell, Los Angeles Rams
  • Nick FolesIndianapolis Colts
  • Tynequia Roberts, Tampa Bay Inferno
  • Sing Bondsboston renegades

These top athletes lend their voices to help raise awareness via a 30-second campaign film shown in-flight by American Airlines and Southwest Airlines and in 52 American Airline lounges, with the potential to reach up to 10 million domestic and international passengers. in January and February. If viewers suspect they have come across 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 make a report or send an anonymous tip in SMS “BE FREE” to 233733.

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

  • Awareness Kits / Volunteer Event with Where Hope Lives: At January 24, It’s a Penalty staff and Where Hope Lives volunteers 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 NFL ambassadors with “human trafficking signs to watch out for” and the National Human Trafficking Hotline for Forward and L rear of house; business cards with signs and hotline information; wristbands with hotline information; and a list of missing children from the last two years in the Phoenix with our partners, the NCMEC (National Center 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.
  • Press launch of the campaign: At January 25It’s a Penalty will hold a press launch with its partners from the travel and tourism industry, the sports industry, local law enforcement and local government, NGOs and a survivor of human trafficking Humans, to discuss anti-human trafficking efforts ahead of the Super Bowl, hosted in conjunction with Hilton and the Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.
  • Training events: At January 25 and on the 26th, It’s a Penalty will participate in awareness and training events with Hilton hotel staff, Airbnb hosts and Southwest Airlines Phoenix employees. Each session will educate attendees and provide them with materials and resources, including the NCMEC Missing Children List in Phoenixsigns on how to spot human trafficking and reporting methods.
  • Stop foot traffic: At January 28It’s A Penalty will participate in the Stop Traffic Walk in Phoenix, raising funds for the largest human trafficking rescue and rehabilitation operation at the Phoenix Dream Center and StreetLightUSA. It’s a Penalty will have a booth to share its educational campaign materials and speak at the event in front of a potential 5,000 people.

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

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

“It’s a Penalty continues to engage local, national and international sports communities to raise awareness of the impact of human trafficking in our communities,” said Jeremy Vallerand, President and CEO, Atlas Free. “At Atlas Free, we seek to accelerate and fund the fight against sex trafficking and exploitation, and as such, we view It’s a Penalty as a strategic partner in this fight. We look forward to working together to raise awareness audience during the upcoming Super Bowl campaign in Arizona.”


  • 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), American Hotel & Lodging Association Foundation (AHLAF), Women’s Football Alliance, Safe to Compete and United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY).
  • Participating airline: American Airlines


It’s a Penalty focuses on four key strategic areas to end human trafficking, exploitation and abuse. They run global awareness campaigns at major sporting events highlighting telltale signs to look out for and hotline numbers to report. Work in collaboration with the sports, travel and tourism industry, NGOs and law enforcement; the campaigns are contextualized in the host cities and countries. It’s a Penalty has so far run 13 campaigns across the Olympics, Paralympics, Super Bowl and Commonwealth Games, reaching more than 2.5 billion people. Along with campaigns, It’s a Penalty offers three other programs, including Joint projectwhich advocates for legal reform to improve the protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse in all Commonwealth countries, Student Ambassador Networkwhich educates and nurtures university students in the UK to prevent human trafficking and exploitation and co-lead Safe for competitiona program that trains athletic coaches and parents of children in the Little Leagues of the UNITED STATES to prevent abuse and exploitation.

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