AS Roma Missing Children Social Media Initiative Intertwined With Transfer Announcement Day

Missing children, the topic and gripping reality makes your heart skip beats and AS Roma decided to take on this grave global issue by partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) here in the United States as a way to increase awareness using the club’s social media channels. In Italy, the same initiate also launched yesterday with Telefono Azzurro. The Sport Techie community blog chatted with Paul Rogers, AS Roma, Head of Strategy, about how this fantastic idea sprang forth using the Serie A clubs announcement of new players across social media as a catalyst for helping to locate missing kids. As a parent of a 6-year old child on the autism spectrum, ‘wandering’ is a big issue so this initiative hits home for me because I can only imagine the pain and suffering parents and the missing kids go through making what AS Roma and their partners are doing, truly heaven sent. Appropriately one million youngsters around the world are reported missing per year with a small percentage ever found. AS Roma using the power of sports tech for social good is amazing.

AS Roma Digital and Social Worthiness

Rogers believes this is the first campaign of its kind by a professional sports team. He also pointed out the goal with the project was not to necessarily go viral for promotion rather to raise awareness for missing kids, in particular, those gone missing for more than a year, using the team’s social media assets as a tool to share the plight of kids and their families alike.

As the summer rolls on, every time a new player signing is announced, a new video will be shared featuring the faces of the children missing around America and Italy with details about each child in case you can help find them. Any piece of information generated because of the Roma and NCMEC details may be the needed clue as to finding missing child and generating closure.

To begin the innovative campaign, two new video per player transfer announcement will be released through social media, one for missing teenagers in the U.S. and another for an Italian child gone missing. Rogers says a charity in the UK may join in the race against time to locate kids missing across Europe.

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

The NCMEC was founded in 1984 as a non-profit corporation with a holistic mission to assist with finding missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. NCMEC works alongside stricken families, victims, private industry, law enforcement, and the public to assist with preventing child abductions, recovering missing children, and providing services to deter and combat child sexual exploitation.

“We were delighted to be contacted to work with AS Roma on this project,” said John Clark, chief executive and president of NCMEC. “It’s an incredible initiative and a very innovative way to help tackle a universal issue.”

Telefono Azzurro

Founded in 1987 in Bologna, Telefono Azzurro supports Italian children and adolescents rights as well as helping to protect each child and youth from abuse and violence. The non-profit operates a direct line for folks to call in concerning missing children. On average across Italy, an unfortunate child is reported missing every seven days – with an alarming percentage of 18% ever returning home. The organization operates all day and night, open every night of the week offering safety and much needed protection for at-risk youth. Last year, they were responsible for handing 150 reported missing children.

Ernesto Caffo, founder and president of Telefono Azzuro, said, “We are thankful to AS Roma for creating this opportunity to shine a light on the serious issue of missing children, a cause that too often receives little coverage in mainstream media.”

GMCN

Global Missing Children’s Network (GMCN) is an international group the NCMEC and Telefona belong to assisting government agencies and non-profit organizations in 30 countries and five continents working in collaboration to attempt and locate the missing and abducted children throughout the world.

Runaway Train Missing Persons 25 Years

Rogers said, “Taking inspiration from the use of milk cartons to display a photo of a missing child in America, the band’s video director Tony Kaye decided to use the medium of a pop video played on MTV and music channels globally to try and help find 36 missing children. In the end, I think they helped locate 21 children. There were four versions of the video made, two for the United States and one each for the UK and Australia.”

He added, “The idea for the new transfer announcement initiative actually came from reading an article about the 25th anniversary of Soul Asylum’s ‘Runaway Train’ video, which famously highlighted actual cases – with photos and names – of children missing at the time.”

Roma’s Missing Kids

“With Roma, we thought, we could try and do something similar but updated for the social media generation, which didn’t exist when Soul Asylum released their video. We want to use the viral nature of social media transfer announcements to help raise awareness for missing children. We have a massive social media following and our announcements generate incredible reach and awareness, all over the world, so we thought that at the exact moment when the world’s attention is on the club’s announcement, we could use our social media channels not for self-promotion but rather to help both the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Telefono Azzurro find missing children,” said Rogers.

Below are each child featured in the first two transfer announcements, and the last places they were last seen.

UNITED STATES
Tammy Flores, 15, Victorville, CA
Ssamali Kwatia, 10, Lake Bluff, IL
Steven Campbell, 10, El Paso, TX
Ork’o Frisancho, 20, Baltimore, MD
Jaylene Jimenez, 15, Brooklyn, New York
Diego Flores, 13, Victorville, California
Alora Benitez, 16, Redondo Beach, California
Raymi Frisancho-Kiss, 14, Baltimore, Maryland

EUROPE
Alessia Vere Schepp, 14, Saint Sulpice, Switzerland
Karim Dhahri, 14, Reggio Emilia, Italy
Elena Ramponi, 5, San Lazzaro di Savena, Italy
Jasmine Eleonora Sbaragli, 16, Lucca, Italy
Livia Chiara Schepp, 14, Saint Sulpice, Switzerland
Neve Adele Fiorentino, 15, Brescia, Italy

Act NOW

Should you have information about the whereabouts of missing children in the United States, please call NCMEC number 1-800-843-5678, or submit any detail as insignificant as may seem , through the charity’s cyber tipline: 
http://www.missingkids.com/gethelpnow/cybertipline

People with any information regrading the whereabouts of children missing across Italy and Europe, please visit Telefono Azzurro’s website to learn more details on how to submit what you know:
https://www.azzurro.it/

Can you dig it.

Sports Techie, Rogers shared how this all began for AS Roma with the creation of transfer videos that were considered funny, and at times quirky or a parody, of the organizations sports business transaction back in 2017 catching the football world by storm through the use of Roma’s social media assets.

Teams, fans and organizations helped to share the videos and began to do the same with their newest signings. Copying the leader is how the world rolls now-a-days making this a feather in AS Roma’s marketing cap.

Roma, their American owners and Rogers, and everyone involved on his digital and social team, get a virtual pat on the back for changing awareness regarding missing kids.

As a result, more than one million views of the Roma soccer videos have been seen to date since last evenings launch at https://twitter.com/ASRomaEN.

Bravo to Roma, NCMEC and Telefono Azzurro for joining up to spread awareness about missing children and teens in the U.S. and overseas through social media.

Most kids gone missing are found in their same state.

Call 1-800-The Lost with any missing kids information.

See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!

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